First of all, be sure you know the size of the tire that you need. You can find this out by checking for the information usually printed on the door panel on the driver’s side. Always be sure to buy tires of the size recommend by the manufacturer of your car for your particular model. With that out of the way, it is time to check for tire wear. Feel you way along the tread of the tire with your hand check if the tread is even or if there are dips and crests along its surface. If you notice this, it means the tire has been subjected to uneven wear.
Next, scan carefully to check for repair history of a used tire. If you see a lot of patchwork repair jobs, it means the tire has been damaged too many times. Abandon that tire and look at another one.
Also be sure to check the tread depth using the penny method we described in past articles. If after inserting a penny upside-down into the tread, the tread does not touch the tip of Lincoln’s head on the coin, it means the tread depth is below a safe minimum.
Finally, it is time to check the inside edge of the tire. This edge is known as the ‘bead’. If it is ragged or torn, the tire will not effectively seal on the rim.
Before you purchase any used tires, we highly recommend that you do it in person rather than online. This is because it is important to be able to assess the state of the tire personally with your own hands and do things like check the tread depth or look inside of the tire. When you purchase online, you are not able to check these things personally and have to take the word of the seller or website you are purchasing from.
However, should you decide to buy some used tires online, here are some things to remember.
Make sure you have your tire numbers handy when online. These include rim size, height and width of the tire.
Inquire how many miles the tires have been driven for, how many times they have been repaired, whether they have even tire wear and ask for the tread depth.
Ask for pictures of the used tires from all angles.
Make sure that it is a reputed and trusted dealer who stands behind their product.