Tap to Read ➤

What to Look for When Buying Used Tires

Mukulika Mukherjee
If you have been wondering what to look for when buying used tires, then you have landed at the right place! Here you'll find some useful tips for buying used tires. So, read on...
Used tires do not necessarily mean tires that are useless and cannot be used again. In fact, many consider used tires as a good option for their vehicles as these tires are a lot less expensive when compared to brand new tires.
However, buying used tires is not as easy as it sounds because you need to look into several factors before you settle for a tire or a set of tires for your vehicle.
Choosing the not-so-perfect tire might mean compromising on the safety front and this is certainly not desirable. Nevertheless, going for used tires once in a while, is not a bad option, provided you are careful enough.
You can either purchase used tires for your vehicle through online portals or from a local dealer of used tires. Sometimes, you may find special discounts on a set of used tires, with your local dealer. Use opportunities such as these to grab some good tires at a great price. However, purchasing used tires online, can be a bit risky and is best avoided.
This is because you are not able to examine such tires before purchasing, to assure they are of a standard quality. "But what should I consider when buying used tires?" If this is the question you find yourself asking, then keep reading to know about a few tips on buying used tires.

How to Buy Used Tires

When buying used tires, make sure you buy them from a trusted seller with a good reputation. This way, you'll be guided through the process of choosing the tire, and you'll be at a lesser risk of ending up with a bad pair of used tires.
All the same, it is absolutely essential that you yourself are fully aware of what all things you need to look for when you buy used tires. This way you can at least get the tires examined on these criteria by professionals, if you are unable to do it yourself.
Here I enlist for you the things you must look out for while purchasing pre-owned tires, and how these might affect the overall safety aspect of the tire.

Size of the Tires

This is the foremost criteria while choosing tires, both old and new, for the simple reason that you should first look for a tire that fits your vehicle and only after that can you examine it for other qualities.
Now, there are two factors that need to be considered before zeroing in on a size: the size suggested by the vehicle manufacturer and the size of the other tires already on the vehicle. If you are looking to replace all the tires, you may not consider the second factor and get tires as per the size mentioned in the user's manual of your vehicle.
However, in case you wish to replace only one or two tires of your four wheeler, then it is essential for you to obtain tires that are of the same size as the existing ones.
This is to ensure safety of your vehicle on the road because unevenly sized tires cause your vehicle to lose stability. In order to read the tire sizes, refer to the alphanumeric code on the sidewall of the tire.

Tread and Tread Depth of the Tires

Once you have found the right size of tires for your vehicle, the next logical step is to look at the tread pattern and tread depth. For starters, tread pattern is the pattern you find on the surface of the tire and these can be symmetric, asymmetric or directional, forming a variety of patterns such as zigzag, diamond, parallel, V-shaped, etc.
The depth of the grooves or ridges in the patterns, is termed as the tread depth. You can measure the tread depth using a tread depth gauge. The lesser the tread depth, the more is the extent of wear and tear to the tire surface. Again, it is important to choose a tread pattern similar to the tires that are currently fixed to your vehicle.

General Condition of the Tire

To ascertain whether the tire is good enough for purchase, look for signs of repair or ask the dealer about it. The general rule is that a tire that has been repaired many times is unlikely to be in good condition, thus making it unsuitable for further use.
Also, look for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, on the sidewalls of the tire. This is because minor damages in the tread surface is fine, but not so on the sidewalls. Another factor to consider is the age of the tire i.e. how many years have passed since it was manufactured.
This is important because the service life of a tire is at most 8 to 10 years from the date of manufacture. As a tire nears the end of its service life, it is all the more prone to performance issues (such as reduced levels of traction) and damages. And last but not the least, to be on the safe side, make sure that the extent of wearing of the tread is not more than 50% and is the same for the entire tread surface of the tire.

Price of the Tire

Now that you have chosen a few good tires from the lot that you feel would be optimum for your vehicle, the final thing you need to consider is the price. After all, if you find that the price you're paying for a set of used tires (no matter how good!) is almost the same as a set of brand new ones, then why go for used tires! This is where your bargaining skills can come handy, as well as some research on the general price of used tires in your region.
Now that you know what to look for, some tips on buying used tires might be of further help.
  • In case you need to order pre-owned tires online, make sure that you ask the seller to send you detailed pictures of the products, for you to judge the condition of the tires, and if they are really good enough.
Since there are no fixed set of rules governing the sale of used tires, it becomes all the more important for you to check before you buy.
Thus, we see that buying used or pre-owned tires can be profitable provided you check with the basics. Moreover, recycling tires and reusing old tires, has its own benefits, including the benefits to the environment. Also, if you're lucky, you have a pretty good chance of finding tires that are as good as new!