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Buying Tires Near Me: Upsides & Downsides of Pre-Owned Tires

Tires often come with a hefty price tag. One of the popular searches that lead customers to us is “cheap tires” and at Pete’s we want to help you find quality used tires for cheap! When faced with a blown tire or the need for a new set, you have a  decision to make between investing in brand-new tires or opting for used ones. Understanding the pros and cons of pre-owned car tires is helpful for making an informed choice. Here’s a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing used car tires from Pete’s Auto Parts:

Downsides of Purchasing Used Tires

Before committing to used tires, it’s good to acknowledge potential drawbacks, including:

Limited Warranty: Unlike new tires, which often come with a warranty from the manufacturer, used tires do not offer warranty coverage. Pete’s Auto Parts sells used tires As-Is. If you discover an issue with your tire within 48 hours you are welcome to bring it back for an exchange. 

Availability Challenges: Finding the right size used tire with good tread life can prove challenging, especially for older or less common vehicles. At Pete’s Auto Parts, we have a wide  selection of  18” and  20” tires. We have less tires available in 16”, 17”, and 22”.If you need a 14” or 15” tire, the options are limited. This is just because there are less and less vehicles on the road with smaller tires. So it’s possible you’ll drive out to Pete’s and we won’t have the size. But it’s also possible we will have it! There is a reputable tire store (No Time Flat) directly across the street from Pete’s Auto Parts that can help you with new tires when used are not available. They can also install used tires if you are able to find a set that works for your vehicle. We love our neighbors! 

Lifespan: New tires will inevitably last a bit longer than used tires, because they have zero wear on them when installed, and even the freshest used tires will have SOME miles on them, even if it’s only 5,000 miles that is still a bit shorter lifespan than new. It’s good to keep in mind the cost of swapping the tires and make sure you are still coming out ahead.

Upsides of Purchasing Used Tires

Despite potential drawbacks, buying used tires from Pete’s Auto Parts offers several advantages:

Quality & Safety: the used tires we sell can deliver the same performance and safety as new tires, they once were new tires, they are just now gently used. Prior to purchase, take a look at the tire’s sidewall for its serial number to determine its age. Choose tires younger than five years old for the best quality tires. Assess the tread depth and choose a set with a minimum of 50% tread (so you know the tire has adequate remaining life.) 

We often use the old “penny test” – where you place a penny between the ridges or ribs of the tire, with Lincoln’s head pointed down, and see where the tread measures. The top of his head disappears above 2/32”, you can  compare tires seeing where the tread comes in relation to Lincoln’s head. A penny is 3/4″ wide, or 24/32” and many tires come with 10/32” new from the factory, or about ½ the depth of the penny, so the more of Lincoln’s head disappears in the tread, the more life is left on the tires. Using a tire gauge is a more accurate way to measure, and it only takes a moment! Keep in mind, however, that many late model vehicles with very wide tires have a lower profile tread than traditional tires! 

Environmental Sustainability: Buying used tires contributes to environmental sustainability by reducing waste and minimizing pollution. Millions of tires end up in landfills annually, posing environmental hazards as they decompose and release harmful chemicals. Opting for used tires extends their lifespan and mitigates the environmental impact of tire disposal. We are seeing more options for recycled tires, from playground footings to landscaping bark made from recycled tires, but there is still not much of a market for tires. We get in many vehicles that have had their tires replaced recently, and it’s a shame to let those tires go to waste when they can have a whole new life on your vehicle! 

Cost Savings: Used tires offer significant cost savings compared to new ones. While new tires may cost hundreds of dollars each, used tires from Pete’s Auto Parts start as low as $40 and our MOST expensive sets of E-rated load range truck tires are only $400. Most sets of tires are $200 or $250 and most singles are $40 or $50. This affordability makes used tires an attractive option, especially when you can find tires with 85-90% tread remaining! 

Longevity Potential: When selected carefully, used car tires can get close to the longevity of new ones. Prioritize tires with minimal wear and sufficient tread depth to ensure extended durability. Paying attention to the age and tread depth of the tire ensures you get your monies worth! 

Selecting Quality Used Car Tires

Here are the main things to look for: 

Tread Depth: Measure the tread depth of each tire to verify adequate remaining life. Tread depths below 4/32nds may indicate limited usability and reduced performance, unless it’s a tire that started out with a lower profile and is meant to be that depth.

Tire Age: Check the age of each tire using the sidewall markings, as older tires may exhibit signs of deterioration. Inspect for visible defects and ensure the tread depth aligns with recommended guidelines.

Seam Quality: Inspect the tire seams for any irregularities, such as bubbling, splitting, or patching. Smooth, even seams indicate structural integrity and reliable performance.


For customers considering used tires in west Michigan, Pete’s Auto Parts in Jenison is your go-to destination. Our extensive inventory includes a wide selection of used auto parts, including tires and batteries. Come on down to our location at 2544 Port Sheldon St, Jenison MI 49428 to see if we have the tires you need. Please note we do not install the tires, but we can point you in the right direction, our neighbors across the street No Time Flat can install them! 

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us by phone or by text at 616-669-6592. 

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Friendly EXPERTs To Help You Find The Right Part

Pete’s Auto Parts is a well-established used auto parts supplier in Michigan that employs a team of five highly knowledgeable salespeople dedicated to finding the right parts for customers.

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Quality Inspected & Backed By Warranty

Every part comes with a standard 90-day part-only warranty as we stand by our quality. Plus, we offer extended warranty options so you can rest easy knowing your investment is protected.