FAQs About Tires

If you’re browsing used cars for sale, there’s a good chance you’ll eventually have questions about the tires on that car. After all, the tires on your car affect many things such as braking and handling, the feel of the ride, and even gas mileage. If you do a lot of driving in the snow or offroad, tires are even more important to ensure that you can maintain control of the vehicle.

But all your questions about tires, whether they’re on a used car for sale or a brand new vehicle, are about to be answered.

How Often Should You Change Your Tires?

As you might imagine, there’s no single, simple answer to the question of how often you should change your tires because it depends on a variety of factors. Where you drive, how you drive, the type of car or truck, the type of tire, and how well you maintain your tires are all factors that affect how often you should change your tires. Generally, according to Kelley Blue Book, the majority of tires tend to have a lifespan between 25,000 and 50,000 miles before it’s time to have them changed.

That said, the owner’s manual that your used car for sale came with when you purchased it should lay out specific guidelines related to how often the tires on your car need to be changed. However, even if you don’t drive very often and it takes several years for you to reach the mileage at which your owner’s manual says it’s time to replace the tires, you should still replace tires at least once every 6 years, according to the National High Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

What Kind of Tires Do I Need?

For the uninitiated who are looking for used cars for sale, understanding what tires you should buy can be daunting. Generally, car tires tend to fall into three categories, winter, summer, and all-season.

All-season tires, as the name implies, are solid tires for any conditions but aren’t necessarily great in one particular way. Summer tires are great for dry or wet braking but lack traction in the snow. Winter tires, on the other hand, have fantastic traction in the snow but lackluster braking capabilities on a dry road. Ultimately, whatever type of driving you do most should be what you focus on when you think about which tires to buy. For example, if you plan to use your vehicle mostly for ski trips, winter tires could make sense for you.

How Do I Tell if My Tires are Worn Out?

Because tires wear down based on a variety of factors, whether they’re on used cars for sale or a brand new truck, it helps to be able to inspect a tire to decide if it’s worn out or not. An easy trick to reveal whether your tires are worn out is to grab a penny and dip it head first into the grooves of your tire.

If you notice that you can see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head on the penny, that means the treads on your tires are shallow which means your tires are worn out and need to be replaced. In addition to the penny test, you should do a visual inspection of your tires to find nails, screws, uneven tread, or anything else that looks out of the ordinary. During your inspection, if you find anything you’re not sure about, ask a professional.

How Can I Improve the Life of My Tires?

One of the most significant factors affecting how long your tires last is how you treat them. One of the easiest things you can do for the tires of a used car for sale is to check the tire pressure regularly. Consult your owner’s manual to find out what the ideal tire pressure is and make sure the tires are evenly inflated.

Also, rotating your tires every 6000 miles is a good idea if you want to extend your tires’ lifespan. A good way to get in this habit is to have a mechanic rotate your tires after every other oil change. Finally, making sure your tires are properly aligned is another way to ensure that your tires don’t take on more wear and tear than they need to.

What Should My Tire Pressure Be?

According to Cars.com, most cars will have a recommended cold tire pressure range of 32 to 35 psi. However, to be exactly sure what your tire pressure should be, check the owner’s manual for your vehicle. Try to keep your tire’s pressure in the recommended range because it will improve performance and reduce wear and tear.

Also, remember that the tire pressure in your owner’s manual will be the psi that the tires should be when they’re cold. When you drive, the tires will heat up and the psi will go up which is not necessarily a problem.