June 8th, 2020| The cost of replacing broken or worn out car parts can place a burden on many vehicle owners’ wallets. To reduce those costs, some vehicle owners turn to used or refurbished parts. Though some vehicle parts are more likely to be reused than others, many consumers still balk at the idea of purchasing used – also called retread or recapped – tires. Consumer reluctance to buy used tires is understandable. For years, retread tires had a reputation as being unreliable, if not downright dangerous. Although tire manufacturing has advanced significantly in recent years, making used tires more capable of performing like new tires, the question remains: should consumers still approach recapped tires with skepticism? Before we look at the current state of retread tires in the marketplace, let’s address a commonly asked question by vehicle owners in California – are retread tires legal to purchase or install on your vehicle?
Are Retread Tires Legal in California?Retread tires must have a tread pattern that complies with Section 27465 of the Vehicle Code. They can’t be used on the front wheels of a bus or farm labor vehicle. They also can’t be used on the front wheels of truck tractors or motortrucks unless they meet requirements of the state. For passenger vehicles, retread tires are allowed.
What Does the State Government Say About Retread Tires?California doesn’t just condone the use of retread tires; they implicitly encourage them, especially because they offer environmental benefits. Retreading a tire requires fewer raw materials than manufacturing a new one. A retread tire is also one less tire that needs to be thrown away. California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery says that retread tires are commonly used on:
- Commercial and military jets,
- Some school and municipal buses,
- Delivery service vehicles,
- S. Postal Service vehicles,
- Fire engines,
- Race cars, and
- All types of commercial vehicles.