Found a Great Place for Used Tires!

Does your Mitsubishi L300 make a strange noise? Need wheel alignment specs?
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Morganizer
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Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:15 pm
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Vehicle: L300 Turbo Diesel Low Roof
Location: Vancouver BC

Found a Great Place for Used Tires!

Post by Morganizer » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:16 pm

One of my tires got a crack in the sidewall. This presented a surprisingly difficult problem. You can't put a new tire on, because it will be less worn that the other three, and hence will have a larger diameter. This can apparently wreak havoc with your transfer case in 4WD (though a lot of this sounded like "worst case scenario scare tactics" from tire shop guys who wanted to sell me a full set of tires.) The other consideration is that the tires are 7 years old, and although I only drive about 15,000km a year, 7 years is about when you'd expect to replace your tires, regardless of how far they've been driven.

I inspected the tires to see if they seem like they're about to crack their sidewalls, and they look pretty good. I went to a tire shop, and the staff there said they look pretty good. So I figured if I could find a used tire with about the same amount of tread left as the rest of my tires, I could get another year or two before I have to replace the set.

The advice I got was to, "go to Surrey and check out the auto wreckers on Scott road." There are tire-specific places, and auto parts recyclers. I went to a bunch of them and got the same experience:

"Hi, I'm looking for a used tire."
"What size?"
"235/75R15"
"Look in that pile over there."

In some cases, the pile was literally a pile. In others, they were stacked on their side. While in other places, they had the tires arranged neatly in rows on racks. Trouble is, the tires aren't organized in any way -- not like all the R15's are together -- and all you can see is the tread, not the sidewall, so you can't read the size. At some places they had written the size on the tread with a grease pencil, and some of the time it was legible.

I kept imagining that scene in My Bodyguard, where they're out every weekend looking for the cylinder head so they can finish the motorbike, and when they find it everything goes slow motion and then they're booting around on the motorbike. But this wasn't like the movies...

After deciding to drive out to Maple Ridge where Albion Tire said they had a full set of Geolanders, I turned around and ate some lunch, and decided to try a few more places in Surrey.

I met a really nice man who runs a Big-O tire, and says his daughter has a Delica and loves it. He had a set of new Rovelo tires there, in R16's, and they look pretty good in person. I think I'll wait til more time has passed and a few more reviews are in. Reviews that don't call them Rovelo and Rovello in the same paragraph.

Then I went to ALPI'S TIRE DEPOT! If I had gone there first, a) I wouldn't have appreciated how amazing it is, because it's exactly what you expect, and b) I would have been done by noon. Alpi's has every tire in their inventory in their computer database, and it's searchable, so it goes like this:

"Hi, I'm looking for a used tire."
"What size?"
"235/75R15"

He types it into the computer, and it says they've got 3 Yokohama Geolanders, and it's got % tread listed for each tire. He prints out the results, hands the paper to a mechanic, who goes and pulls down the tire I've chosen, in about 3 minutes. All the shelves in the warehouse are labeled E12, E13, F13, etc. so they can find what the computer says they have.

I look the tire over, compare the tread to my tires, and it similar so I say I'll buy it. They tell me to pull into the service bay, and they take the old tire off the rim and put the new one on. Warranted for 60 days, in case any problem crops up.

To be fair, there were a couple of other tire shops that weren't jokers or losers. But they were more the supe-up-your-vette type places. I just wanted a used tire for my 25 year old JDM covered in dirt. Actually I keep it pretty clean. But then I drive it up logging roads and get it dirty.

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