Many tires on the road today have mileage-based tread wear warranties. You've heard it before: 60,000 65,000 70,000 miles. Some make even bolder claims, 80,000 to 90,000 miles. Most of the time tread wear and tread life warranties are bologna. Tires simply don’t live up to their promise. I mean, how could they? I’ve always felt like it was an arbitrary number that the tire manufacturers make up for marketing purposes.
In many cases the same size tire may fit on several different makes and models of cars with very different suspensions, steering, and drive systems. Any one of which could affect the tread life of tires. In addition, road conditions in different parts of the country vary quite a bit. Think Detroit, Michigan vs. Wichita, Kansas.The best way to think about tread wear and tread life is that it is merely a guideline. You might get 30,000 miles or you might get 100,000 miles. It’s for this very reason that Consumer Reports test tires extensively. Another thing that you need to know is that tread wear warranties are prorated. In other words, if you can get the warranty to pay out you still have to pay for what you used to get new tires. They have to be worn uniformly. You can’t just do one or two tires. Plus you have to run the tires all the way to 2/32 of an inch before you can file a claim in many cases. At 2/32 of an inch, 90% of your hydroplaning resistance and traction is gone creating an unsafe condition. I usually recommend replacement a little earlier, at say 4/32 of an inch.
There are four other major hurdles to clear if you're going to file a successful warranty claim on your tires:
- you have to have your original receipt
- you must provide a rotation record
- you have to show your alignment in some cases
- you better be able to demonstrate that you took care of your tire pressure
Instead of worrying about warranties, here is my advice: Take tread wear ratings with a grain of salt. Look at a tire manufacturer's warranty rating on a site like tirerack.com. Shoot for about 50,000 miles for passenger car tires, 40,000 miles for Sports cars, 40,000 miles for light trucks and SUVs’, and 20,000 miles for high performance cars like Porsche 911 or Chevrolet Corvette.
If you'd like to read more about tire tread warranties from sources like Consumer Reports, TireRack.com and Edmunds, I've included links to articles on their sites below:
If your tires are coming up on the end of their useful and safe life, schedule an appointment with us today. This time of year, you never know what the weather may bring in Blacksburg, but tires with proper tread depth are a great way to be prepared. Plus, Campus Automotive is the only Goodyear dealer in Blacksburg so you can always count on us for the best brands at a great price.