I’m a fan of tire the tire mileage warranty that comes with most new tires, but it’s not perfect. There are several requirements to ensure you meet to be eligible for replacement tires.
Also, the replacement price is prorated to deduct the value of the mileage used from the new replacement tire.
Tire Mileage Warranty CalculatorThis discounted replacement price calculator assumes your tires have reached 2/32″ and you meet all of the requirements to be eligible for a replacement tire.
Input the mileage guarantee, miles driven, and replacement tire retail price to view an estimate of the replacement tire discount and cost.
This estimate does not include applicable taxes, mounting, balancing or any other required parts and services.
The replacement tires are usually required to be the same as the ones being warranted or at least from the same manufacturer.
While you can get your prematurely worn tires replaced, the flexibility may not be what you had hoped.
The reality is that this is reasonable from the perspective of the tire manufacturer and a good benefit, especially if you are the owner of a vehicle that tends to wear tires more aggressively than the guaranteed mileage.
Let’s take a closer look.
What Does A Tire Mileage Warranty Cover?
Most, but not all tires come with a manufacturer’s warranty. This is usually referred to as a tread life warranty or mileage warranty.
While the focus of this warranty is on the mileage that is guaranteed to be reached by the tires, this isn’t the only aspect that most tire manufacturers include in their warranty coverage.
A mileage warranty will guarantee a certain amount of miles that the tires will reach. This mileage warranty comes with a few hurdles that you have to jump through which tend to make it unlikely that a purchaser will qualify unless they were prepared from the time of purchase to ensure they were meeting all of the requirements.
These are often a four, five, or sometimes six year limited warranty. They lifespan of a tire is typically limited to six years due to that being approximately the maximum length of time that the rubber used in tire construction can withstand ozone and ultraviolet effects before beginning to become dry and brittle.
We’ll go over the common requirements and how to prepare to make sure you’re covered when you purchase your next set of tires.
Some tire manufacturers will include some minimal amount of road hazard coverage as a courtesy. It’s usually only good for the first 2/32″ of tread wear or year of ownership, but will usually replace any tire that is damaged beyond repair due to common road hazards.
This isn’t always the case so be sure to read the details of your warranty to see what’s covered.
Most tire warranties will include coverage for defects in the manufacturing process. Occasionally, these types of defects do happen.
These warranties usually last for five to six years from the date of manufacture. The shelf life of a tire is usually limited to six years due to the rubber compounds beginning to dry rot and break down at this point.
What Does A 60,000 Mile Tire Warranty Mean?
A 60,000 mile warranty means that your tire is guaranteed to reach that amount of mileage before needing to be replaced. If it fails to meet that amount of mileage, you will usually be offered a discount on a new tire based on the unrealized mileage.
For instance, if your tires reach 2/32″ of tread depth after only being used for 50,000 miles, you will be offered a discount on a new set of tires from the same tire manufacturer for 17% off the retail price. This is because 50,000 miles is only approximately 83% of the guaranteed 60,000 miles, leaving you with approximately 17% unrealized mileage.
Does A Tire Warranty Cover Nails And Other Road Hazards?
Mileage warranties don’t always cover road hazards, but some manufacturers do provide limited warranty coverage for some road hazards if they damage a tire beyond repair within the first year of ownership or first 2/32″ of tread wear. Be sure to read the details of your tire manufacturer’s warranty for the specific coverage they include.
Many large tire chains will offer separate road hazard warranties that are much more comprehensive. This type of additional warranty is not provided for free however. It is usually included with an additional charge.
How To Get Tires Replaced Under Warranty
Tire manufacturers generally make some great products, but occasionally some don’t live up to their guarantee. Sometimes this is due to a manufacturing issue but often it’s due to circumstances beyond their control.
There are criteria that must be met to have your tires replaced under warranty. These requirements are reasonable in my opinion but others consider them too restrictive to be practical.
The truth is that if you don’t know what the requirements are ahead of time you likely won’t have met all of them when you go to make a warranty claim.
Tire Warranty Requirements
Tire warranty requirements are designed to ensure that your tires have been properly maintained for their usable life. This is usually in the form of documentation that can serve as proof the owner had regular tire maintenance service performed and problems weren’t ignored.
Most passenger car and light truck owners tend to not spend much time ensuring their tires are properly maintained. This doesn’t mean that most vehicle owners are intentionally negligent, it just means that most tires are constructed well enough that we can often ignore proper tire maintenance and still get excellent performance from our tires.
A fairly reasonable requirement is that you can provide the original receipt when you purchased your tires. Many of us will not have kept this paperwork, but it will include an important piece of information – the vehicle mileage at time of purchase.
Without the original mileage known, there is no way to know how many actual miles have been put on the tires.
Proof Of Proper Tire Rotation
Regular tire rotations are important to ensuring even tread wear and extending the life of your tires as much as possible. It is a common tire maintenance practice and important to stay on top of.
The amount of mileage allowed between having your tires rotated will vary from tire manufacturer to manufacturer. Most manufacturers will allow 5,000 miles between rotations but you should check your warranty requirement to make sure you know the maximum allowable mileage for your tires.
Even Tread Wear
Uneven tread wear is a common sign of a an underlying problem that is not the fault of the tires themselves.
Tires that aren’t properly maintained by balancing the wheel assembly, ensuring the tires are properly inflated, and the wheels are properly aligned will all cause uneven wear across the tread surface.
Uneven tread wear will cause your tires to wear out much more quickly than if they are wearing evenly.
Limited Warranty Timeframe
Tires don’t last forever. They can even go bad without ever mounting them. The issue is that ozone and UV rays from the sun break down the rubber compounds used in the construction of passenger car and light truck tires.
Most tires, whether original equipment or replacement tires, need to be replaced after six years due to the damaging effects of the atmosphere and sun. This is why tire manufacturers only offer a limited warranty.
Remaining Tread Depth
There can be no usable remaining tread depth when attempting to make a mileage warranty claim. All of the original tread depth must have been used for the price of replacement tires to be discounted and warranted.
A tread depth of 2/32″ must be reached, which is the minimum safe limit for tread wear and the point at which you must replace your tires.
This is the only unfortunate requirement in my opinion since it is often a good idea to purchase replacement tires before this point to help maintain a better safety margin when driving in wet weather conditions.
What Does No Mileage Warranty On Tires Mean?
Some tires have no mileage warranty because they may be targeting a niche of vehicle owners that historically fail to meet reasonable tread wear mileage.
The reasons this may be the case are the tires may be often used on cars with aggressive suspension geometry that more quickly wear down tires. Or it could be that the tires are often used for towing or some similar purpose that puts unusual stresses on the tires and accelerates wear beyond the control of the tire manufacturer.
If a mileage warranty is important to you, you may want to consider purchasing another brand or model of tire that does include a mileage guarantee.
I currently have replacement tires on the rear of my car that do not have a mileage guarantee. The original equipment tires that came with my car did have a warranty, however the cost to replace them with the OEM tires was much higher than the replacement price of the tires without the guarantee.
These tires are also a very soft compound and wear out quite quickly so I found it more appealing to save the money up front on a comparable tire and forego the guarantee.
Below are some links you may find helpful when learning about tires
- Why tread-life warranties are next to useless – Consumer Reports
- What are treadlife/mileage warranties – Tire Rack
Getting prematurely worn tires covered by a tire manufacturer guarantee is difficult if you aren’t aware of the requirements to make a claim ahead of time and can be sure to properly collect the required documentation during your ownership of them.
These requirements are fairly reasonable and understandable, but they aren’t the free replacement you may have originally expected.
Tire companies are for-profit businesses that can’t afford to replace tires for everyone with little justification.
Additionally, proper tire maintenance is essential to getting the prematurely worn tires on your vehicle covered and show the tire manufacturer that you did your part to ensure they were properly cared for and the reason for the failure wasn’t due to neglect.
Good luck and happy motoring.