Buying used tires: what to consider?

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Buying used tires can be a good option for those on a tight budget. Look for tires with sufficient tread depth and uniform wear, sturdy sidewalls, and the same tread pattern. Retreads are an option, but used tires with enough tread are a safer choice. Many garages and tire shops offer good quality used tires at a fraction of the cost of new ones.

When the family budget does not allow for the purchase of a new set of tires, it is a good idea to look into purchasing a used set of tires. The good news is that it is possible to buy good quality used tires if you simply know what to look for and what questions to ask. You should focus on the tread, general condition, and cost of each tire in the set.

The tread on any set of car tires is extremely important. Since new tires tend to have a complete, blemish-free tread, most people pay little attention to this aspect, other than considering tread design. However, with used tires, you need to focus less on the design and more on the amount of tread left on each tire in the set. Many municipalities have guidelines in place for the tread depth that is considered safe on local roads. Know what that depth is and don’t settle for less.

In addition to making sure there is enough tread on the tire, also pay attention to the uniformity of tread wear on each tire in the set. Avoid used tires where the tread is deeper in some spots and noticeably thinner in others. Choose tires for vehicles where tread wear is uniform. You will be much more satisfied with the performance and life of even tread tires than uneven tread tires.

While some people will tell you that it’s okay to use used tires with different tread patterns, don’t believe it. Your ride will be smoother and tire wear more even over time if you use four tires that have the same tread pattern. Unless money is so tight that you have to go with weird steps, do yourself a favor and make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of tread.

Along with the tread, take a look at the sides of the tires. Make sure the sidewalls appear sturdy and there are no signs of puncture marks or other indications that the tire’s surface has been compromised in any way. While you can’t reasonably expect the sidewalls to look brand new, it’s not out of the question to get used tires that have obviously been properly maintained. This will mean that you are much more likely to get excellent service from your used tires.

There is a chance someone will tell you that going with retreads is a better option than used tires. While there are many excellent quality retreads out there, it’s important to remember that recaps essentially have a layer that is bonded to the surface of a tire. They will hold up well in many different types of road conditions. However, a set of used tires with sufficient tread will protect you from the slight chance of the recap coming loose while operating the vehicle.

Keep in mind that many garages and tire shops keep a selection of good quality used tires on hand. Many of these are tires that were changed when customers purchased new sets of tires. The seller will often hold on to tires that have a large amount of tread and offer them for sale at prices that are up to eighty percent less than new tires. Always ask what tires are available in the size you need. There is a good chance that you will see something that is ideal for your needs, as well as within your budget to buy.

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