Worn wheels in Wisconsin, how safe are your tires?

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Did you know you can buy used tires in Milwaukee for as little as $5?  But how safe can those tires be? Would you be willing to trade cost for quality? FOX6's Contact 6 looks into "worn wheels" being sold in Wisconsin.

After 30 years on the roads, State Patrol Trooper Steve Lindemann says he just doesn't trust used tires.

"If it was me and my family in the vehicle," Trooper Lindemann says, "I wouldn't even bother buying a used tire."

Trooper Lindemann says you can't know the true history of a used tire and whether it's been repaired.  That could lead to a dangerous situation on the roads.

"If you go around the corner too fast or have to stop fast, the pressures that are put on those tires are extreme.  And if it's not able to handle that, you're going to end up with a flat or blowout and that's when bad things happen in a hurry," Trooper Lindemann said.

FOX6's Contact 6 wanted to know what kinds of used tires are being sold around Milwaukee -- taking a hidden camera to four used tire shops in Milwaukee -- purchasing one tire at each shop for about $40 each.  We were told they were safe to drive on.  But are they?

Marc Heser - in the automotive business for 25 years and highly recommended by the Better Business Bureau performed very basic inspections on each tire, not knowing where they came from.

"It's got good tread depth, no uneven wear patterns, no repairs," he says as he looks over one of the tires.

Marc gives the tires from Best Tire Center and Mr. P's the green light!

"This tire is sellable," he says.

But that's where we hit the brakes!  After looking over another tire, Heser immediately spots problems.

"I would not use this tire," Heser says after inspecting the tire from All-Nite Towing.  "This tire is wore out, it's old, it's not worth putting on a car any more."

Marc says the tread was more than half gone!  And the tire from Pops & Sons?"

"Number one, it'd probably blow out," Heser says.  "Number two, you're gonna be shakin' as you're going down the road."

Contact 6 asked All-Nite Towing and Pops & Sons for comments  We were told someone would call us back, but no one did.

If you can't get a professional to check a tire for you, Trooper Lindemann says there's a cheap easy way to do it on your own - the penny test.

Put the penny in the groove of the tire's tread.  If President Lincoln's head is covered up by the tire, it should have some good tread left on it.  But if you can see all of Lincoln's head - you've got a worn wheel!