Tires are possibly the most common automotive “replacement part” yet few people know much about them. Frankly, the vast majority of people buy them on price and recommendations from tire retailers. And very few pay any attention to the warranties that come with them. In this article we will focus on just that obscure factor of new tire ownership – the warranty.
Most tire manufacturers have determined that the usable life of a tire is either six years from the date of purchase or when there's just 2/32nds of an inch of tread left. Tire retailers have special gauge that they use to measure tread depth but consumers have a visual indicator. Tires sold in North America are required to have tread-wear indicators in the tire tread's grooves. The wear indicators look like small bars of tread that run perpendicular to the groove. If the wear of the tire has reached the depth of these indicators, it's time to replace the tire.
Another measure is the famous penny method. Put a penny in the groove of the tire, upside down and with Lincoln's head facing you. The distance from the top of Lincoln's head to the edge of the coin is about 2/32nds of an inch. So if “the top of Lincoln's head is showing”, you'll need to replace the tire.
Bet you didn’t know this: every tire manufacturer offers a warranty on their tread-life. Here’s how they work. Nearly every tire comes with an estimate of the number of miles that it will travel. This estimate is based on the type of tire and the number of miles that can be expected under normal driving conditions. You will find this estimate on the paperwork you receive when you buy the tires.
If a tire has worn out evenly across the tread well before its estimated mileage limit, it may qualify for replacement under the tread-life warranty. You must show proof of purchase and proof that the tires were rotated properly at the recommended intervals. In this situation, the manufacturer prorates the cost of the new tire based on the amount of remaining tread and the price of the replacement tire.
Road hazard warranties come into play if you get a flat tire. If the tire can be repaired, the company will pay for the price of the repair. If the tire can't be repaired, the company will prorate the remaining mileage toward the purchase of a new tire.
Road hazard warranty prices vary, but on average, they range from $10-$20 per tire. The warranties are a source of profit for tire shops so you will likely be offered one when you buy new tires. These warranties are essentially insurance policies. If you're considering whether to buy a road hazard warranty, think about how many times you've had a nail or a puncture in your tire in the last few years. Was the amount you spent on repair or replacement enough to justify the warranty? For many people they are.
The Workmanship and Materials Warranty protects the consumer from any defects in the manufacturing or materials used in the tire. Easthillschevroletofroslyn.com explains that most manufacturers offer this coverage for the life of the tire.
Just as you can void your car’s warranty, you can void your tire's warranty, too. The big one to watch out for is improper maintenance. If the tire manufacturer does not see proof that the tires were inflated, rotated and aligned properly, chances are your warranty claim will be denied.
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