worn tyre warn­ing

A great way of sav­ing money, or a ‘can­cer’ of the tyre in­dus­try and a ‘me­nace to the public’? CCW looks into whether you should fit your clas­sic with part-worn rub­ber – and if it’s safe

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK - Rob Mar­shall

‘Even new-old-stock tyres share the same po­ten­tial dan­gers as part-worns’ stu­art Jack­son

If you don’t use your car fre­quently, you might be tempted to fit part-worn tyres in­stead of new ones. Yet, sup­ply­ing and fit­ting them is only le­gal if they are in­spected in­ter­nally and ex­ter­nally, pres­suretested and marked ‘PART-WORN’ as dic­tated by the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Tyres (Safety) Reg­u­la­tions 1994.

Hav­ing stud­ied thou­sands of part-worn tyres in 2013, Trad­ing Stan­dards and the TyreSafe char­ity con­cluded that 98 per cent of them were be­ing sold il­le­gally and 34 per cent had se­ri­ous safety de­fects. When their fol­low-up re­search in 2016 re­vealed that the part-worn tyre mar­ket con­tin­ued to pose a se­ri­ous safety risk to mo­torists, Joanne Waller, Durham County Coun­cil’s head of en­vi­ron­ment, health and con­sumer pro­tec­tion, voiced con­cerns about the ap­par­ent lack of knowl­edge dis­played by in­ves­ti­gated part-worn tyre traders. This was after its own Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion ser­vice had vis­ited nine re­gional out­lets.

The National Tyre Dis­trib­u­tors As­so­ci­a­tion (NTDA) chose its an­nual con­fer­ence dur­ing Tyre Safety Month last Oc­to­ber to call for a ban on the sale of part-worn tyres. NTDA chief ex­ec­u­tive, Stefan Hay, says: ‘They’re a can­cer to our busi­ness and a me­nace to the public.’

In­stances of end-of-life tyres be­ing stolen from garages and resold as part-worns have also led to the NTDA rec­om­mend­ing that its mem­bers drill holes though the side­walls of all tyres that are stacked for re­cy­cling.

the clas­sic per­spec­tive

TyreSafe chair­man Stu­art Jack­son ad­vises clas­sic car own­ers to also be wary of new old-stock tyres. He says: ‘At au­to­jum­bles es­pe­cially, it may be tempt­ing to pick-up a tyre bar­gain or one in a rare size, but new-old stock tyres share the same po­ten­tial dan­gers as part-worns; even an ex­pert can­not con­firm what has hap­pened to the in­ter­nal struc­ture of a given tyre and you can never be sure how well – or other­wise – it has been stored, or how many years of UV dam­age it may have sus­tained.’

Dou­gal Caw­ley, of clas­sic tyre spe­cial­ist Long­stone Tyres, agrees, and ar­gues that there is lit­tle ben­e­fit to be had from a risky ‘jum­ble pur­chase’, es­pe­cially when such traders tend to ap­pre­ci­ate nei­ther the needs of a par­tic­u­lar clas­sic car, nor how to store tyres cor­rectly. He says: ‘Most new vin­tage and clas­sic car tyre sizes are avail­able new, so I’d al­ways rec­om­mend that clas­sic car own­ers buy their tyres from a rep­utable source and never trust pre-used part­worn tyres for road use.’

stop­ping dis­tances in­crease dra­mat­i­cally if a car is fit­ted with part­worn or nos tyres.

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