Spot Checking Tires Before Buying a Used Car

Purchasing a vehicle is an exciting process, but it’s one that requires a lot of work and research, too, especially when the vehicle you’re purchasing is used. If you’re considering buying a used car, one thing that is absolutely critical to assess is the car’s tires.

When tires aren’t in good shape, they can be dangerous, and lead to an accident and injuries. Here are some tips for spot-checking tires before purchasing a used car.

Check for Mismatched Tires 

Mismatched tires refer to tires that have been replaced at different times, resulting in one or two of the tires having less wear than the others. Tires are usually mismatched because one of the tires suffered a puncture and needed to be replaced.

Ideally, purchasing a used car where all the tires have been replaced at the same time is ideal. If the car you want to buy has mismatched tires, try to negotiate a price with the dealer that includes matching the tires. If tread depth varies greatly between the tires, the mismatched tires could be dangerous, and should be replaced before driving.

Uneven Tread Wear 

The tread of the tire is the outermost part of the tire where the tire makes contact with the ground, and uneven tread wear refers to the condition where parts of the tire have been worn away much more so than other parts of the tire.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s  (NHTSA) Tire Safety Brochure, you need to replace tires when any part of the tread has worn down to 1/16 of an inch. You can check for dread depth by placing a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see the top of the head when the penny is placed in the tread, then it’s time for a replacement set.

Tread Separation    

Of all of the dangerous tire conditions, tread separation is perhaps the cause for the most concern. Tread separation refers to the tire tread separating from the casing of the body of the tire. Tread separation is a common cause of tire blowouts and rollover accidents.

The first visual indicator of tread separation is a bubble or bump in the tread area. If you notice anything unusual about the tires on the car that you’re about to purchase, request that they be replaced and/or negotiate the price of the car.

Of course, standard tire maintenance still applies. 

  • Ensuring there are no foreign objects embedded in the tires
  • Checking tire pressure
  • Replacing tires when need be

Contact a Defective Tire Attorney

If you are involved in an accident that you believe was caused by a defective tire, then you have the right to file a lawsuit for damages against the tire manufacturer. At Chalik & Chalik, our defective tire attorneys can help you file your claim and build your case. If you have questions, call us today for a free case assessment at 855-529-0269, or contact us via our online contact form.