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A Look at Tire Warranties

Offset the cost of replacing your tires with a tire warranty

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BY Corrina Murdoch / LAST UPDATED ON February 9, 2021

If we had to bet, we'd wager the number-one most frequently replaced part on any vehicle, anywhere is its tires. No matter how, what, or where you drive your rubber is in constant contact with the road, and stuff happens — broken glass, errant nails, burnouts (from what we hear), and more. Wear and tear is expected.

 

You hope your car's tires will last as long as the manufacturer suggests, whether that's measured in miles or years. But like all things, mistakes happen, and sometimes you're left needing to replace a tire or two — often unexpectedly. With tires in constant need of upgrades, it only makes sense to look at a way to buffer the cost.

 

If you put a lot of miles on your car or truck, or if you just seem to go through a lot of tires for some reason (burnouts), a tire warranty might the right solution for you.

Warranty At-A-Glance

Tire warranties are relatively straightforward. Unlike parts of the vehicle that require diagnostics, like the powertrain system, you can tell right away if a tire is damaged. Tires are one of the few parts of cars that get changed without damage — think all-season and winter tires as well as regular rotations. Since you plan so diligently for routine maintenance on tires, it only makes sense to look into warranty protections against the unexpected. 

  • Tread-Life Warranty. The most common form of a tire warranty is the manufacturer's tread-life warranty. Based on an estimated mileage, pretty much every tire (except winter and racing tires) has a projected lifespan determined by analyzing standard driving conditions. To access the coverage, the wear must be even throughout the tread. 
  • Manufacturer Extra Warranty. Major tire brands are known for their promotional offerings, including special warranties on tires. In most cases, these last a month and include flat-tire protection. The primary purpose is to let you return the tires, provided you haven't exceeded the mileage limit, which is usually 150 miles. 
  • Uniformity Coverage. This form of tire warranty is less common, though still accessible through some companies. It is to protect against tire issues related to noisiness and vibration. The tread must be uniform and be reported within 30 days or (usually) 2/32 of the tread. 
  • Materials/Workmanship Protection. This type of coverage is meant to account for product defects or issues during installation. It covers defects in the tire throughout the projected lifespan, determined in miles. 
  • Road Hazard Coverage. Most tire suppliers offer this coverage for the event of a flat. For the period of the warranty, the tire repair (if it can be fixed) is covered. For permanent damage, the mileage remaining on the coverage is reimbursed or used towards new tires. 

Pros

  • Protects against defects in the tires and the installation process.
  • Reduces expenses in the event of issues with flat tires. 
  • Can cover the cost of tire replacement if damage occurs. 

Cons

  • Requires you to keep track of all receipts for rotations and maintenance.
  • For coverage to be effective, the wear must be even across the entire tread. 
  • Limits you to specific mileage and wear settings which are often reached quickly.

Uproar.car —  Around the Clock Coverage for Your Car

Uproar.car will cover your car for less, protecting you against expensive repairs from bumper to bumper. With a focus on customer care and no middleman to complicate repairs and claims, you’ll get easy coverage you can actually use. The plan even pays for itself — Uproar.car’s warranty coverage gives you exclusive access to discounts, auto concierge service, and a 100 percent online claims process. And with clear, upfront price quotes, you’ll know exactly what to expect when it comes to the cost. It should also be noted, however, that this coverage does not extend to some luxury vehicles, cars over 120,000 miles, and cars more than 10 years old.

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

Endurance

Save $350 on an Endurance warranty plan with coupon code: DRIVE350

Going with a factory extended warranty is a good option for basic protection, but you can get more and save more with Endurance, ranked the top extended warranty provider by Consumer Advocates, Consumer Affairs, and Retirement Living.

Get a Free Quote

Save $350 with coupon code: DRIVE350

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

CarShield

CarShield — USA’s #1 Auto Protection Provider

CarShield pays claims directly to a US or Canadian ASE-Certified® repair facility of your choice. Our contracts have low or no deductibles to prevent stress to your wallet at a critical time. Never worry about being stranded somewhere after a breakdown. All of our vehicle repair contracts include towing services to transport you and your vehicle to a safe repair facility.

Get a Free Quote

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

Carchex

Nationwide coverage for cars new and old

CARCHEX has something for everyone. Have an old car? No problem. Live in California? Not an issue. CARCHEX 's plethora of warranty plans includes options for cars up to twenty years old with up to 250,000 miles, regardless of any existing or expired warranties. Click below or call 1-877-207-3304 for a free quote.

Get a Free Quote

Warranty In-Depth

Tire warranties are common in that almost every manufacturer provides them. Sometimes, you can access supplemental services through the supplier or your mechanic’s shop. Though tires can last for years, they often suffer premature wear and tear. To offset the potentially expensive cost of new tires, warranties can assist. 

Tread-Life Warranty 

This type of warranty covers damage to the tires within their projected lifespan. When you get new tires, the material used in construction and the tread style is used to calculate the projected mileage. This metric determines the duration of coverage from the warranty, though there are still some additional caveats to the warranty. 

If the tires wear down evenly throughout the tread, many can access a no-cost replacement through the initial warranty before the mileage cap. To be effective, you're required to show proof of purchase and tire maintenance. It may not cover the full replacement price, rather the differential based on the amount of wear in terms of miles. 

For example, if the tires originally had a mileage projection of 50,000 miles and wore down evenly with 20,000 remaining miles, the coverage would prorate the cost of your new tires, the warranty bearing the cost equivalent of that 20,000 miles. 

Manufacturer Extra Warranty

A special form of coverage, any supplemental warranty for tires offered by the manufacturer falls into this category. In most cases, the protection lasts only 30 days. It effectively lets you exercise the proverbial lemon law on your new set of tires. If you get the tires and decide they don’t work for you within the first couple of days, you can get refunded the complete amount or have the price put towards a new set of tires. 

To be viable for return, your tires will be subject to a mileage restriction. Usually, it is in the range of 150 miles. The idea is that if the tires were an issue for the driver, it would become apparent within this amount of time. Often, there is also a caveat in terms of tread on the tires to ensure that you are returning an effectively new tire to the shop. 

Uniformity Coverage 

This type of coverage is the least common type of tire warranty, mainly because the issue from which it protects is not prevalent. It warrants against problems with the tires relative to the wheels on your vehicle. If you are experiencing vibrations or shakiness while driving, you would be able to return the tires to the manufacturer without being responsible for the cost of replacement. 

Because a concern like this would appear almost immediately, the coverage only extends for 30 days. Additionally, the consumer must inform the shop of the issue while the tread is worn no more than 2/32 of how it was initially. It’s worth noting that uniformity coverage is not a separate warranty; instead, it is a clause covered by the manufacturer’s coverage.

Materials/Workmanship Protection

An important facet of tire warranties is the protection against any issues with the tire manufacturing process. It also covers problems resulting from the tire material. Because this would constitute a defect with the product itself — a flaw that would be present regardless of how the driver used the vehicle — it is covered throughout the lifespan. 

To qualify for warranty protection, you must prove that the issue resulted from a product defect. Issues like sidewall cracks or problems with the tread's blocking structure are considered defective tires and are eligible for replacement. 

Usually, the tire coverage will result in prorated costs for the new set of tires. However, there are situations where the manufacturer issue will make itself clear early on. If the tire is submitted for replacement before the tread wears beyond 2/32 of the original, the manufacturer will usually cover the replacement cost

Road Hazard Coverage

While most of the other warranty forms are usually provided through the manufacturer, road hazard protection is often offered through the tire supplier. Tire shops often provide this service as a supplement to your purchase. It covers repairs on tires and makes flat tire assistance more accessible. 

Road hazard coverage varies in price based on both the tire itself and the merchant. Usually, the cost is roughly $15 per tire. Depending on the provider, you can get free tire rotations (for the coverage span). It protects the driver from incurring costs in the event of unforeseen damage to the tires. 

Generally, flat tire coverage like this only extends for a year. Depending on the types of roads you encounter frequently, it is often a worthy investment. If you frequently experience flat tires because your commute takes you through a construction site or industrial area, road hazard coverage makes sense. 

Things We Like

There are a lot of things that we appreciate about tire warranty services. For one, while we know that tires will eventually wear down, it's normal to expect a reasonable amount of performance. Especially if you are driving responsibly and the damage is no fault of your own, having to replace your tires prematurely is a hefty (and unpleasant) cost to experience. Standard warranties cover the cost or prorate your new tires' expense provided the worn tread is evenly spread. 

We also like the fact that warranties for tires protect you against issues with the product. There are few things worse than dropping a few hundred dollars (or more) on tires and finding out they are no good. It would be even worse if you had to pay to replace the part. A manufacturer warranty lets you avoid the hassle and simply return the defective product to the supplier. 

Finally, we appreciate that road hazard tire warranties limit the expense of flat tires. With a small investment (usually less than $20 per tire), the driver can potentially save hundreds in flat tire repairs. Plus, if the tire is beyond fixing, it also helps make the replacement tire more affordable by prorating the new product's price. 

Feeling overwhelmed?


You aren't alone. Warranties have many benefits that aren't always clear. If you're new to the industry, check out our  Extended Warranty Guide  that helps explain some key fundamentals.

Things We Don’t Like

There are a few things that we don’t like about tire warranties: the main issue is the inconvenience of record keeping. Sure, you know when you rotate your tires, but proving it with receipts is a whole different thing. Since, to get the benefits of most tire warranty services, you need to prove that you’ve practiced proper maintenance, it involves a lot of tracking your upkeep. Without those details, you may not be able to access coverage. 

In addition to this requirement, you also get limited to specific mileage and wear threshold. Though most warranties include this caveat, it still places restrictions on the distance you can travel while protected. While the tread threshold makes sense to have, it is inconvenient to have restrictions on the duration of services. After all, what if you weren’t able to drive the car within 30 days? 

The last issue we take with tire warranties is that any supplemental coverage you would pay for is usually accounted for in your other vehicle warranty. Many offer roadside assistance, meaning it wouldn’t make sense to get additional road hazard coverage for your tires. To circumvent this, check any warranties you have to make sure that you aren’t doubling up unnecessarily. 

Common Repair Costs

All vehicles wear down at different paces, and the wear speed on tires differs as well. Some of the most common issues and repair costs relate to the wheels and drivetrain, though these issues can directly impact the performance and wear on your tires. Depending on the tires you are using, the price to repair and replace will vary. Approximate examples include:

FAQs

Since all tires are slightly different, meaning each manufacturer warranty is experienced uniquely, it’s common to have inquiries on the topic. The key is to do your research and get specifics from the tire manufacturer. So long as you understand the coverage you’re getting, you can be sure it won’t overlap with your other warranty services and get the most value from your tires. 

Q: Can I get a refund on the tire extended warranty?

Unless otherwise stated, you can cancel your warranty and get a prorated refund for the remainder of your warranty. Options like the Zurich extended warranty and the National Auto Care services are good examples of industry-standard practices. 

Q: Do tire warranties provide a good customer experience?

Customer service depends mainly on the tire shop in question. In most cases, provided you keep track of the warranty and keep your maintenance paperwork in order, a tire warranty offers many benefits. The resulting savings often result in happy customers. 

Is a Tire Warranty Worth It?

In short, a tire warranty is never a bad thing to have. Most are offered directly through the manufacturer and come at no extra cost to the consumer—even road hazard protection costs a nominal amount. In terms of risk management, the benefits of flat tire protection outweigh the expense. Overall, tire warranties are good to have and are among the most useful aspects of buying your tires new. 

More Information

Here are a few more resources you can use:

Uproar.car —  Around the Clock Coverage for Your Car

Uproar.car will cover your car for less, protecting you against expensive repairs from bumper to bumper. With a focus on customer care and no middleman to complicate repairs and claims, you’ll get easy coverage you can actually use. The plan even pays for itself — Uproar.car’s warranty coverage gives you exclusive access to discounts, auto concierge service, and a 100 percent online claims process. And with clear, upfront price quotes, you’ll know exactly what to expect when it comes to the cost. It should also be noted, however, that this coverage does not extend to some luxury vehicles, cars over 120,000 miles, and cars more than 10 years old.

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

Endurance

Save $350 on an Endurance warranty plan with coupon code: DRIVE350

Going with a factory extended warranty is a good option for basic protection, but you can get more and save more with Endurance, ranked the top extended warranty provider by Consumer Advocates, Consumer Affairs, and Retirement Living.

Get a Free Quote

Save $350 with coupon code: DRIVE350

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

CarShield

CarShield — USA’s #1 Auto Protection Provider

CarShield pays claims directly to a US or Canadian ASE-Certified® repair facility of your choice. Our contracts have low or no deductibles to prevent stress to your wallet at a critical time. Never worry about being stranded somewhere after a breakdown. All of our vehicle repair contracts include towing services to transport you and your vehicle to a safe repair facility.

Get a Free Quote

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

Carchex

Nationwide coverage for cars new and old

CARCHEX has something for everyone. Have an old car? No problem. Live in California? Not an issue. CARCHEX 's plethora of warranty plans includes options for cars up to twenty years old with up to 250,000 miles, regardless of any existing or expired warranties. Click below or call 1-877-207-3304 for a free quote.

Get a Free Quote