Purchasing tires (Dec 2009)

Many people who purchase tires buy them new.  I did not realize that used tires can be a better deal.  For example, if one visits his/her local scrapyard, he/she may notice that there are tons of tires for sale.  Unfortunately, all four tires may not be by the same manufacturer, but if they are about the same size and they fit his/her car, are they worth it?

Last year, my car had one flat tire on the front driver side.  Not only was it flat, the sidewall was damaged.  It was unrepairable.  Since the back tires were 90% worn, and the front tires were 70% worn, I needed a tire that was about 70% worn to replace the front tire.

I went to a local tire store to replace the tire and it cost $80 CDN.  I asked how much do the various used tires cost.  He said that depends on how much tread is left.  The tire he sold me had about 80% tread left, therefore, it cost more.

In conclusion, if one is not picky about getting the exact same name for all 4 tires, one may save some money buy purchasing used tires.  Although, one must shop around.  Depending on the vehicle, a used tire may not be available at all shops.  For example, finding tires for an off-road truck is going to be more difficult than finding tires for a family car.

When I purchase tires, I will purchased used.  If a new tire is on sale and is a better deal than a used tire, then I will purchase the new one instead.  If the opposite tire’s tread level is less than 90%, then a used tire might be a better option.

Tire rotation

Rotating tires may not be necessary.  If the front tires wear out, one may purchase a pair of used or new tires for the front.  Therefore, why should one rotate tires?

It seems that a tire rotation is done for the following reasons:

  • all 4 tires wear out evenly.
  • tires may wear out faster on left or right sides.  Rotation may provide even wear on sides.

An article that goes into detail about tire rotation can be seen at http://auto.howstuffworks.com/under-the-hood/diagnosing-car-problems/body/tires-rotated.htm

As for me, I never rotate my tires.  I usually replace them in pairs of two front or two back tires unless one gets damaged.  Then I will have to replace the one tire with a matching used tire.

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