Five factors to consider when buying used tires

When it comes time to swap out a set of tires, many drivers opt for used ones. Here are five elements to keep in mind when buying second-hand tires.

1. Size
Make sure that the model and the dimensions of the tires are appropriate for your vehicle. Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.

2. Date of manufacture
Locate the four-digit code on the outside of the tire. The two first digits are the week of manufacture, and the last two are the year. On average, tires have a six-year lifespan.

3. Tread depth
For safety reasons, tires should have a tread depth of at least 6/32-inch at the moment of installation.

4. Wear on the tires’ sides
Inspect the tires’ sides. If they’re overly scratched or worn, there’s a risk of them collapsing or bursting. Black powder is another indicator of excessive wear.

5. Suitability for winter driving
If you’re purchasing winter tires, look on the side of the tire for the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake Symbol (a snowflake inside the outline of a mountain). This symbol indicates that the tire meets or exceeds the minimum requirements for providing traction in harsh conditions.