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What are Retread Tires?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 23, 2024
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Sometimes known as recaps or refurbished tires, retread tires are older tires that have been recoated with a rubber veneer of tread. These retreaded tires are considered to be an effective way to recycle old tires and cut down on the amount of rubber that ends up in landfills. For people who are on a strict budget, these retreaded tires can also make it possible to replace worn tires without incurring a great deal of expense.

While the exact process for retreading a tire varies slightly from one producer to another, the essentials of the task involve taking a tire that is in good condition and adding another layer of rubber over the worn tread. This replacement treading is adhered to the original tire using methods that help to bond the veneer to the older tire so strongly that it is difficult if not impossible to tell the difference between retread tires and new tires. This bonding quality is also important as a safety measure, since the bond must be strong enough to preclude the veneer from detaching after only a short period of use.

Retread tires are made for just about any type of wheeled vehicle that travels a public road. Automobiles are one of the most common examples of vehicles that make use of retread tires. However, is it not unusual for trucking companies to make use of retread tires on both their short-haul and long-haul transport vans and big rigs. Because of the proven safety record of a quality retread tire, there is full confidence that the tires will hold up well and provide an equitable amount of safe travel for the truckers.

In general, retread tires can cost anywhere from half to two thirds of the price for new tires. For families that need to operate two cars and also stay within a budget, purchasing retread tires simply make sense. The lower cost carries the benefit of an increased amount of safety over continuing to operate the vehicles with tires that have very little tread remaining.

While many manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure their retread tires are of the highest quality, it is important to note that some retreaders do little more than comply with basic requirements. For this reason, it is a good idea to investigate how a given provider retreads older tires and look for products that carry at least a limited warranty.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WikiMotors, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By mandydances — On May 13, 2011

@wunderkinder- I am going with retreads this time. My tires are bald, and I think retreads will fit my needs better. I just need to look up some retread tire dealers and find out the prices. With the price of used tires, retreads just make more sense for my in-town driving.

By wunderkinder — On Oct 01, 2010

I swear by my retread tires from TreadWright. Safe, dependable, and way less expensive than non-retreads. I have retreads on my Jeep and my Suburban.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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