We’ve all faced the high price of buying a new set of tires and thought about buying used tires instead. On the surface, it might seem to make sense. You’re buying something that costs way less and you’re reusing something that would otherwise be discarded. Dig a little deeper, though, and it becomes clear that buying a set or especially one used tire is a major mistake. Used tires are a hazard plain and simple. It's always better to buy a set of new tires or at the very least a single new tire.
You Don’t Know Anything About the Used Tire
New tires are designed to do exactly what you need them to do, and they haven’t been abused or misused by a previous owner. Too many people run their tires underinflated or overloaded. In the short term this will have little impact on the tire, but over time, it can weaken the tire in ways that you can easily see. This means you could be paying for a tire that’s a piece of junk. When you buy a new tire, you’re using your money more wisely and will get the best return on every penny spent.
Used Tires are More Likely to Fail
Used tires have been discarded by someone already. That means all the good attributes of that tire have already been used up. Most used tires are in relatively poor condition and will fail fairly soon. You might think this is okay to get you through to the next new full set of tires, but if a tire fails, it may cause damage that otherwise wouldn’t occur. This means whatever money you saved on those tires now has to be spent fixing something else, such as your car's wheel or suspension.
Mismatching Tires Isn’t Smart
When you buy a single used tire, the chances that it’ll be the same kind of tire as the rest of the ones on your car is slim. This means the tread patterns of that one tire will be different from the other three tires. While you might not notice any issues at low speeds. High speeds or emergency maneuvers can produce disastrous results. Tread patterns are designed to work together to control the car. When you add one oddball tire on the car, it won’t handle the way it’s supposed to under strain. This can lead to accidents or improper wear of your other tires.
Always Buy New Tires
You always want to stick with buying new tires. If you get a flat tire, try to patch the tire that's currently on your car. If it can't be patched, it's time to buy yourself a new tire. If you need to get one new tire, consider purchasing a full set of new tires. This is expensive, but it will help ensure your car is the safest it can possibly be.
If you can't afford four new tires, at the very least, get two new tires for that end of the vehicle. For example, if you get a flat on the front right driver's side of the car, consider getting two new tires for both front wheels of the car. This will ensure the tread patterns and depth match and shouldn't cause any handling difficulties.