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Buying secondhand tyres, whether for your BMW or your VW Golf, is a great way to save money if you know how to evaluate the products on offer. To ensure that the tyres are safe and suitable for use, you must check their overall condition, focusing on the tread, sidewalls, and tyre's age.
Checking the Tread of a Secondhand Tyre
The tyre tread makes contact with the road and affects traction and road-holding capabilities. The tread should not show severe signs of uneven wear. Additionally, a used tyre should have sufficient tread left to comply with Regulation 212 of the National Road Traffic Act, which stipulates that a regrooved tyre must have a bead diameter of at least 430 millimetres and a tread depth of no less than 1 millimetre. Some tyres have tread wear indicators in the tread pattern that warn users when tread depth is less than 1,6 millimetres. When these tyres reach this point, they are no longer roadworthy.
Checking the Sidewall of a Secondhand Tyre
The sidewall of a tyre is the side of the tyre from the bottom of the tread to the hubcap. The sidewall should be undamaged and strong to help the tyre maintain its shape. Check for visible cuts and damage that could weaken the structure of the tyre. Remember to look at the interior wall of the tyre to establish whether the previous owner patched it. Avoid patched tyres.
Establishing Tyre Age
All the details you need about a tyre appear on its sidewall as a series of letters and numbers. The DOT code, usually located below the long alphanumeric code, indicates the age of the tyre. Look for 'DOT' followed by four digits, for example '0603'. The numbers indicate the month and year of manufacture, June 2003 in the preceding example. Avoid tyres that are more than five to ten years old even if they seem to be in perfect condition. You cannot always establish the extent to which the rubber has degraded simply by looking at the tyre.
Buying secondhand tyres constructed by a trusted manufacturer, such as Continental, Regal, Dunlop, Firestone, or Goodyear, is an excellent way to save money. Know how to evaluate the condition of used tyres to get the best deal. Focus on the tread wear pattern and tread depth, the condition of the sidewalls, and the age of the tyre.