Facts About Retread Tires

January 27, 2012

Retread tires (also known as recaps) are tires that have undergone a re-manufacturing process to strip away the used and worn tread and replace it with new rubber tread. While retread tires are usually cheaper than new tires, they usually wear out quicker than brand new tires.

Is Retreading Tires Just as Effective as Buying New Tires?

Retreading tires depends on the condition of the base tire or carcass of the tire. Retreading tires is used by the heavy-haul trucking industry to keep its costs down, as heavy-haul tires are made of stronger materials - sidewalls, plies - and lend themselves to retreading. Some retreads for cars are good, but you will find they wear out in about half the time of a new tire. Retreading tires are also not recommended if you are using your vehicle in extreme conditions such as long-distance, high-speed, high-heat driving. Retreads make sense only in light-duty service where the cost of a new tire cannot be justified.

Are There Any Restrictions on Retread Car Tires?

There are no states that do not allow you to retread car tires, although you are encouraged to purchase new tires for your car. In general, car safety laws encourage the replacement of any tire with less than 1/16th of-an-inch of tread with a new tire. In many cases, you cannot retread a tire unless there is 2/16ths of-an-inch of tread, so that the new treading will bond correctly with the retreaded tire. In light duty use, retreaded tires can be effective. But in heavy-duty use, such as in cab or limousine use, it is better to purchase new tires and let your tire dealer dispose of your old tires properly.

County Recycling Requirements

Many communities require that a tire repair shop recycles their tires. This means that tires that are worn or no longer in good working order cannot be simply tossed into a repair shop's garbage bin but must be handled differently and placed in a special landfill section. This results in additional costs to the repair shop, which is usually passed on to the consumer in the form of a county recycling fee of $10 or $25.

It should be noted that there are laws that affect tire repair and tire repair shops in a community. You should contact your local or county officials for more information on specific laws regarding tire repairs.


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