What To Look For When Buying Tires From A Salvage Yard

Posted on: 6 October 2015

Some people will tell you that you should never buy used auto tires. Your vehicle needs good, dependable tires to be safe. However, you may not always have the money to buy a new tire when something happens to one of yours. Keep in mind, not all cars in a salvage yard are old and worn. They may have been in an accident that did nothing to the wheels, and maybe the tires were new at the time. When you are in need of a replacement tire, or need to have them all changed because yours are too worn, going to a salvage yard is a good idea if you know what you are looking for.


One of the most important things about your car tires is the amount of tread they have. In many states, a tire must have at least 1/16 of an inch of tread on a tire to be legal. Of course, you are looking for more tread than this to be safe. A good way to test how much tread a tire has is by placing an upside down quarter in the groove. If the tread reaches George Washington's hairline, the tire has roughly 1/8 or 2/16 of an inch of tread.


If the tire has been repaired, you will see a patch on the inside. While this may not mean the tire is no good, it is definitely a reason to keep looking through the pile of tires available. You should also look for any discoloration on the inside of the tire. This could be caused by too much sun, mold, or chemicals that have weakened the rubber so the tire may blow out easier.


As tires sit in the salvage yard, dirt and dust may blow over and around them, keeping them dry so they begin to dry rot. On the other hand, if the tire is sitting in an area that remains wet, the rubber can rot. Check over the area where the tires are stored and then push on the tire to see if it cracks or begins to crumble.

While the best choice is always to get new tires, and get all four at the same time, this is not always possible. You may choose to buy a used tire when one is needed or you have to replace a spare. You may also choose to look through the salvage yard to find four tires to replace the ones currently on your vehicle. As long as you take the time to inspect the tires, you should feel safe when driving with them.

Contact a service like Meyer's Tire Service Inc for more help.