What is Covered Under Tire Warranty?

Your tires are critical to your car’s safety and performance, but they’re also a consumable item. Tires wear out over time and must be replaced, so it might be surprising to hear that they are available with any type of warranty at all. There are a few common types offered with your rubber. Here’s what each type is, as well as a guide to what it does, and doesn’t, cover:

What is Manufacturer Tire Warranty?

This basic construction coverage is offered by all of the reputable tire companies. It guarantees that your tire won’t fall apart because of construction errors or defects, and typically covers you up to the first year of use. That means your tire won’t delaminate (where the tread separates from the carcass) during that time, and if it does, the maker will replace it. It also means your sidewalls won’t crack or fail under normal use.

The basic manufacturer warranty does not protect you against punctures, and they will reject your claim if your tires were improperly inflated or abused.

What is Tread Life Warranty?

You’ve probably seen the tread life warranty in the brochure or on the website when shopping for tires. Manufacturers like to call these out because they often involve numbers like “80,000” or “120,000 km”. These figures sound impressive and can swing buyers to that brand.

This type of coverage says that your runny will not wear out fully until you reach the distance listed. They rely on you having your wheels rotated at the appropriate intervals, and your claim will be rejected if you have abused the rubber. They will also not pay out if the wear pattern is uneven, because that indicates that your suspension settings were out of spec.

Most require you to reach the 2/32 of an inch point before you can file a claim. For many drivers, that’s well beyond when you’d replace your tires anyway. They also won’t give you a free set just because they didn’t get all the way to the distance. For example, if you have a 100,000 km warranty, and get to only 90,000, the manufacturer will likely refund you 10 percent of the purchase price of the tires.

What is a Road Hazard Warranty for Tires?

Some tire OEMs offer a road hazard warranty for specific models of their tires free of charge. You can also purchase your own road hazard coverage either from the dealer, OEM, or a third party. This will replace your tire if you suffer a puncture, or otherwise damage it due to road hazards like potholes and debris.

They will not pay out if you have damaged your tire through kerb strikes, or if the tire was not inflated correctly.

Care for Your Rubber

Ultimately, the best protection for your tires is you. Always keep them inflated properly, rotate them at specified intervals to promote even wear, and always drive to conditions. The best way to make your rubber lasts is to choose a quality set of tires from a reputable brand and care for them properly.

Photo credit: George Rudy/Shutterstock

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