Can I retread my tires?

Retreading tires is a safe way to extend the life of your tires as long as it is done by professionals. Before retreading tires, make sure your car will stay covered under your policy.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jun 2, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Retreading tires is safe
  • Even though the average consumer has not heard of this process, trucking companies and airlines are saving millions of dollars by retreading tires
  • If you can find a tire store that stocks retread tires, you’ll find the best deal
  • If you have to order online or special order from a store, you’ll have to account for shipping costs

If you are looking for a way to retread your own tires, stop! The only way to retread tires is to take them to a professional and have them done that way.

Keep in mind that some car insurance companies will not cover your car if you use retread tires, but that is more the exception than the rule.

You may not realize it, but there aren’t many ways to recycle a tire.

For years, environmental groups and the government have been trying to find creative ways to reuse tires to reduce their appearance in landfills.

The good news is that by retreading tires, you are actually doing something that is good for the environment. That is because the tire casing is reused while new tread is adhered to the tire. This means less oil is needed to create the tire and less bits of the tire land in landfills.

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Why can’t I retread my own tires?


There are strict safety regulations regarding retread tires in most states. In other states, they cannot be insured, therefore they cannot be used.

What’s more, the process requires you to use a case molding and other equipment that you aren’t likely to have laying around. A professional must do the job for you.

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Are retread tires safe?

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, both retread and new tires fail at the same rate and for the same reasons.

Rather than wear and tear, the most common reason a tire fails is due to driver error by not keeping the right amount of air pressure in the tires.

What you might find interesting is that most emergency vehicles, school buses, and airplanes use retread tires for their vehicles. In fact, Air Force One uses retread tires according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Truthfully, retread tires are rarely used on the average vehicle, not because they aren’t safe, but because most people have no idea that they have this option for their cars. You don’t generally find retread tires available at your local tire store.

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Where can I buy retread tires?

There are actually several options for buying retread tires.

The first option is to find a professional in your area that will retread your existing tires.

The downside to this is that it can take longer than it would to go to the store and buy new or other existing retread tires.

The next option is to find a store near you that sells retread tires. This is not a commonly stocked item and there are some tire stores that can order them for you; however, shipping can be costly.

It is best to find a store that actually keeps them in stock regularly. In this case, you can get a discount on the tires if you bring in your old ones for recycling.

Lastly, you can shop for retread tires online. Again, you are going to have to deal with the cost of shipping if you take this route. However, it can still be more affordable than buying new tires for your vehicle.

Can I get retread tires for my specialty car?

Yes, you can actually get custom-made retread tires for your car from several major companies. For example, Allied Tire offers custom retread tires and shares all of the benefits of choosing this option over buying new tires.

As you can imagine, the cost of custom retread tires is going to be more expensive than if you can buy stock retreads. The upside is that you are still doing your part to conserve the earth’s natural resources.

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Why don’t more people use retread tires?

Truthfully, there isn’t much word out on retread tires, which is interesting considering how much tires cost the world when you speaking in terms of the ecological balance. However, you just don’t see commercials for retread tires.

These are the kinds of companies that know about retread tires and use them:

  • Professional industries that use trucks to haul their stuff
  • Trucking companies
  • Airlines

In fact, they save billions every year by buying retreads instead of new tires and that savings is passed on to you when you purchase goods.

In some states, such as California, state legislators are looking for ways to make it a requirement to purchase retread tires before new tires. In this case, if a retread isn’t available, then the buyer can buy new ones if he or she likes.

As you can imagine, there is some resistance to this as this is the government interfering with choice.

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