The $64,000 Treadlife Question

Saturday, January 15, 2011 by Tucker Glenn
How many thousand mile tire is that? What's the treadlife guarantee? I want a 60,000 mile tire.

These are common questions that people ask about treadlife on tires. If you're buying a tire, obviously you'd want to know how long it's supposed to last, right? Unfortunately, treadlife warranties aren't as simple as they seem.

Let's first start with tires that don't include treadlife warranties. Wait...some tires don't have a warranty? Yes, actually quite a few categories of tires do not include treadlife warranties at all:
  • High speed summer performance tires
  • Run flat tires
  • Any LT-rated tire (C, D, or E load range)
  • Most Original Equipment tires
But let's say you DID buy a tire with a 60,000 mile treadwear warranty, the tires are looking a little worn and you're only at 40,000 miles. What can you do about that?

Treadlife warranties can be difficult to collect on because there very specific qualifications:
  • Documentation of mileage and proper rotation
  • Proper inflation pressure
  • Evenly worn down to 2/32nds of treadlife
It's not easy to meet all of those qualifications, especially since tires are legally unsafe at 2/32nds. But let's say that you've met the qualifications and qualify for a new set of tires. One of the biggest points that is overlooked is that you don't get a new set of free tires from the manufacturer. They offer a pro-rated percentage off a new set. In our example, you've used 40,000 miles of a 60,000 mile warranty. That's 2/3 of the warranty. The manufacturer would give you 1/3 (or 33%) off a new set.

This article in Tire Tech goes into a little more detail, but each individual manufacturer may do things slightly differently. You'll want to make sure to check the fine print on your warranty information to make sure you qualify. And of course, if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call!

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