Let’s start with the second part of that question. No – tyre retreading is not safe for a passenger vehicle, and we’ll explain why in this blog.
As we’ve long preached, good driving habits and appropriate maintenance are the keys to getting as much mileage out of tyres as possible. There will always come a time, though, when the tread is too worn and the tyres need replacing. At this stage, there are too options: a new set of tyres or retreading the current ones.
You’ve probably heard of tyre retreading and are hoping this cheaper alternative to new tyres is a viable way to save money. While it is common in the trucking industry, there are several key differences between car tyres and truck tyres that make tyre retreading a bad option for your passenger car.
Before we get into that, though…
What exactly is tyre retreading?
Tyre retreading aims to give old tyres renewed life with replacement tread and sidewalls. There are several methods when it comes to retreading, and here they are:
- New tread is fixed to the tyre with high-strength cement. The benefit of this particular process is that it caters to a variety of tyre diameters and widths, but it does leave a noticeable seam where the two ends meet.
- Raw rubber is applied to the old tyre casing and vulcanised in a press at high pressure and high temperature.
- Raw rubber is applied to the old tyre casing and then placed in a mould which presses the tyre into the tread. Not a common method as it obviously requires different moulds for tyres with different widths and diameters.
- Bead-to-bead moulding is the final and least common methods, which involves the addition of new tread and sidewalls.
Who uses tyre retreading?
The main benefit of tyre retreading is that it’s cheaper. It’s popular in the transport and aviation industries because it increases the longevity of tyres, and when you’re talking about vehicles with 18 wheels, tyre retreading can save you a lot of money. Some operators claim that a good retread can extend the life of a tyre by an extra 500,000 kilometres.
It’s also better for the environment. Some tyres weigh as much as 70 kilograms. A new retread for this type of tyre, however, only uses around 20 kilograms of new material. This is a drastic reduction in the amount of oil that’s needed to produce new tyres and therefore puts less strain on natural resources.
Tyre retreading is a bad idea for your car
So it’s cheaper and it can be greener. Surely I should be retreading my passenger car tyres rather than replacing them, in that case? No, and here’s why.
Retreading can work in the transport and aviation industry because they are generally working with very large tyres with incredibly thick materials. Your car tyres are made of much thinner rubber, which makes them unsuitable for the retreading process as there simply isn’t enough material to properly adhere the new tread to. There are other disadvantages as well, all of which make tyre retreading unsafe:
- Potential instability at high speeds.
- Poor grip in the wet and poor braking performance.
- A lack of durability.
- Retreading masks other potential issues with the tyre. It’s difficult to know how often a tyre has been retreaded and it’s also difficult to ascertain the health of the tyre in general, particularly its carcass.
All of the above reasons have prompted many insurance companies to advise against the use of tyre retreading for passenger vehicles. It’s not only unsafe, but the rise of budget tyres has also negated their price advantage; you can now purchase tyres for not much more than a retread that will last you much longer and keep you much safer.
Get advice on your tyres from Eastern Tyre Centre
We all want to keep our costs down as much as we can, but tyre quality is not the place to cut corners. Having said that, a new set of tyres doesn’t have to break the bank and, looked after correctly, they should also last you a lot longer than retreaded tyres.
If you think your tread is looking a little worn, drop in to Eastern Tyre Centre and we’ll make sure you drive away on tyres designed to keep you stuck to the road.