by A. Silviera
Buyers beware, used tires for sale is no joking matter. On the other hand, you can find humor in any search for buying anything used. The other day I saw a sign in front of some tires on the side of the road. It read,
I decided what the heck; it would be easy to look at these tires and fun to meet the rocket scientist who wrote that sign.
The sale of used tires is unregulated and definitely has an element of danger. There are some very important things to know when you shop for used tires and considering safety, it's worth the time to learn what you need to know before you shop for used tires.
Before you leave your driveway, know the size of the tire you are looking for. This means you need to find the numbers and letters on the side of your tires you want to replace. You've seen something on the side of your tire like 185/65 R13. (See part B in the photo) These numbers and letters identify the size of the tire you will need. Make sure the tires you purchase have the same numbers and letters. If you don't have that information correct and you buy tires with different numbers and letters, then you and the "for sail" guy should hang out together. Write all the numbers down before you leave home. You won't be sorry you did.
The next thing to do when you find a tire with a good price is to inspect the tire. Once you know it fits your rim, take a real close look at the tires. Make sure there aren’t any cracks in the rubber or any cords showing through thin patches of rubber. Measure the tread depth at several points around and across the tire, first to make sure there is even tread wear, and also to be certain there is enough tread left on the tire to be worth purchasing.
Become a tire detective, looking for bumps on the surface of the tread area, even looking on the inside of the tire too. If a tire has been repaired, you will find out by looking for a patched area on the inside of the tire. Not all repairs are bad, but the 'best' used tire to purchase, is a tire that has not had any repairs at all.
Another thing to look for is uneven tread wear or little cup or dent-like shapes in the tread (scalloping). It is best to keep searching until you find a tire with even tread wear and little to no scalloping. A tire with uneven tread wear may be fine and safe to drive on, but again getting a good deal means getting more life out of your 'new' used tire.
In a perfect world, when you buy something it would be nice to be able to trust the person you make the purchase from. Let's face it though; it just isn't a perfect world. When you see a sign that says used tires for sale, (hopefully not "for sail"), think safety, ask as many questions as you like, and take a good long look at the tires.
If you can't touch the tires before you buy, then don't buy them. If you want to buy online, demand more photos and ask about tread wear, size, scalloping, and repairs. You and your passengers deserve nothing less.
Visit Tire Information World's Exclusive Tire Care and Accessories Store.