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Can You Retread Car Tires?

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United States Federal regulations require that you have to change your car tire when the tired tread reaches a depth of 2/32 inches or when the steer tire reaches 4/32 inches. When your tire reaches this state, do you buy a new one, and if you can’t afford it can you retread your tires?

Yes, you can retread your tires and save yourself the cost of buying a new one. Before retreading your tires, you must choose a reputable company to handle the process.

Signs Your Tires Are Due For A Tire Retreading

Tired treads are very important to the performance of your tires. Irrespective of the type of road the tire is made for, the tired tread will determine its efficiency.

To know when your tire needs retreading you have to look out for some signs. Here are the signs you should look out for.

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Impairment From Under- or Over-Inflation

When tires aren’t properly inflated, it can lead to damage to the tires after long hours of driving.

An underinflation can lead to undue wear around the edges and slight wear at the center of the tread. Overinflation, on the other hand, majorly wears down the middle of the tread.

Once you spot this damage to your tires, it’s unsafe to continue using it because it can lead to a blowout.

Impact Of Bad Alignment

Your steering tires can suffer from poor alignment which can cause unusual wear patterns. The tires can either toe in by suffering significant wear on the outer part or toe-out which is significant wear on the inner part.

Poor or Broken Suspension

A poor or broken suspension can lead to uneven wear patterns on the tires. The wear can occur at different parts of the tire or be isolated in one part.

If you observe different wear patterns on each tire, you might need to fix your suspension and have your tires retread.

Damage From Long Usage

Long mileage can take a toll on your tire tread. The tires can begin to gradually thin out till the treads become bare. Additionally, road debris also weakens tired tread and causes them to wear out.

If you have been using your tires for several years, you should check the tires’ expiration date to know if they’re due for retreading.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Retreading

There are several benefits you stand to enjoy from retreading your tires. The benefits include:

You Get To Save on Cost

Replacing your tires can be expensive and if you don’t have the money to spare, retreading gives you a viable alternative. Refurbishing your tires by changing the treads allows you to lower the cost without compromising on quality.

Environmental Factor

Environmental conservation is very important and retreading your tires is an eco-conscious choice. Retreading process involves the recycling of old tires to make new ones, thereby reducing waste generation.

The Process Is Safe

Despite the unfounded beliefs about the safety of retreading tires, you have no reason to bother. Retreading process uses standard technology and quality processing. The retread tires also undergo quality assurance tests to ascertain their roadworthiness.

Although the advantages of retreading far outweigh its disadvantages. There are drawbacks you should know about.

  • Retreading with inferior materials will result in poor quality. It will also affect your general driving experience. 
  • Retread tires require high maintenance to ensure they’re in good shape. This can be exhausting.

Are Retreads Illegal?

There have been chatters about the illegality of tire retreading and this has led many people to believe it’s illegal. However, retreading of all types of vehicles is legal in the United States.

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The only law that speaks on tire retreading in the United States is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA). The FMCSA stipulates that the front wheels of buses are the only part of a vehicle that cannot be retreaded.

Due to widespread misinterpretation of this law, tire retreading appears illegal for the steering wheels of all vehicles. Contrary to this belief, buses are the only vehicles subject to the regulation.  

Process Of Tire Retreading

Retread tires are popular in the United States due to their affordability and efficiency. The process of retreading is thorough and carefully conducted to ensure the quality of the tire.

For a tire to get retread, the tire has to undergo the following process.

  • Initial Inspection: the tires undergo a thorough inspection to ensure the structural quality is suitable. If the structural quality is weak it means refurbishing the tire is impossible.
  • Shearography: this is the process of separating the usable part of the tires from the unusable part.
  • Buffing: after salvaging the useful part of the tire, the usable part is then buffed to even the surface for the new tread rubber. The buffing process further examines the tire for any defects and minor damage.
  • Building: the building process involves two retreading processes: the cold cure process and the hot cure process. The cold cure process involves the molding of the pre-cured tread with the new tread pattern. After which, a thin veneer rubber compound bonds the new tread pattern to the new casing.

The hot cure process involves the application of a layer of new uncured rubber compound to the new casing.

  • Curing: the curing process is the finishing process involving the careful application of certain amounts of heat and pressure. 
  • Quality Inspection: After curing, the tires undergo a close inspection to ascertain their quality. A high voltage test checks the tire for any pinholes, while a high-pressure inflation test checks for structural weaknesses. 

It’s only after ascertaining the quality of the tire that it can be fit for use.

Conclusion

Tires can wear out due to different factors and replacing them can be expensive. Retreading gives you an affordable and efficient way to give your tire a new lease of life.

If you want to retread your tire, ensure you choose a reputable company for the process.

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