Treadwear warranties on replacement tires are offered by most major tire manufacturers. The goal is to help protect consumers in the case of significant premature tire wear. Think of these warranties as a manufacturer’s assurance of quality against signs of defects due to materials or workmanship for a defined period. It is important to note that these are limited warranties and the consumer needs to complete specific maintenance requirements to keep them in force.
How long are tires covered?
Each manufacturer defines the coverage terms and limits for their tire products. The duration of these mileage warranties can range from 4-6 years and/or 20,000 to 100,000 miles – typically whichever comes first. As Cooper Tire states “No manufacturer or dealer can guarantee you a certain number of miles from a given tire. Driving habits, driving conditions, tire and vehicle maintenance all play a part in the tread life of a tire and all differ with each purchaser.”
How does the warranty work?
Treadwear warranties generally only apply to the original owner (non-transferrable if sold) and the original vehicle (can’t switch the tires to another automobile). To maintain the warranty policy, the consumer will need to prove that the tires were properly inflated, aligned and rotated. The interval most vehicle and tire makers recommend for tire rotation is every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. Other vehicle repairs (or replacement parts) may include suspension or brakes as necessary to keep the tires functioning properly.
If the tires have been properly maintained, all four tires should wear uniformly at the same rate. If the worn appearance indicates the tires were not appropriately maintained, the tire manufacturer may not honor the treadwear warranty.
If a replacement tire wears to the tread wear indicators (2/32″) in less than the miles warranted, a pro-rated adjustment is made according to actual mileage delivered. Replacement costs are generally determined by dividing the actual mileage delivered by the miles warranted and multiplying the result by the current selling price of an equivalent tire. Keep in mind that each tire manufacturer may offer slightly different coverage.
As an example, let’s say a set of tires has a 5 year/60,000 mile warranty. Let’s assume that after three years of purchase, all four tires collectively reach the 2/32” of remaining tread depth at 45,000 miles. Let’s also assume the tires were properly maintained as mentioned above. In this case, the tires have only met 75% of their warranted mileage. Since 25% of the covered tire tread life was not reached, the consumer is eligible to get a 25% discount off a new set of equivalent tires from the same brand. The consumer would be required to pay the remaining amount in addition to the cost of mounting, balancing and installing the replacement tires (and applicable sales tax). The exact pro-rated amount depends on the specific circumstances.
Most treadwear warranties require all tires to be worn down to 2/32” of tread depth before being considered for replacement. This can put drivers in an unsafe situation. Once tire treads get to these levels they are more prone to hydroplaning and reduced traction in snow and other adverse road conditions. It’s extremely important to evaluate the amount of savings versus the safety of your vehicle to make a sound decision. The treadwear warranties are not meant to be a discount loyalty program; they are in place to cover the instances of significant tire wear due to materials or workmanship.
What can void your warranty?
The biggest way to void your tire’s treadwear warranty is improper maintenance. If you can’t show proof that the tires were properly inflated, rotated and aligned, chances are your warranty claim will be denied. Other factors which may void a warranty are vandalism, racing, off-roading and damage from snow chains.
If you have questions or concerns about treadwear warranties, please contact the nearest Dunn Tire store for assistance.Top