Lawmakers are pushing this year to rid the roads of unsafe tires. Oklahoma and the Rubber Manufacturer Association are leading the charge for the change. Other states may soon follow suit this year, and Texas is among that group.
"Safety is the highest priority for the tire industry," said Dan Zielinski, RMA Senior Vice President. "Laws to stop the sale of worn out, damaged, used tires will help improve highway and motorist safety."
While many shops in Texoma have begun to stray away from used tires, one shop said owner safety is important, but new tires are also a luxury many may not be able to afford.
"You don't ever know when you buy a used tire until you inflate it and put it on your car…if it's got a bad spot or not," said Ray Stephens at Todd's Service Center.
He said used tires can be dangerous for a number of reasons. He said it's one reason many service centers in the area have strayed away from selling used tires altogether.
"Say you buy a tire and you put it on the front or even the rear, and it's got no tread on the outside...that's not really a safe tire. You go down the road and the tire gets hot enough, the tire will come apart, and it can cause you to roll over. It will cause you a wreck," said Stephens.
A good way for you to test the tread on your current tire, or the used tire you're looking to buy, is to take the penny test. You'll take a penny and stick it in the groove of your tire. And what you're looking for is the groove depth. You want the depth to meet or surpass the hairline on Lincoln. If it doesn't, that means you need to replace your tire. If it does, that means you're good to go.
You also need to look for a line on the side of the tire. Stephen's said it means that the original driver may have been driving on little air. He said to also look out for too many patches or repairs, and cracks around the tire. He said make sure a used tire does not have any of those markings.
Stephens said many used tire shops in Wichita Falls are very honest with their business. "Most of those good guys that I know around here, that sells used tires, they're pretty fair guys. They won't try and sell you a tire that is just bad," said Stephens.