Winter / Snow Tire Tech

Tire Warranties

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Use our Tire Service/Maintenance Record (PDF) to log tire rotations, seasonal tire changeovers and tire-related vehicle services. This type of record is often helpful if warranty consideration is ever necessary.

Download the Tire Service/Maintenance Record (PDF)

A warranty is a manufacturer's assurance of quality that defines the period of time that they will repair or replace products that show signs of defects due to materials or workmanship. While most consumer goods are backed for their first 30, 60 or 90 days of use or up to one year from the date of purchase, tires (which are subjected to a wider variety of conditions and temperature extremes than other consumer products) are typically backed by their manufacturer's limited warranties for a period of 4 to 6 years from the date of purchase or until the tread wears out, whichever occurs first.

All tires sold by Tire Rack (except race and rally tires) have a manufacturers' limited warranty extended to the original purchaser to cover conditions that are reasonably considered to have been within the tire manufacturers' control, such as the quality of materials and/or workmanship. Selected tires may also be backed by additional warranties, such as treadwear mileage or free trial periods.

Conversely, none of the limited tire warranties cover conditions that are not considered to have been within the tire manufacturers' control, including irregular wear attributed to a lack of tire maintenance or vehicle condition, damage due to accidents, vandalism or being driven on while flat.

If you have a question about tire warranties or have a tire that you would like to submit for warranty consideration, you can work directly with Tire Rack or with a local dealer that carries that brand of tire.

Warranty Duration

Each manufacturer specifies the duration of their tires' limited warranty in months or years from the date of purchase. Therefore, tire warranties begin at the time of delivery for new vehicles and at the time of purchase for replacement tires. Consequently, a new vehicle's registration certificate or the replacement tire's sales invoice will establish proof of ownership and the tire's in-service date. If no proof of purchase is available, the week and year the tire was manufactured (as identified by the DOT Tire Identification Number (TIN) branded on the sidewall) will be used.

Tire warranties also expire when the tire's original tread is worn down to 2/32" (1.6 mm) of remaining tread at which time the tread blocks are worn flush with the treadwear indicator bars.

"...tires...are typically backed by their manufacturer's limited warranties for a period of 4 to 6 years from the date of purchase or until the tread wears out, whichever occurs first."

Tread/Mileage Warranties

Treadlife/mileage warranties are a popular marketing tool used to help position tires competitively in the marketplace by identifying their potential longevity. However not all consumers will receive the warranted mileage due to the variety of road surfaces, driving conditions and geographic influences across the United States.

Treadlife/mileage warranties typically do not apply to tires fitted as Original Equipment on new vehicles (unless specifically included by the tire manufacturer). Replacement tires covered by a treadlife/mileage warranty have the warranty cost factored into their price.

Treadlife/mileage warranties only apply to the original owner and vehicle upon which the set of tires was initially installed.

Treadlife/mileage warranties are also subject to time limits set by the tire manufacturers and expire along with the standard warranty four, five, or six years from the date of purchase (proof of purchase required).

According to most states' laws, tires become legally worn out when they reach 2/32" of remaining tread depth (identified when the tread blocks/ribs wear down to the bars molded across their tread pattern). Tire manufacturer treadlife/mileage warranties specify pro-rated replacement will only be considered when all four tires reach that point.

Uniformity Warranty

Even though tires are built to tight tolerances, there is bound to be some unavoidable variation during the manufacturing process. This is one reason why tire balance and internal forces are measured during a tire's final inspection at the factory.

Note: Because of the factory's final inspection, none of the tire manufacturers will accept that all four tires from the same vehicle are out-of-round or responsible for a vibration. If a request is made to return all four tires, the tire manufacturer will deem that there was no genuine attempt to isolate the true cause of the problem.

The tire manufacturers have identified that if a new tire contributes to a vehicle ride disturbance because of workmanship or materials, it will be apparent immediately and should be diagnosed and corrected as soon as possible. Depending on the manufacturer, the responsible tire must be replaced before the first 1/32" to 2/32" of treadwear or during the first six months/one year of service.

Ride disturbances that occur after this initial period have been linked to road hazard damage or irregular wear stemming from the vehicle's mechanical condition and/or lack of routine maintenance.

Workmanship & Materials Warranty

Tire Manufacturer's Materials and Workmanship Warranty covers conditions that require a tire to be removed from service that are within the tire manufacturers' control of raw materials or quality of workmanship.

Usually during the first year of ownership or 25% of the tire's treadwear (whichever occurs first), the tire will be exchanged free of charge for the customer (not including freight). For the rest of the tire's warranty period, the cost of replacement is prorated by crediting the owner for the percentage of service not received.

Manufacturer Road Hazard Coverage

While road hazard injuries (cuts, punctures, snags and bruises) or impact damage caused by potholes, curbs or other objects in the road are an undesirable part of driving, the tire damage they inflict is not within the control of the tire manufacturer and is not typically covered by their limited tire warranties. Regardless of its quality, no tire is indestructible.

Currently there are a limited number of tires that remain backed by a tire manufacturer road hazard coverage.

However, because many drivers desire the financial security that a road hazard program provides, Tire Rack includes its free Tire Road Hazard Protection with most tires. See all the details here.

Manufacturer Special Warranty - Test Drives/Satisfaction Trials

If a retail customer who purchased eligible tires is not completely satisfied, they can return the tires to the location from which the tires were purchased within the specified period (usually 30-, 45- or 60-days) for exchange for another tire model made by the same manufacturer or, in a few cases, a full refund (freight not included). Original proof of purchase is required.

Tires received as Original Equipment on new vehicles are not covered by tire manufacturers' Test Drives/Satisfaction Trials.

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