Can you buy used tyres for your car or bike?
For any vehicle owner, one of the most frequently occurring problems is the one that are related to the tyres of the automobiles. Be it two wheelers or their big brothers, this tyre wear and the eventual replacement becomes a periodic issue to be addressed. Since this happens at prescribed intervals (until and unless the vehicle meets with a calamitous accident), the rhetorical question of whether to buy a used tyre or a new one comes into existence every time there is a slight non-repairable loss to the bottom-most foundation of the vehicle. Here is a guide that would help you decide better.
Some of the most important factors that come into play while choosing the vital decision are the distance travelled, the tread depth, the tyre dimensions, the price range, and finally, the brand.
The common running distance for a car tyre is anywhere between 60,000 kilometers and 1,60,000 kilometers. The maximum limit is a bit far-fetched and is feasible only under ideal conditions of temperatures at around 30 degree Celsius and the road terrains being very flat and uniform with less curves and potholes.
While choosing a used tyre for a car, it is always a good practice to go for those that have run a distance close to the lower limit (that is, 60,000 to 75,000 kilometers, or roughly between 40,000 and 45,000 miles). However, this is a difficult criteria to find out because the number of punctures fixed and mended cannot be ascertained straightaway by looking at a used tyre.
Coming to bikes, the distance range is from 12,000 to 20,000 kilometers. So the safety limit of buying would be between the lower limit and upwards until 15,000 kilometers (No tyre owner can be expected to sell it before at least the minimum prescribed distance has already been covered)
In some of the recent tyre models, the year of make is inscribed at the side of surface. This might be a great indicator to estimate the distance traveled, keeping in mind the average distance the tyre would have covered every day. Common day-to-day travels can be estimated to be around 30 to 40 kilometers for ease of calculation.
Though all these are great guesstimates, they are based on mathematical gambles which may or may not work out. So the other factors must be duly taken into account, too.
The price bracket:
First of all, it is common knowledge that the used tyres come at a very lower price relatively in comparison with the new ones, especially for the four wheelers. The general advice would be to go for the used tyre purchase if the deal can sealed at the price that is one-third of the actual price of the new one. Even this 1/3rd ratio is feasible only for tyres that are close to their lower limit distance of travel.
For tyres which are found to have run more than 50 kilometers a day, it is not advisable to go for the old ones, especially if the tyres have covered greater part of their lifetime within the local driving limits; this is because while driving within the localized region (for example, amidst city traffic or a congested region), the tyres might have to take a lot of turns, and they would also be forced to excessive fatigue due to comparatively more braking, which produces a lot of heat due to the frictional contact between the road and tyre.
So considering the cost being spent, it is okay to go for a used tyre for about 30% of its original cost, if its driven distance is near the lower limit. Else, it would be sane to opt for a new tyre.
The tread depth:
If the tread depth is increased by 2 mm from its usual level, the used tyre is not deemed fit to be used in another vehicle for use as such. The one rupee coin test is always an easy and simple method to find out the wear and tear of the tyre.
Even if the tread depth is within the range, any deviation from its usual pattern (the pattern is based on whether the tyre has symmetrical or asymmetrical tread) makes the tyre still unfit for reuse. Retreading is an option that can be considered here but this technique would be possible again only if the tyre fulfils the distance and cost criteria as mentioned in the earlier sections.
There are unaware mistakes that tend to happen because of the slight negligence of the buyers of used tyre who fail to take note of the minute difference in the outer dimensions of the tyre. This might lead to either oversizing or downsizing. Both of them have their own pros and cons associated with it. Go for them only if you know about Oversized and undersized tyres
To sum up, the purchase of tyres depends upon the longevity expected from the purchaser and the type of vehicle that is under consideration. It is also dependent on the type of usage and the turfs in which the vehicle would be driven.
Tip: If only one of the tyres need to be replaced, try to fit the used tyre in the rear wheel in case of a two-wheeler. If the front tyre gets damaged and is in the hour of change, use the undamaged rear tyre for the front and fit the used one in the rear axle.
For four wheelers, since the Indian regulations instruct the drivers to “Keep Left”, it would be safe to go for the used tyre to be fit in the right rear side as the first choice. This is because during the turns (both left and right), there will always be more pressures relatively on the left pairs of the tyres. So the right side that has less pressure exertion is a good choice. It is also necessary to note that the rear pairs have comparatively lower pressure ranges. So the right rear is the first and best choice for replacement.