Tire Warranty Ratings
Tire warranties and treadlife ratings are a popular marketing tool for tire manufacturers, and as tire technology and engineering has improved, 100,000 mile warranties are not uncommon. Of course, they do come with certain strings attached, considering the variety of weather conditions, usage and road conditions that tires might see – that’s why they’re always referred to as a “limited warranty.” Here’s a quick breakdown of some common conditions of tire warranties, and how they are calculated:
- Treadlife and mileage warranties are only applicable to the original owner and original vehicle, meaning it’s crucial to retain the paperwork that certifies proof of purchase and original installation date and vehicle mileage. You may also be required to prove that tires were properly inflated, rotated and aligned during their service life.
- Most states mandate a minimum tread depth of 2/32”, and tires are only warrantied until they wear to that minimum depth. This minimum depth will also be indicated by the wear bars that are molded across the tread area.
- If tires wear prematurely and were properly maintained, they’ll be replaced on a prorate basis. Prorates are generally figured as follows: if a 70,000 mile tire wore down to 2/32” depth in 30,000 miles, the owner would be offered a new set of tires at a 25% discount, prorating the value of 10,000 miles of the extra 40,000 miles of use they didn’t see. Bear in mind, though, that retailers are usually willing to offer some leeway on this.
- Treadlife and mileage are also figured according to time, as well as mileage. A 5-year, 40,000 mile tire is only covered for 5 years, if the driver only drives 30,000 miles in that time; past the 5-year point, his tires will not be covered.