If you are in need of new tires, you should always purchase new ones if you can. Unfortunately, that is quite an expensive endeavor, which is why so many people opt to purchase used tires instead. Of course, if they have been kept in good condition, then they can last a lifetime and there is nothing wrong with buying used ones. People who do have the money to spend will often replace their tires periodically, even when there is nothing wrong with the ones they have. Vehicles that have been involved in accidents and were declared a total loss may still have had excellent tires fitted to them. There are, in other words, plenty of occasions where used tires are still perfectly fine to purchase.
But, at the same time, it is vital to understand that a lot of tires that can be purchased second hand have been spoiled. Tires are one of the most important safety elements on a vehicle, so fitting used tires that are worn out or otherwise defective is incredibly dangerous. Not only could it cost people a lot of money, but it can also cost lives. This is why it is hugely important that, if you do want to buy used tires, you do so with tires that are of the greatest possible quality.
You need to learn, therefore, how to differentiate between good quality used tires with a lot of life left in them, and tires that are no longer road worthy. Good tires are able to cope with the pressures of turning, braking, and driving in general. This means that they have to have a number of key features that you should look for.
What to Look for in Used Tires:
The first thing to look at is the tread of the tire. A very small tread means that the tire is approaching the end of its life cycle. It also means that, if you apply the brakes, your car might skid, even on dry, perfect conditions. The height of the tread, therefore, should always be at least 0.4 inch, or 10mm minimum. If, however, you live in an area where the roads are often wet, you must make sure that the depth of the treat is never less than 4/32 of an inch.
You don’t have to be an expert mechanic to be able to measure the tread. Because this is such an important feature, tire manufacturers have created the tread wear indicator. This means that there are raised bars found within the tread’s deepest part. If those reach the top, then you need to have the tires changed. Or, if they reach the top, you should not buy the used tires being offered.
You should also make sure that the amount of tread on the tire is even. If there are uneven patches, then the tire is in a bad condition and therefore unsafe. Again, it is quite easy to see this without any in-depth knowledge. Basically, if you find the left side and the right side of the tire are not of the same height, you shouldn’t buy it.
Another very important thing to look for is whether or not the tire has already been repaired in the past. You may find that it looks absolutely brand new, but it may have been repaired in the past in unsafe zones. Perhaps this is the very reason why the previous owner of the tire got rid of them! There are certain “danger zones” on tires, and if it has ever had a puncture in any of those zones, you shouldn’t purchase it. Those zones include close to the top border of the tire, the tire’s edge, and the side wall. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to avoid such tires, as they could potentially blow up at high speeds, with possibly devastating consequences. That said, if the tire has had a puncture in the past but it was on the top of the tire’s tread, in between the grooves, and presuming it was properly repaired, then the tire is fine to use for many more years.
Next, you should look at the cracks in the tires. Because of seasonal temperature changes, the rubber in the tire may start to crack. If these cracks are very deep, then you should avoid buying the tires. This is particularly true if the cracks are between the grooves, at the top of the tire, or at its side. Do not buy them if you see these types of signs.
Where to Find Good Used Tires:
Now that you know what to look for, you need to know where to look for used tires as well. It is possible to purchase used tires online, since everything is digital in today’s day and age. However, you are likely to still have to visit a mechanic to pick the tires up, and to have them fitted. Therefore, a lot of people prefer to go to mechanics directly to make their purchases. Indeed, it is likely that you will have seen a number of tire outlets near where you live, often along the highway. It is up to you to decide whether you want to shop online and pick up, or whether you want to go directly to a store.
That said, whichever option you choose, you must make a visual inspection of the tire before you agree to buy. If you have gone online, therefore, you need to make sure that you know exactly what your rights are should you find that the tires are not as you had expected. If you have bought them, but they show any of the signs described above, you must be able to return them for a full refund straight away. Customer service and refund policies, therefore, are of vital importance. Furthermore, most stores will also provide you with some sort of warranty, which means that you will be able to go back should you experience a problem with your tires within a set period of time, or set number of miles.