These days it seems like there’s a warranty available for anything you might want or need to purchase. Tire warranties are no exception and have been available for some time, but there’s a lot more to consider than simple mileage ranges on tire warranties when you’re ready for a new set of rubber.
For what it’s worth, tire warranties are often viewed with some skepticism. As usual, Consumer Reports does a good job of summarizing some of the more polarizing factors that go into weighing whether you should opt for tires with a warranty promise, but here’s where America's Tire comes in to help.
While the average tire buyer might have difficulty collecting on the warranty with the actual tire manufacturer for a set of tires that wore prematurely or unevenly on a perfectly good vehicle, if your tires have worn down to unsafe levels well before the manufacturer warranty your nearest America's Tire location is almost always able to provide an intermediate solution while we work through the details of the warranty and any potential reimbursement with the tire’s manufacturer.
For example, if you bought tires that came with a 40,000-mile warranty from America's Tire and you only put 30,000 miles on them before they were evenly worn down, your local store manager will likely work with you to come up with a credit of 25 percent of the original purchase price on the spot while we sort out the details of the actual warranty reimbursement with the tire manufacturer.
Types of tires that usually come with a warranty
First off, pretty much every type of basic all-season, all-terrain, passenger, summer, touring and truck tire offers some kind of warranty – ranging from 20,000 miles up to 100,000 miles for select highway tires.
Tires that generally don’t include warranties include ATV/UTV tires, competition tires, mud tires, trailer tires and winter tires.
The reason why is fairly simple: the sidewall composition and rubber compounds used in these kinds of tires generally deteriorate more rapidly or are considered special-use applications. Put simply, they’re the kind of tires that you generally wouldn’t want to drive long distances on, and will wear out before you’d get close to any kind of mileage in the neighborhood of what normal tire warranties offer.
However, for those tires that do carry a manufacturer warranty there are a few steps to take to prolong it for as long as possible.
How to prolong a tire’s warranty period
- Maintain a correct and even level of tire air pressure between all four tires.
- Schedule rotations every 5-6,000 miles, including the spare tire.
- Inspect tires for uneven wear, damage or debris embedded in the tread.
- Keep receipts for any needed tire balance and rotation services
- If your vehicle appears to be out of alignment or has a failing suspension component, have it repaired quickly in order to mitigate any uneven treadwear that might void your warranty.
What does a tire warranty cover?
There’s a lot that actually goes into a tire warranty. A few featured components include the following:
Tire Tread Warranty
The hard and fast rule of when a tire is past its usable standard is when a set has either been in use for 6 years or has less than 2/32nds of its tread left.
But it can be hard to tell when a tire is beyond this threshold, especially to the naked eye. While tires are required to have tread-wear indicators (located in the tire tread's grooves) it’s best to have a professional verify whether they are showing or not.
Learn about other ways to measure tread depth with gauges or coins here.
And remember, you can simply check your tire’s sidewall in order to find out the manufacture week and year of your current tires.
Road Hazard Warranties for Tires
While there are a number of road hazard warranties offered by various tire shops and vendors, we effectively invented this service with our Certificate program.
In a nutshell, if a tire that is covered by America's Tire's “Certificate for Repair, Refund or Replacement” fails for any reason – whether it’s due to a factory defect or a non-repairable road hazard and still has legal tread (3/32nds of an inch) remaining across the tire, and it has been in use for less than 3 years, we’ll give a refund of the full purchase price.
But we don’t stop there. We’ll also throw in the applicable sales tax and give you the option to purchase the same new or comparable tire at the refunded price, with the payment of any new applicable sales tax that may have increased between now and when the tire was purchased.
No prorating, no disqualifications (for any reason) and no mileage adjustments similar to those you might have to deal with under the terms of a traditional tire tread warranty.
Tire Warranties for Workmanship and Materials
Like a lot of consumer goods, workmanship and materials warranties are provided in order to protect from defects in the manufacturing process or in the materials used to create a tire.
Pretty much every tire brand and manufacturer offers some kind of warranty in this vein, as much to prove that they stand by their products as they do simply because it’s a given for any expensive product – especially tires.
And if a workmanship or manufacturing defect crops up within the first 2/32nds of an inch of a tire’s tread life, most manufacturers will simply replace the tire outright. However, another thing to keep an eye on in this area is whether specific tires have been recalled for defects or for safety reasons in general.
If this is the case, returning those tires to the point of purchase is your first step to getting your money back and being fitted with a new set of tires.
Tire Manufacturer Special Warranties
These (usually 30-day) promotional warranty periods are great for figuring out whether your newly-purchased tires are right for you.
Under these terms, consumers become eligible for a full refund or credit toward the purchase of another tire if they are not satisfied with their tires for any reason.
Manufacturers that provide these programs include:
- Bridgestone – “Platinum Pact”
- Continental – “Total Confidence”
- Michelin – “Promise Plan”
- Nexen – “Total Coverage”
- Vogue – “Promise Warranty”
These plans include complimentary spare tire changing and towing services (some up to 150 miles if you’re stranded) alongside mileage and year warranties that include either full or prorated replacement of the tires in question.
What can void a tire warranty?
Improper maintenance is the biggest culprit of voided tire warranties. Especially if you don’t hold on to and document your receipts for any rotations, balancing and even refill services, collecting on a tire warranty can prove to be extremely difficult.
Racing, doing burnouts, drifting, tire siping and shaving, general abuse, vandalization, extreme off-roading and the use of tire chains are some of the other more obvious things that might negate a tire warranty (and damage tires in general).
However, at the end of the day tire warranties aren’t something you’ll ever need to worry about at America's Tire. With our comprehensive Certificate program, return policy and famous in-store customer service, we’ll make sure you’re back on the road in no time!