While you may be familiar with the warranty that your new car comes with, many people don’t know or understand the different types of tire warranties. We’ll give you a primer here, but for more information, see the article in Edmunds which goes into much more detail.

There are six different types of tire warranties, as follows:

  • Tire Life Warranty – According to Edmunds, most tire makers have determined that tire life is either six years from the date of purchase or when the tire has just 2/32nds of an inch of remaining tread. This measurement has been adopted by most states, even though there’s no federal law mandating it. Be sure to understand tread wear indicators (found in the tire’s tread grooves), and the penny-measurement method. For more detail, check out the Edmunds piece.
  • Tread Life Warranty – Offered by every tire company, the tread life warranty is important to understand. Most tires (except some high-performance tires, most winter tires, and track/competition tires) have a mileage estimate. The tread life is based on the type of tire and the number of miles it can be expected to be driven under normal driving conditions. If a tire has worn evenly across the tread before its estimated mileage limit, you may be able get a replacement tire under the tread life warranty. Proof of original tire purchase and proof of proper tire rotation at recommended intervals are required.
  • Road Hazard Warranty – Generally offered by tire stores, the road hazard warranty covers flat tires. If the tire can be repaired, the repair is covered for the entire warranty period. If it can’t be repaired, the remaining mileage on the tire is prorated toward the purchase of a new tire. You might even get free tire rotation for the duration of the warranty – offered by some companies.
  • Workmanship and Materials Warranty – Covered by most tire manufacturers for the life of the tire, the workmanship and materials warranty protects the consumer from any defects in the manufacturing or materials used in the tire.
  • Manufacturer Special Warranty – The best way to think of this type of warranty is like a 30-day promotional trial. You have a month to figure out if these are the right tires for your car and can return them for any reason during the first 30 days if you are not satisfied with them. According to Edmunds, General Tire, Michelin, Yokohama and Bridgestone are just a few of the tire manufacturers offering this special warranty.
  • Uniformity Warranty – You’ll probably never encounter a situation covered by the uniformity warranty, which covers excessive vibration or ride disturbance caused by a tire. This would likely be an instantaneous problem that you would discover. If it does happen, it would probably be during the first 30 days and would be covered under the manufacturer’s special warranty.

Understanding the six different types of tire warranties can save you a lot of headaches and expense.

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