When Is It Time To Replace The Tires On A Used Vehicle?

You have found the perfect used car and ready to make an offer but a quick inspection of the car reveals a tasty detail that could sour your plans.  Otherwise looking a tad bit worn, the tires seem to be in pretty decent shape.  How can you tell when it is time to replace the tires before you sign on the dotted line?

Check Service Records

Information about the services that are performed on the vehicle would be the first place to look to learn more about the history on the tires.  The history could include when the tires were purchased, what type of tires and if there is a warranty on the tires.    If there are no service records, you can find the make and model number on the tires.  By doing this, you can do some research about the manufacturer.

Going Deep

When thinking about buying a used car, there are many things to consider.  However, knowing what to look for is the first step in navigating the waters of car buying.  One area worth spending some time is on the tires.   Most states require that more than 2/32 inches of tread have to be there for safe, reliable driving. The depth of the treads the tires can provide an excellent bargaining tool when negotiating a price.

If the tread is not that deeper not very much left on the tires, then the tires will need to be replaced soon.  If that is the case, a potential buyer could ask the seller to lower the price on the car to allow some wiggle room in the cost for replacing the tires.  Some retailers that carry auto supplies will sell a tread depth gauge.  You can bring this hand and inexpensive tool to check out the treads on the tires.  Another trick is to use a penny.  Put the penny upside down in the tread groove.  If you see “Honest Abe’s” head, then there is less than 2/32 inches of the tread left on the tire.  The tires need to be replaced.

Size Does Matter

When checking out the tires on a used vehicle, make note of the size and type of the tires.  In some cases, there may be mismatched tires on the vehicle.  If that is apparent, it could signal a problem with the efficiency and age of the tires.  Also, each tire manufacturer has different sizing requirements for each vehicle.  In 2003, a federal law was passed to have car manufacturers put placards in the vehicles.  The placards have important information about the size and pressure of the tires that should be used on the vehicle.  

Looks Are Important

The appearance of the tires on a used vehicle is extremely important because it can indicate the shape that the tires are in.  The first thing to look for is uneven wear.  When tires have been used for some time, it will show definite signs of wear.  However, there may be other reasons for wear on the tires.  For instance, alignment or suspension issues will cause an improper balance of the tires.  Worn tires can start to show cracks and bulges that can reveal damage to the tread or sidewall.

Shall I Get Your Number

If you want to know the age of the tire on a used vehicle, there is a number that represents the date the tire was manufactured.  This is a requirement issued by the Department of Transportation.  For example, “0814” represents the eighth month or August and the year 2014.  


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