Q:

How do you shop for old tires?

A:

Quick Answer

Shop for old and used tires by visiting a specialty tire retailer site such as Big O Tires and Used Tire Warehouse, or search on classifieds sites such as Craigslist and auction sites such as eBay. After choosing a site, check for tire age, usage and tread depth.

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Full Answer

The main focus of shopping for used tires is inspecting the overall condition of the tires and the remaining lifespan to determine if they are worth purchasing. One of the biggest factors in this is the tire's tread depth, which is the distance from the innermost section of the outer tire to the tip of the treads. The treads are the ridged protrusions on the exterior of a tire that make contact with and grip the ground, allowing the car to create traction when the wheels spin and move forward. As a tire's treads wear down, referred to as balding, the tire is less effective at gripping the road and thus more prone to accidents.

Other important aspects to consider are the actual age of the tire. Older tires are often more brittle and thus more prone to cracks and tears, which lead to other safety hazards. If a buyer determines that a specific tire meets basic standards for value, purchasing is handled based on the site's specific guidelines. Some sites allow for online payments, while others require a visit to a physical store or the private seller.

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