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rated:
Since we discuss cars quite a bit in FWF--
Any thoughts, tips, experiences re:  buying used tires?
My last-century errand truck* probably isn't worth $500 altogether, tires are near legal minimum. A shop near me will put on used tires for $35 each, out the door**.  Good deal, or am I being foolish?
ETA:
*  local use, mainly non-highway; no snow; not primary vehicle
 **out the door = $35 for tire, mount, balance & install, plus 30d warranty.

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At the expense of possibly reducing supply of good used tires to help fellow FWF members make informed decisions:

Used ti... (more)

subieaggie (Mar. 16, 2017 @ 8:28p) |

Are people here flipping used tires? It's not scalable if you're not

rufflesinc (Mar. 16, 2017 @ 8:53p) |

blah.  Close enough.

b534202 (Mar. 17, 2017 @ 4:58p) |

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rated:
I currently have a 1999 Camry which is worth < $1k but I recently installed $400 Michelin on it because I'm planning to let my teenager drive it as long as the engine/transmission runs fine. Plus the way I look at it, tires are one of the most important part of any vehicle because my life depends on its quality. I'm not taking any chances with cheap tires. So if $170 total is all you can afford now then it's fine, may be better than your current tires.

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Just asking:  isn't 7/32nds or 4/32nds of any modern tire "good enough"?  Have we been brainwashed by the tire industry that we are taking our lives in our hands?

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Used tires are going to be better than bald tires.

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How many more miles do the used tires have left in them? If going to be doing it again in 6 months probably not worth it.

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tuphat said:   Just asking:  isn't 7/32nds or 4/32nds of any modern tire "good enough"? 
  I'd want a whole tire rather than an eighth of one. But that's just me ...

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Overall I have had decent to good luck buying used tires. Some shops specialize in used tires. Warranties vary. Some quality inspect what they sell and stand behind what they sell. In my area, we have a junk car business with attached used tire business. It falls more to you to inspect them, but they do sell reasonably including mounting and bubble balance. It's definitely a YMMV proposition.
Study up on common tire problems such as broken belt or side wall or curb bump against the sidewall causing a small bubble due to a weak sidewall. There is such a thing as hidden defects in used tires. Some problems do not show up until they are mounted and inflated.  How is it handled varies by dealer and price paid.

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Some food for thought.

My dad convinced me to put used tires on a car that was near end of life to get past the state inspection requirement.

Were they adequate? Yes! Were they noticeably lower performance? Also, yes!

Some things to look out for:

1) Tires are rated for age AND mileage. Learn how to check the date code on tires to ensure you're not putting on really old tires (more importantly tires past their maximum age rating).
2) Physically inspect the tires before they put them on the car. You're looking for no signs of dry rot, cracking, flat spots, uneven wear, damage from collision, repairs, etc.
3) Tires with less than 4/32" will have reduced wet and winter performance -- for some tires that could be as high as 7/32".
4) Make sure the speed rating of the tires match the speed rating of the rest of your tires (or what the car requires if you're replacing all the tires). As best as I can describe, speed rating is really a measure of cornering performance. I never ran into issues with find the right speed rating for my Civic, but the SUV my wife drives requires H speed rating (130 mph) and many tires that are the right size are rated for lower speeds.
5) For SUVs and trucks, make sure that tire has the right load index as well. It shouldn't be a problem with cars, but this can be a problem for truck tires.

More on speed rating and load index: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=35 

Finally, understand that the source of used tires come from three streams:
1) People unsatisfied with perfectly good tires they purchased (For example, the tires I put on my wife's SUV have nearly the same performance as Michelin Premier LTX tires, but road noise is much louder. Some people may not like this.)
2) Tires near -- but that have not reached -- the end of life, that were replaced on the vehicle.
3) Wrecks (Be warned that tires can sit on cars for months or even years in a junkyard before they end up on your car.)

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I used to buy them all the time.

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Never had a problem. The used ones were usually in great shape. People get new tires even though they could have gotten plenty of additional miles on them.

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AWD vehicles in general require all tires to be exactly the same (state laws apparently) so sometimes all get replaced even though one or two maybe bad.

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Depends on where you buy the used tires.

Probably best to stick to a salvage yard with high throughput and a warranty (even if it's only 30 days). There's one by me that pulls good/matched tires off the vehicles as they come into the yard. They generally store them in matched pairs or quads. If you want a single tire, you have to find it yourself in their yard. They balance and install the tires right on site.

Other places I have seen will sell you anything black and rubbery.

I had an Explorer with 260k miles on it. Switched to used since it was just one major repair away from junking it. Wasn't worth putting $400 tires on it.

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stanolshefski said:   
1) Tires are rated for age AND mileage. Learn how to check the date code on tires to ensure you're not putting on really old tires (more importantly tires past their maximum age rating).

 


This ^^^

Date code is week and year made. Never go more than 8 years. Check for cracking each year.

I would never buy a used tire. When I buy a new tire, I refuse anything over 3 months old. I also inspect tire date codes, including spare, on every new vehicle I buy.

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Best to buy them from a rims shop. People buy new cars, replace the rims with ones that require high performance / low profile tires and leave the brand new tires behind.

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not bashing OP or folks that want to buy used tires!
But, anyone remembers the Paul Walker death incident?...it was a Porsche and it was being driven by highly capable driver....yet it lost road grip and crashed into tree.....
it has been attributed to tires on that Porsche to be old beyond the recommended age...

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Half the cost of the tire upgrade is the labor, so how much are you really saving by mounting used tires? You'll have to pay for all that labor again in a short time.

Then you have the issue that you don't know where those tires have been. Do they have internal damage because the previous owner abused them (eg drove with low tire pressure, slammed into curbs etc)? You may not see the damage till you get a blowout.

It doesn't seem like a good deal to me, unless they're basically free and you have a way of properly inspecting them.

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canoeguy1 said:   Half the cost of the tire upgrade is the labor, so how much are you really saving by mounting used tires? 
  I'd never buy used tires.  But do they really charge you $130 a tire to install where you buy tires?  Or are you saying you buy $16 tires and then they charge you $16 to install?

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I have same dilemma but went on new tires 45k warranty also they are cheaper one not famous brands on my old Camry.
I don't like used tires instead try new cheaper tires...

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tuphat said:   
My last-century errand truck probably isn't worth $500 altogether, tires are near legal minimum. A shop near me will put on used tires for $35 each, out the door.  Good deal, or am I being foolish?

If your "last century" truck is anything like mine, go for it.  Mine goes back and forth to the dump, Home Depot, garden center, etc., and rarely travels more than 10 miles from home or goes over 50 mph.  I wouldn't hesitate at all to put used tires on it.  A daily driver at highway speeds would be a totally different story.
 

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I had to make this decision recently, too. My tires were really old - bought them at Costco in 2009(!) but have cut way back on my driving and was about to replace them only last month. Last summer, I had a slow leak fixed at Costco, and the mechanic recommended I buy some used tires for it. So I called around - and could not find any in my size.

Last month, Costco had a sale on BF Goodrich touring tires ($100 off four) - similar to the ones I had bought in 2009 - for about $100 (each) installed, with lifetime rotation and balance plus road hazard. It seemed unlikely I could have saved a whole lot on used tires even if I had been able to find four.

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Good discussion. First I'd do the math. Disclaimer for the last 20yrs I've bought only new tires. What I do is go to TireRack site read the reviews & price the tires I want. Last time I bought the 3rd ranked tire in my size out of 63 possibilities. The 1st 2 were $200-$300 more a set. Bet you can name the brand. Then I call my local Discount Tire get them to price match & get an otd price.

Then go to your choice of used tire vendor. Lot of good ideas here of where. What's the otd price difference? Might be from $100-$300. Then decide your risk tolerance & who will be driving it. How important is the potential savings? Is it just principle or a food on the table issue?

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I used to find real good used tires at the pick and pull junkyards for $15-$20, but it seems the used tire dealers take the nice ones as soon as the cars hit the yard. When they sell them it's now $50 so not a great deal. eBay is a good place to find used tires, especially if you're trying to match one specific brand and size. Sometimes the total price with shipping is still much less than what the local stores want. And if it's within about 300 miles, I can pick them up cheaper than the shipping cost when I drive something that gets great gas mileage.

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Depends where you are, there are many 'shops' that specialize in used tires. (They have deals with junk yards / new tire shops)

Mostly because of street racers and drifters.
As said above read the Date code, make sure that you don't get tires older than 3 years (Not 8). Older than that will most likely have deterioration and cracking. Just be safe and stay away from really old tires.

Craigslist usually has these guys, also check their yelp to make sure they are legit.

Make sure your 'pairs' of tires match. Do not drive on mismatched tires.

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I mean, what better place to save a few bucks than one of the few items where having bad ones could literally kill you & your family?

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Depends on how and where you drive and what kind of used tires you are buying.

I've sold used tires (on Craigslist) there were still in good shape, just not good enough for me. Some of the above posts had some great ideas to improve the odds of you getting better used tires.

Summary: What might be right for you, may not be right for some.

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Bend3r said:   
canoeguy1 said:   Half the cost of the tire upgrade is the labor, so how much are you really saving by mounting used tires? 
  I'd never buy used tires.  But do they really charge you $130 a tire to install where you buy tires?  Or are you saying you buy $16 tires and then they charge you $16 to install?

  You can get decent new tires for approx $70 each. No need for $130 Michelins.

I'm assuming they might cost $30 used, with half their life left on them.
Cost of mounting+balancing will run you maybe $30 per tire.

So, if you buy new tires, you will pay $100/tire ($70+$30) and use them for 60,000 miles.

If you buy old tires, you will need two used sets in those 60,000 miles. Thus, you will pay $30+$30 for the used tires, and another $30+$30 for mounting. Total is $120.

In other words, not only do you have all the disadvantages of used tires (particularly safety), but you actually pay more than just buying new tires.

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canoeguy1 said:   
So, if you buy new tires, you will pay $100/tire ($70+$30) and use them for 60,000 miles.

  Math is a little off.   Even your example is 30% not 50% for installation.  $30 is also a really high cost for mount/balance/install/road hazard.  $24 is Discount Tire 's fee and they're higher than most places (Costco is $15).  At full tire price $24 is only 12% of the cost on the new tires I last purchased.

I paid 450 total for 4 $175 tires last time, that included prorations one tire I punctured and one other had a small "bubble" on the sidewall, they were all at ~20-30k miles.  There's nearly always at least $100 off for buying 4 at once.  (Costco currently is $70 off plus free install on Michelin).  The free pro rated road hazard has been valuable for me.  I've replaced 5 tires with prorate, average cost for me on those was less than 20% of a new tire.  The paid road hazard warranties on the other hand are a very poor value proposition.  But, the "free" pro-rated (available for example at Discount Tire or Costco) essentially makes it where tires are a predictable fixed cost/mi regardless of hazards because the pro-ration covers pretty well if you damage a tire (its based on tread not miles, so it has always worked out for me where proration is much more % than the miles I had remaining before I planned to replace and will usually cover the install fees).

You certainly can get cheaper new tires.  They can also cost you more if they are lower mpg or if they have worse quality leading to an accident.  Tires can have a significant effect on gas.  Putting other tires on my car would have cost at least ~$200 in extra gas over 50k miles and that's comparing to other expensive tires not cheap ones.

Edit: looked up actual invoice from last year.$553 - $100 rebate = $453 for 4x$175 tires.  Only really needed 2 tires but I bought 4 because one was ~1/2 free for buying four plus the other would have been ~4/32 different from the other tires.  I did end up going in this year and they swapped on my extra tire for free since I had bought it from them and was in notes.

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dealgain said:   not bashing OP or folks that want to buy used tires!
But, anyone remembers the Paul Walker death incident?...it was a Porsche and it was being driven by highly capable driver....yet it lost road grip and crashed into tree.....
it has been attributed to tires on that Porsche to be old beyond the recommended age...


Right... When you crash into a pole going between 83-90 mph in a 45 speed limit zone, it's because of the tires.

rated:
matrix5k said:   
dealgain said:   not bashing OP or folks that want to buy used tires!
But, anyone remembers the Paul Walker death incident?...it was a Porsche and it was being driven by highly capable driver....yet it lost road grip and crashed into tree.....
it has been attributed to tires on that Porsche to be old beyond the recommended age...


Right... When you crash into a pole going between 83-90 mph in a 45 speed limit zone, it's because of the tires.

  However alternately when someone's going 60 on the highway and the blowout of the bald, old, or defective (see Firestone scandal) tire makes their vehicle rollover or flip end to end it's another story.  This does happen.

rated:
Bend3r said:   
canoeguy1 said:   
So, if you buy new tires, you will pay $100/tire ($70+$30) and use them for 60,000 miles.

  Math is a little off.   Even your example is 30% not 50% for installation.  $30 is also a really high cost for mount/balance/install/road hazard.  $24 is Discount Tire 's fee and they're higher than most places (Costco is $15).  At full tire price $24 is only 12% of the cost on the new tires I last purchased.

I paid 450 total for 4 $175 tires last time, that included prorations one tire I punctured and one other had a small "bubble" on the sidewall, they were all at ~20-30k miles.  There's nearly always at least $100 off for buying 4 at once.  (Costco currently is $70 off plus free install on Michelin).  The free pro rated road hazard has been valuable for me.  I've replaced 5 tires with prorate, average cost for me on those was less than 20% of a new tire.  The paid road hazard warranties on the other hand are a very poor value proposition.  But, the "free" pro-rated (available for example at Discount Tire or Costco) essentially makes it where tires are a predictable fixed cost/mi regardless of hazards because the pro-ration covers pretty well if you damage a tire (its based on tread not miles, so it has always worked out for me where proration is much more % than the miles I had remaining before I planned to replace and will usually cover the install fees).

You certainly can get cheaper new tires.  They can also cost you more if they are lower mpg or if they have worse quality leading to an accident.  Tires can have a significant effect on gas.  Putting other tires on my car would have cost at least ~$200 in extra gas over 50k miles and that's comparing to other expensive tires not cheap ones.

Edit: looked up actual invoice from last year.$553 - $100 rebate = $453 for 4x$175 tires.  Only really needed 2 tires but I bought 4 because one was ~1/2 free for buying four plus the other would have been ~4/32 different from the other tires.  I did end up going in this year and they swapped on my extra tire for free since I had bought it from them and was in notes.

  So for example,  I just browsed my local used shop.
For two used tires (To balance out your other two), It would be $120  + 30 = $150 OTD. (Mich Primacy)
You paid $533.

I do believe if you are changing all 4 get New, but if you are just trying to get a tire to balance out 2 or 3 (because of a shredded tire), then a matching pair of used will work out better.

rated:
Bend3r said:   
canoeguy1 said:   
So, if you buy new tires, you will pay $100/tire ($70+$30) and use them for 60,000 miles.

  Math is a little off.   Even your example is 30% not 50% for installation.  $30 is also a really high cost for mount/balance/install/road hazard.  $24 is Discount Tire 's fee and they're higher than most places (Costco is $15).  At full tire price $24 is only 12% of the cost on the new tires I last purchased.

I paid 450 total for 4 $175 tires last time, that included prorations one tire I punctured and one other had a small "bubble" on the sidewall, they were all at ~20-30k miles.  There's nearly always at least $100 off for buying 4 at once.  (Costco currently is $70 off plus free install on Michelin).  The free pro rated road hazard has been valuable for me.  I've replaced 5 tires with prorate, average cost for me on those was less than 20% of a new tire.  The paid road hazard warranties on the other hand are a very poor value proposition.  But, the "free" pro-rated (available for example at Discount Tire or Costco) essentially makes it where tires are a predictable fixed cost/mi regardless of hazards because the pro-ration covers pretty well if you damage a tire (its based on tread not miles, so it has always worked out for me where proration is much more % than the miles I had remaining before I planned to replace and will usually cover the install fees).

You certainly can get cheaper new tires.  They can also cost you more if they are lower mpg or if they have worse quality leading to an accident.  Tires can have a significant effect on gas.  Putting other tires on my car would have cost at least ~$200 in extra gas over 50k miles and that's comparing to other expensive tires not cheap ones.

Edit: looked up actual invoice from last year.$553 - $100 rebate = $453 for 4x$175 tires.  Only really needed 2 tires but I bought 4 because one was ~1/2 free for buying four plus the other would have been ~4/32 different from the other tires.  I did end up going in this year and they swapped on my extra tire for free since I had bought it from them and was in notes.

  
Maybe you're driving a locomotive of a monster truck, that takes house-sized tires?
I use 15-inch Goodyear LS-2's on my commuter car, and they work perfectly well. No bubbles in the sidewall, and great mileage. They last around 60K miles.

They cost $76 at Amazon :
 https://www.amazon.com/Goodyear-Eagle-LS-2-Radial-Tire/dp/B004QL64GS with free shipping.

So no, my math is not off.

I would much rather buy new, decent tires for $76, than used Michelins for $60.

rated:
forbin4040 said:   
  So for example,  I just browsed my local used shop.
For two used tires (To balance out your other two), It would be $120  + 30 = $150 OTD. (Mich Primacy)
You paid $533.

I do believe if you are changing all 4 get New, but if you are just trying to get a tire to balance out 2 or 3 (because of a shredded tire), then a matching pair of used will work out better.

it was only $450 ($100 rebate isnt on receipt) for all four tires (not two).  I know I could have not replaced the other 2.

On the receipt, it shows the two I replaced on road hazard pro-ration were $23 and $48 respectively, plus $24 each to install and taxes... $119 plus taxes if I'd have just had those 2 replaced with brand new tires.  And I had ~20-30k miles of use out of the replaced tires 
canoeguy1 said:   

They cost $76 at Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/Goodyear-Eagle-LS-2-Radial-Tire/dp/B004QL64GS, with free shipping.

So no, my math is not off.

I would much rather buy new, decent tires for $76, than used Michelins for $60.

$76+24 = $100.  $24 is 24% not 50% on your new example.  Not a big deal.  Although if you bring your own tires with you to be installed somewhere, I assume they might charge you more for install....

I agree with your conclusion.  The only point was that 50% just seems like an overestimate of "install cost" vs tire cost in general.

rated:
Bend3r said:   
matrix5k said:   
dealgain said:   not bashing OP or folks that want to buy used tires!
But, anyone remembers the Paul Walker death incident?...it was a Porsche and it was being driven by highly capable driver....yet it lost road grip and crashed into tree.....
it has been attributed to tires on that Porsche to be old beyond the recommended age...


Right... When you crash into a pole going between 83-90 mph in a 45 speed limit zone, it's because of the tires.

  However alternately when someone's going 60 on the highway and the blowout of the bald, old, or defective (see Firestone scandal) tire makes their vehicle rollover or flip end to end it's another story.  This does happen.

  
Or rather, underflated tires on vehicles with a high center of gravity, then is then overloaded and has a moron driver that stands on the brakes when a tire blows out?

rated:
It's like buying used toilet paper!

rated:
Bend3r said:   However alternately when someone's going 60 on the highway and the blowout of the bald, old, or defective (see Firestone scandal) tire makes their vehicle rollover or flip end to end it's another story.  This does happen.
  How is that anywhere remotely comparable to buying good used tires?

rated:
matrix5k said:   
dealgain said:   not bashing OP or folks that want to buy used tires!
But, anyone remembers the Paul Walker death incident?...it was a Porsche and it was being driven by highly capable driver....yet it lost road grip and crashed into tree.....
it has been attributed to tires on that Porsche to be old beyond the recommended age...


Right... When you crash into a pole going between 83-90 mph in a 45 speed limit zone, it's because of the tires.

Well, yes, a Porche will casually take that turn at 85mph in the 45 speed zone as long as it has reasonable tires. Since most of us don't drive a Porche, the speed/grip limits of our cars will be lower, but, still, something that we know is "safe" for our car will no longer be safe with old tires.
So be very careful with used tires. I am not recommending to simply avoid them - such a purchase makes sense in a few occasions, but one important thing to consider is that while it is said that tires degrade even without use in something like 8 years - which might seem like quite a long time, that figure is only when they are stored in a cool environment. Have them exposed to 2-3 hot summers and they might no longer be safe.
Talking about Porche & old tires, there was a horrific accident in Greece recently. A guy borrowed his father's Porche which had relatively unused 9-year old winter tires and these failed spectacularly when he tried to do 180+ mph at a 10 mile-long expressway straight. If you drive fast, make sure you don't try to save on tires.

rated:
Ecuadorgr said:   Talking about Porche & old tires, there was a horrific accident in Greece recently. A guy borrowed his father's Porche which had relatively unused 9-year old winter tires and these failed spectacularly when he tried to do 180+ mph at a 10 mile-long expressway straight. 
  Yea, guy goes more than 100 mph OVER the speed limit and when he wrecks, blame the tires. Sure this wasn't in the USofA where the driver, or next of kin, would be suing both Porsche and the tire manufacturer for product liability. 

rated:
We're not saying you should go driving at 180mph.

But some cars, on the proper tires, can drive 180mph safely in the right conditions.

Those cars with the wrong tires are a deathtrap.

Similarly, perhaps in an SUV on good tires, going 45mph on the exit ramp is no problem. But on crappy/used/punctured tires...?

rated:
AlwaysWrite said:   I mean, what better place to save a few bucks than one of the few items where having bad ones could literally kill you & your family?
  add tires to list of things not to buy used: condoms, hard drives, toilet paper

So instead of discussing how to get GOOD, NEW tires on the CHEAP (Discount Tire FTW), FWF is now talking about the merits of buying USED tires? Here's my tip. If you're in a northern snowy climate, instead of buying all seasons, buy the cheapest summer tires and the cheapest winter/snow tires and Swap them out.

Skipping 87 Messages...
rated:
IMBoring25 said:   
b534202 said:   
anglr200 said:   
rsuaver said:   AWD vehicles in general require all tires to be exactly the same (state laws apparently) so sometimes all get replaced even though one or two maybe bad.
  Does anyone know if this is actually true?  I don't think the law is true in California...
I have also heard the reasoning that "it can damage the AWD transmission" if they are not the same tire type....

  
Not true.  Nissan GTR has staggered tire sizes.  


The difference in rolling diameter is equivalent to less than 3/32 of tread depth.

  
Was just reading C&D and saw this.

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-audi-rs3-first-drive-re... 
The car we drove had wider 255/30R-19s at the front to go along with the standard 235/35R-19s at the rear.
blah.  Close enough.

 

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