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The Dangers Of Part Worn Tyres
10 December 2015

Have you ever bought part worn tyres for your vehicle? We consider the potential dangers of part worn tyres and whether they're worth the cost saving.

What Are the Dangers of Part Worn Tyres?

Buying part worn tyres is seen as a much cheaper alternative to buying brand new tyres for your vehicle, but in the long run is it worth the cost saving? We explore the potential dangers of part worn tyres and whether they will really save you money, or if they can potentially cause you harm as well as costing you more in the long run. Check out advice from the UK’s tyre safety organisation, TyreSafe, and discover why part worn tyres = part safe.  

What you need to know about part worn tyres

It may be tempting to choose part worn tyres for your vehicle – up front there is a visible cost saving, but did you know part worn tyres can actually increase the running cost on your vehicle? More importantly, there is no guarantee that your part worn tyres are the safest option or that your part worn tyres are legal. TyreSafe has previously investigated the safety of part worn tyres and found that 98% of part worn tyres sold did not conform to the legal requirements for safe tyres, with 34% being considered dangerous. The defects found included:
•    Insufficient tyre tread depth
•    Damaged sidewalls
•    Puncture damage 
•    Weakened structure

What are the potential dangers of part worn tyres?

Increased braking distance
Your braking distance will increase dramatically on wet roads with a part worn tyre. According to TyreSafe, when braking on wet roads at 50 mph with a brand new tyre with a tread depth of 8mm, your braking distance will be approximately 25m. Your braking distance with a part worn tyre with a tread depth of 1.6mm will be around 37m. 
Risk of aquaplaning
Your tyre tread pattern  removes water from between the road’s surface and your tyre. Without a sufficient tyre tread depth, you will run a higher risk of aquaplaning – sliding out of control on wet road surfaces.
Potential blow out
Damaged sidewalls indicate that the tough structure of the tyre has been significantly weakened. Part worn tyres with cracked sidewalls can increase the risk of your tyre exploding, leading to loss of control while driving – a highly dangerous situation to be in. If there is a bulge in the sidewall of the tyre you’re about to buy, avoid it at all costs. 
Also look for signs of puncture repair. A previous puncture to your part worn tyre could result in a flat tyre, which will lead to you having to buy another replacement tyre – not the cost saving you were looking for.
Early replacement
Although this isn’t necessarily a major danger to you or your passengers, it’s important to note that buying part worn tyres does not necessarily mean massive cost savings. If the wear and tear they’ve experienced before you bought them has left them below the recommended condition for re-sale, the likelihood is you’ll have to replace them much earlier than you would with a brand new set of tyres. The AA recommends that new tyres will run for 20,000 miles, although this will vary with speed, loads, misalignment and incorrect inflation.  It is perfectly legal to sell part worn tyres, as long as the condition of the tyres conform to the Motor Vehicle Tyres Regulations Act. It is the responsibility of the vendor to ensure all tyres are road-safe and legal.
However, to get the most from your 4x4 vehicle, sufficient tread depth is vital. Your 4x4 is a high-performance vehicle designed to go off road. To get the most out of extreme driving conditions, good tyre depth is essential. 
Be safe and enjoy putting your 4x4 through its paces – buy brand new tyres. 

Please note that some 4x4 vehicles have four-wheel-drive systems which are sensitive to overall diameter differences between front and rear axles. It is strongly recommended that tyres on 4x4 vehicles are used in identical sets of 4, (same size, make, pattern and load index/speed symbol). The  vehicle manufacturer's recommendation's also be followed.

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