Looking For Cheap Tires, Buy A Used Tire

A flat tire on a Mercury Villager van.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Typically when you drive your vehicle over a nail in the road, you are awarded with a slow leak in a tire.  In most cases you can take the tire in to your local tire service shop and have them install a patch.  There are times, however, when a puncture can’t be repaired, or the repair patch doesn’t hold.  In these cases you will have no choice but to start searching for cheap tires.

The difficult situation is that tires on your vehicle ‘should’ be matched as pairs from the left side to the right (front to back, not so important).  So not only should your tires be a matching brand and model, they should also have a matching wear level.

In light of this, it would hardly be ideal to match one brand new tire with your other, still decent, used tire.  You also would not want to have to purchase two brand new tires just to replace one bad one.  This is where the benefits of buying a used tire comes in to play.

There exists a market for used tires of all shapes, sizes and wear levels.  Your local car dealer may have a selection, as well, tire sale outlets, your local junkyard and online sellers are other places to look.  The reasons why perfectly good used tires become available for reuse are due to damaged cars which are parted out as well as any parts from salvage cars, but this creates an excellent opportunity for finding cheap tires to replace that blown out or otherwise single destroyed tire on your vehicle.

Now, matching the exact brand and model is not imperative, though you certainly should match all four tires exactly when buying new.  As long as the used tire has the same tread type and a similar wear level, it should be safe to use on your vehicle.  Mismatching tire tread types can adversely affect the handling of your car or truck, making it unsafe to drive.

Always inspect the used tire before you make the purchase, especially if buying privately.  Check for the wear level and use the penny depth test to compare with your other good tire.  Check for abnormal wear, age cracks and puncture patches.  Also, be certain the tire size is an exact match, as you certainly want it to fit on your rim.  Good luck!

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