Used Tires and Wheels

On a budget but looking for options to buy affordable tires and wheels for your vehicle?  Are you concerned that used tires or wheels may not be safe? What do you need to look to make the right purchase?  What should you pay? Here are a few items to consider as you make your purchase for used tires and wheels with peace of mind.

Used Tires: Tips for Making the Right Purchase

  •    The penny test – ensure the tires have an adequate amount of tread.  To do this get a penny and turn upside down. Place it in the tread grooves.  If you can see Lincoln’s head, this is an indicator that the tread is too low and not a good used tire to purchase.
  •    Look for defects – even though there is good tread on the tire, there are still other things to look for. If the tire has been patched or plugged the tire is too worn and not a good purchase. Worn tires are not safe in wet or snowy conditions.
  •    Other defects to look for:

o    Irregular wear – if you can see steel cords this means there are issues that could result in tread separation.

o    Bumps or bulges – this could mean internal damage to the tire.

o    Bead Chunking – if you see pieces of rubber missing from the tires this could result in a blowout.

  •    No guarantee or warranty – buying used tires does not come with a guarantee or warranty leaving any repairs to become an out of your pocket expense.
  •    Used tires – on average can last 2-5 years if purchased in adequate condition.
  •    Cost – on average, the purchase of used tires can be 30%-50% of the original price.

Used Wheels: How to Make Sure You are Buying the Best Used Wheels for your Vehicle

  •    Confirm Wheel Size – review your owner’s manual to confirm wheel sizes and requirements. Measure the height and width required for your vehicle. The wrong fit could result in damage to the steering system of your vehicle.
  •    Know your bolt or lug nuts – these attach the wheels to your vehicle.  Make sure you have the right number and spacing between. Always consult the manufacturer of the wheels to confirm size.
  •    Is it a good fit? – the center bore is where the wheel fits onto your vehicle.  Make sure the wheel and center bore match.
  •    Flaking or Rusting – conduct a visual check.  Any signs of flaking or rusting can spread resulting in recoating which means an additional expense.
  •    Wheel Alignment – once the wheels are on the car, make sure you get a wheel alignment to confirm the wheels are properly installed per manufacturer settings.


Used tires and wheels are affordable and safe if purchased from a reputable business and the tips above are followed.  Be a savvy buyer when making your purchase to ensure you make the right one for your vehicle and that you can rest assured that you are safe on the road.

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