Equipping your ride with a set of used tires is definitely a good way to save some money, and is also known to be the more environmentally-friendly alternative. Unneeded tires with lots of life left in them are readily available, and imagine how wasteful it would be to toss them away rather than put them to good use. Buying used is a an excellent decision to make, but is also one that has some more factors to consider before settling on a that final decision. If you’re not mindful, you may end up buying tires with uneven wear, thin spots, bubbles, or terrible patching. With that in mind, we’ve put together some helpful tips to prevent you from mistakenly purchasing a damaged set of tires.
The first thing you want to do before buying a used set of tires is to check the size. You can find this information on the driver’s side door panel, or look for it in the owner’s manual. If by chance the suggested size from the manufacturer doesn’t match the current size of the tire, opt for second-hand tires that match the current size in use.
You’ll also want to examine the tire for uneven wear. More obvious wear may cause the tire to seem flatter on one side than the other. However, sometimes wear is more difficult to spot. Run your hand along the surface to feel for rising and dipping tread. After you determine that it is nice and even, give it a double-check for peace of mind. Inspect the inner areas of the tire for evidence of patches or plugs used in previous repairs. If the tire has too many patches, leave it behind and go find another. A damaged tire is not a reliable one, and could end up costing you more money after a few unexpected repairs.
A convenient trick is to use a toonie to measure the minimum tread depth by holding it on it’s side, and slipping it between the treads. A used tire could be of use if the tread comes close to the gold-colored center of the coin. Covering the outer silver ring means the tread is only half-worn. Used tires with shallower tread depth would not be worth buying due to their limited remaining lifespan.
You’ll also want to inspect for tears that may occur by running your hand along the inner edge or the bead of the tire. Ripped inner edges or beads prevent the tire from sealing properly along the rim, so be sure that the inner edge is completely smooth.
It’s easy to overlook used tires, or to consider them as junk or garbage because they’ve already been put to use and tossed aside by someone else. The truth is, if you know what to look for in a used tire, there are plenty of high quality ones to be found that can be purchased for quite the bargain. They could’ve simply came from cars that were traded in, or vehicles that were totaled in a wreck, or simply discarded from the previous owner due to personal preference of brand, season type, or just simply wanting to sell them.
The source of which you’re purchasing your used tires from is also an important factor to take into consideration. Luckily there are many reputable used tire retailers to select from, many even on eBay that have been in business for several years. These types of online businesses are experts when it comes to used tires, and can inspect a tire inside and out for defects. Their tires will be mounted on a wheel and tested with air for any leaks, belt separations, lumps, or uneven wear. Some of them may even offer a replacement warranty. As a customer, it is important to read the full description of an item and ask all of the important questions before purchasing. You want to try to avoid dealing with online companies that have a bad feedback rating, and aim to deal with power sellers, or ones that have just been around for a while and have maintained a good feedback rating.
The age of the tire is also something you want to think about before making the purchase. If a used tire is any older than 6 years old, it’s probably best to avoid it outright to prevent risk of a blowout.
Make sure, too, that you remain within the factory recommended tire sizes, speed ratings, and load ratings intended fro the vehicle. Ignoring the required specifications will cause your tires to wear faster than normal, leading to more frequent replacements, and potentially unexpected blowouts that could end up hurting more than just your wallet. It’s acceptable to go with a higher load and speed rating, but never go lower than the manufacturer’s recommendation. Installing a different size of tire on your vehicle than what is factory recommended will likely cause your speedometer to be off, and may cause clearance issues.
If you have any reason to believe that the tires you currently have installed on your car do not comply with the manufacturer, it is advisable to check your owner’s manual, or search for the specs on the driver’s side door panel. Ensure that these details match up before the purchase of your next set of used tires to avoid any costly mistakes. it is also highly advised to visit a reputable tire shop that you can trust. Even doing so, though, remember to always be careful and thorough during your tire inspection. Avoid uneven wear, low tread, and definitely say no to dry rot. Although they may have deep tread left, dry rot reduces traction and can often lead to a blown out tire.
Used tires can be one of the smartest purchases you make for your vehicle, just make sure you’re smart about it.