Beyond Tread Depth: Advice On Buying Used Tires

When buying used tires, many people rely too much on tread depth. However, just because a used tire has a good tread depth doesn't mean that you should buy it. There are other factors that you should consider; for example, you should stay clear of a tire if it:

Has Uneven Wear

A properly used tire should wear out evenly. If it is damaged, for example, cupped or bald, in one edge, then there is more to it than normal wear and tear. Stay clear of such tires because the damage may cause vibrations (and interfere with steering) or even a sudden tire destruction. Therefore, you should avoid the tire even if the other parts of the tire look almost brand new.

Shows Side Wall Damage

The part of the tire that comes into contact with the road may be the most important, but this doesn't mean that you shouldn't inspect its other parts. For example, you should examine the sidewalls for damages. Careless drivers tend to scrape objects (such as curbs) with their tires, and this will show up in the sidewalls. You don't have to be a mechanic to know that such a tire has a reduced useful life.

Is Structurally Unsound

A good used tire should still be structurally sound. Evidence of bulges, cuts, punctures or other deformities point to greater damage than road wear. In fact, a misshapen tire may even have torn inner shreds. Such a tire is dangerous because it can burst suddenly on the highway, without any warning.

Is Extremely Old

A used tire is a bargain because it has been "used" for some time, but this doesn't mean that you should discount age when evaluating a secondhand tire. According to, there is no universal standard for the age at which a used tire becomes dangerous. Manufacturers also hold different opinions on how long tires should last, with some quoting six years and other ten years.

While it is essential to consider the manufacturers opinion, it is also good to err on the side of caution and avoid a tire approaching six years. Besides, it doesn't make economic sense to buy a tire that you will only use for a one or two years before discarding.  

You are likely to get good used auto parts, including tires, if you deal with reputable vendors like A&L Auto Recyclers. Such vendors offer guarantees for their products and do not hesitate to replace defective ones. Of course, you also have to consider pricing because it is, after all, the number one factor that drives people to buy used spare parts.