A question we often get in the store is Where Can I Buy Cheap Tires In Calgary or Where Can I Buy Discounted Tires In Edmonton. We realise that in the current financial climate many customers are trying to look for the best deals when it comes to changing their tires.

And why shouldn’t you?

While there is no doubt there are some bargains to be found in the second-hand market for used tires, it’s important to be informed on what to look for when deciding if buying used tires is the right choice for you.

But here’s the thing: when it comes to tires, saving a few bucks shouldn’t come at the expense of safety. Your tires are the only things connecting your car to the road, and worn or damaged tires can lead to blowouts, hydroplaning, and increased stopping distances. Not exactly a recipe for a smooth (and safe) ride.

Now, I’m not saying all used tires are bad. There are definitely good deals out there. But here’s the catch: unearthing those gems requires some serious tire sleuthing. You need to be able to meticulously inspect the tread depth, look for signs of uneven wear or repairs, and check the overall age of the tire.

Below you will find expert tips to help you navigate the used tire market like a pro, and continue reading to find out if we think second hand tires really are worth your time and money.

How To Choose A Pair Of Second Hand Tires

Tip #1: Determine The Manufacture Date Of The Tire

Alright gearheads, let’s talk about tire age – it’s a crucial factor when you’re considering a used tire. Think of it as the tire’s birth certificate.

The good news? Finding this info is super easy, thanks to the magic of the Tire Identification Number (TIN) stamped on every tire’s sidewall. By law, manufacturers gotta tell you exactly when their tires rolled off the production line.

Spotting a tire’s birthplace and birthday is a breeze – just find the “DOT” letters on the sidewall, followed by the nifty little TIN code. This code is like a secret message revealing the tire’s history. For tires born after 1999, the last four digits are the key. The first two digits tell you the week it was made, and the last two digits are the year. For instance, a code ending in “3815” means the tire was produced in week 38 of 2015, written as DOTXXXXXXX3815 on the sidewall.

Speaking of birthdays, I once had a customer roll in with a set of used tires that exploded like a confetti cannon – two days after they were installed! Yikes! Turns out, upon inspection at Canada Tire Pro, the TIN code ended in 0303 – manufactured way back in January of 2003! Those tires were practically senior citizens – no wonder they couldn’t handle the road after nearly two decades.

Tip #2: Thoroughly Check The Tire Tread

Alright, this might seem like Captain Obvious stuff, but listen up! Before you buy those used tires, you gotta give them the once-over to make sure they’ll keep your ride glued to the road.

First up, the classic nickle test: flip a Canadian nickle upside down and shove it between the treads. If you can see the Queen’s head staring back at you, the tread is toast. Next, look for those little built-in wear indicators on the tire. If they’re level with the tread surface, it’s time to keep on rolling (to another seller, that is).

Finally, give the tread a good feel with your hand. You want it to be nice and even, like a freshly paved road. Don’t forget to check the sidewalls for any suspicious bulges or cracks. A thorough inspection might take a few minutes, but it’s worth it for a smooth, safe journey – and hey, you might even save some cash! Now get out there and explore, but always remember – safe travels!

Tip #3: Check the UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grade)

Ever heard of the UTQG code on your tire’s sidewall? Think of it like a secret report card that spills the beans on the tire’s performance. This three-part code (presented in a format that won’t make your head spin, we promise!) tells you all about the treadwear, wet weather grip, and heat resistance.

For instance, a code like 300-A-A breaks down like this: the first number rates how long the tread should last before needing a replacement (higher numbers mean it’ll resist wear and tear better). The first letter grades the tire’s ability to hold on for dear life in wet conditions (think A for awesome, B for pretty good, and so on). The last letter talks about heat resistance, which is important for high speeds.

If you’re looking at used tires, focus on that first number – the treadwear rating. The higher it is, the longer the tire should last. Generally, you’ll see UTQG treadwear ratings between 300 and 500, but some super-tough tires can even reach 700. For a used tire, aim for a UTQG of at least 600 to get a good balance of performance and how long it’ll hold up. Basically, you want a tire that won’t wear out too fast and can handle whatever weather you throw at it.

Tip #4: Ask about the Tire Usage & Storage History

Alright, so you’ve narrowed down your used tire options and are ready to chat with the seller. Here’s the thing: how the tires were treated in the past matters! Don’t be shy – grill them about the tire’s history.

If they’ve been chilling in storage, perfect! But there’s a catch: they gotta have been tucked away from the sun’s harmful rays and nasty road salt. Both those things can secretly weaken the rubber from the inside out, like a silent villain working in the shadows.

Similarly, if the tires have seen some action, you want them to have cruised down highways, not battled city streets or winter weather. Think about it – highway miles are a lot easier on tires than dodging potholes and enduring salt attacks. The less contact with harsh conditions, the better!

Now you know what to look for when buying second hand tires, we can discuss if it’s really worth the effort. Here are what I think are the main advantages and disadvantages of investing in a pair of used tires.

Advantage #1: Saving dollars

Let’s face it, the biggest draw to used tires is the price tag – it can be a real wallet-saver! You can often snag some sweet deals online, and sellers have all sorts of reasons for parting ways with their rubber.

Advantage #2: The Environmentally Friendly Option

It turns out new tires can leave some pretty hefty carbon footprints behind. One study shed some light on the whole process, finding that a shiny new set of 17.5-inch tires clocks in at a whopping 348kg of CO2. Think about it – that’s the equivalent of driving your car over 1,300km! This whopper number includes everything from digging up raw materials to cranking out the tires and shipping them across the ocean.

So here’s the rub: if you snag some used rubber from across town in Calgary, your carbon footprint might be just as big as the drive to the seller’s place. That could be considered a win for Mother Earth.

Advantage #3: Finding A Single Tire

Let’s face it, life throws curveballs, and sometimes that curveball takes the form of a flat tire. Stuck on the side of the road with a shredded symphony of rubber? In these situations, a good used tire can be a lifesaver.

Now, finding a single replacement tire can be a challenge. Many tire shops deal in sets of four, like a perfectly balanced jazz quartet. So if you just need one new player for your car’s symphony, they might not be able to accommodate you.

That’s where the beauty of the internet comes in! By venturing online, you can search for that single used tire you need and avoid getting stuck with three extras collecting dust in your garage.

Advantage #4: Finding Specific Tires

Need a tire that’s rarer than a rocking horse at a rodeo? Let’s be honest, even with a treasure trove of tires like the ones we have here at Canada Tire Pro (over 500 varieties!), there have been countless tire types made throughout the years. So, if you’re hunting for a specific discontinued model, traditional stores might come up empty.

That’s where the world wide web swoops in to save the day! The internet lets you cast a net far and wide, searching high and low for that unique used tire you need. It’s like going on a virtual treasure hunt, and the prize is getting your car back on the road with the perfect rubber shoe.

Disadvantages of Buying Used Tires

Sure, used tires can potentially lighten your wallet, but let’s be honest – unearthing the perfect used tire also comes with a range of downsides.

Disadvantage #1: No Warranty or Guarantee

Alright, so you’ve got your sights set on some used tires in Calgary or Edmonton. These often come from private sellers lurking on Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace. While grabbing tires from a brick-and-mortar store offers the comfort of federal consumer protection laws in Canada, dealing with private sellers – especially for well-worn goods like tires – is a different ball game.

Think about it: at Canada Tire Pro, we put our money where our mouth is with a killer 1-year / 50,000km warranty on new tires. That means if something funky happens down the road, you’ve got peace of mind knowing you can return it, with the law on your side.

But with used tires, those guarantees usually vanish faster than a donut at a police bake sale. You’re pretty much on your own, without the legal safety net you get from established businesses.

Disadvantage #2: Lack Of Previous Use History

The trouble with used tires? They often come with a big question mark – how were they treated before ending up for sale?

Just eyeballing the tread and outer layer isn’t enough to tell the whole story.

For example, a tire that’s never kissed the pavement but spent its days baking in the sun might look brand new. The problem? All that UV exposure can secretly weaken the rubber from the inside out, like a sneaky villain working in the shadows. This can lead to a nasty surprise – a tire failure down the road.

When you grab a set of new tires from a trusted shop like Canada Tire Pro, you get the peace of mind knowing they’ve been properly stored. That means they’re ready to hit the road and last for a good long while. With used tires, that kind of confidence can be tough to come by, since you never really know their past.

Disadvantage #3: Difficulty Locating Your Exact Tire Size

The tire game can be a real head-scratcher. There are a million and one options out there, with a mind-boggling number of combinations for things like rim size, tread width, and aspect ratio.

But guess what?

Your car can probably only handle one or two of those fancy combos. Talk about a selection headache!

This is where a specialized tire shop like Canada Tire Pro swoops in to save the day.

We’re all about tires, which means we offer the best shot at finding the exact rubber your car needs. In fact, our stockpile usually boasts over five hundred different tire sizes and styles! That translates to a whopping 99% of our customers rolling away with the perfect fit. No more hunting around – just a smooth and efficient tire-buying experience.

Disadvantage #4 : Arranging Meeting Times & Places, and Keeping Safe.

Alright, so you’ve become a tire-️‍♂️ (tire detective) online and tracked down the perfect used tire size.

But hold on to your lug nuts! The adventure isn’t over yet.

There’s the whole logistical hurdle jump to navigate: dealing with unanswered messages on platforms like Facebook Marketplace, sellers who play the disappearing act, and the not-so-thrilling prospect of meeting a stranger in a public space with a wad of cash in your hand.

Sometimes, it’s all just a bit too much. If you’re ready to ditch the scavenger hunt and get a set of brand new rubber shoes for your car, head over to our tire search page. It’s smooth sailing from there – just pick your size, browse the options, and get ready for a hassle-free tire-buying experience!