Buying used tires can be a great way to save money and Virginia salvage yards are a great place to start your search. Salvage yards are the primary source of most quality used tires. Even your local used tire stores contract to buy their best tires from auto recycling yards in your area. When buying used tires you need to visually inspect each one to ensure that there are no imperfections. Make sure that the tires do not have dry rot cracks, holes, cuts, uneven wear etc. Below are a few tips that will help you buy the best used tires for your money in VA;
When buying used tires you need to make sure the tires you purchase have even tread wear. Look for “cups” or low spots around the outsides of the tires. You can better determine these cups by running your hand palm down over the inside or outside edge of the tires. These and other imperfections will cause the tires to not roll smoothly, create road noise and reduce the durability or tire life. If your current tires have this problem you may need to get your vehicle’s alignment checked. If not, you’ll be searching for used tires again very soon!
Used tires that have been on salvage vehicles or stored outside for an extended period may become hard, crack and develop dry rot. Visually check the side walls and tread for signs of cracking or erosion. Good used tires usually do not last very long in inventory so you will probably not have to worry about defects caused by storage unless you are buying odd sized tires. Check for cuts, gouges, pinches and patches or other signs of previous damage or repairs. Look for any defects that can cause your tire to be unsafe or reduce the used tire life.
Check the manufacturers tire specifications for your vehicle and follow them when buying used tires. That will ensure that your vehicle and used tires are operation at optimum performance. On some vehicles you may be able to vary the tire size slightly and if you choose to do that make sure that ALL of the tires on the same axle match! This means that both tires on the front should match each other and that both tires on the back should match. Running unmatched tires on the drive axle side of your vehicle could actually damage your drive train. So to be safe always match the sizes when buying used tires.
Here’s a something to consider if you are buying used tires from a salvage yard; ask if they have tires and wheels, that are still mounted, that would fit your vehicle. If so, you may be able to work a deal to trade your current wheels or pay a little extra to upgrade to better wheels, and also save the cost of mounting and re-balancing the tires you purchase. The mounting and balancing of used tires can sometimes cost more than the tires themselves. This may also be a great and cheap way to upgrade your wheels!
To maximize the life of your used tires, you need to make sure that you have them properly installed. You want to insure the correct tire pressure, make sure that your wheels are true and perfectly round and make sure that your vehicle’s alignment is true. It your current tires are wearing uneven and you are maintaining the proper tire pressure, then chances are the alignment is out on your vehicle. You should have that corrected to protect your used tire investment. This not a biggie and most salvage yards do not mark it, but if possible determine the previous rotation direction of each tire and duplicate that on your vehicle. Take the time to check your vehicles alignment and that your tires are installed and maintained correctly because those items will save you money and extend the life of used tires.
Most salvage yards, used tire stores and even new tire stores sell tires “as it”, meaning there is no warranty period! Some used tire providers will guarantee the tires to stay inflated initially but nothing further. So this is even more reason for you to thoroughly inspect each tire for defects before you purchase used tires.
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