Woes of Retreaded Tires on Cars
Retread tread band
As a single mother of a very active middle school preteen, my car is vital. And of course the tires on my car were also extremely important, so one year after purchasing used tires over and again, I decided to splurge. It was going to be brand-new tires for my trusty station wagon, giving me the opportunity to, instead of changing tires every six months, possibly drive on them for a couple years.
I headed to the trusty tire man who sold me used tires over and over again and explained to him that I thought I could possibly afford a new set of tires. He proceeded to extend me credit; I was terribly excited and soon had a brand-new set of tires on my wagon. They were not an expensive set of tires, but I was excited, as I would be able to pay them off in less than four months without a lot of financial difficulty. And I thought to myself, “I'll be able to drive on these for a couple of years, saving money from buying new used tires on a seasonal basis.”
I proceeded to drive through the winter on the tires, no thought or concern in my head, just a general look to make sure they were all inflated properly and, no problems. Come that spring my general look turned into concern as I noticed one tire getting a bit low. I topped it off, and continued to drive through the spring baseball season encouraged by the fact that it seemed to hold air, sort of. Periodically I had to head for the local gas station and refill it, this was becoming a concern. Of course, one day, getting ready to run errands before I had to pick up my daughter for ball practice, which of course, I usually watch, I had a flat tire.
I made a call to my rural neighbor, who I knew had an air compressor on his truck to inflate my tire so I could drive to my trusty tire man. They were happy to help; I was soon on my way. Pulling into the tire store, I was very encouraged thinking this won't be a problem, how wrong I was.
My trusty used tire salesman who sold me brand-new tires, wanted to charge me to fix my flat! This was upsetting; I had bought this set of tires just the fall before, and had expected them to last for two years. Charge me for a flat? I had heard they do it at other tire stores for free. With of course, a bit of grumbling, the tire man fixed my flat for free. And I was on my way to ball practice, secure in the knowledge that I was okay for a while and shouldn't have any problems.
Once again, I was mistaken. Upon explaining my problem to a friend at the ball game, I explained that I had bought retread tires brand-new last fall, and my trusty tire men wanted to charge me for a flat. Well the first thing they said, “You bought retread's?” and I, Of course, saying, “Yes. I bought a brand-new set of retreads, and they
should last me for a couple of years.” The next comment out of their mouth was a bit upsetting.
Come to find out, after a certain amount of mileage anywhere between 20,000 to 30,000 miles, which I put on my car yearly, a retread can separate. The images going through my mind at that time, were appalling, shocking, and extremely upsetting. I thought to myself, “I drive my child all-around in this car with my tires leaving shreds of themselves behind while going down the freeway”, I was disturbed and actually, quite terrified.
After the Ball game, I'd limped my way home, nothing wrong with the car really just my brain and of course I didn't sleep well either. What was I to do; a single parent, low income, and I had already spent my tire money over four months just a few months earlier.
Needless to say, within a day or so, I was at another tire store discussing my problem, and explaining that I was terrified to drive the car. They kindly explained to me that retreads were not something to purchase for a daily driver, that retreads were usually used trucks, commercial vehicles and for a vehicle with very low use. Fortunately, they took my plight into consideration and a brand-new set of used tires (again!) were installed on my station wagon. I thought to myself, that at least even if they were used, I wouldn't have to worry about them possibly flying apart going down the road. Also, I was very happy with their explanations, and the idea that they understood that I was a single parent, with one vehicle, that I put a lot of miles on yearly, and that I wanted it to be safe.
What could I have done different, how can I keep myself from being taken by the trusty tire salesman, or other salesman. Now I know, now before I make any major purchase I hop online. I research the item I am going to be purchasing so that I can assure myself that I won't have nightmares about tires falling apart doing 70 down the freeway.
When it came time to purchase new tires for my station wagon; of course, I didn't want to purchase used again I had just gotten out of that racket, I hopped online. And found many ways to ensure that I was going to be purchasing a good set of tires for what I intended to do with my vehicle. The answer, tire reviews, recalls and safety information sites as well as Consumer Reports and Consumer Affairs.
In all fairness retreads have come a long way from falling apart on passenger vehicles, in fact, they're not commonly sold for passenger vehicles anymore. They're much more frequently seen on trucks, commercial trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles that have more than just four tires. Although, if you check recalls today, you'll see Firestone recalls on Ford Explorers and the tires falling apart going down the road, causing major accidents. Use your Internet search tools to discover what kind of tire you should purchase, the safety rating, speed ratings, as well as current reviews on mileage, drivability, and cost.