Does a Car Warranty Cover Tires? (Probably Not)
Did you just experience a flat tire with your new car and you are wondering if you are covered by your warranty?
Sorry to burst your bubble but most likely, your tires are not covered under the bumper to bumper warranty. Sometimes, at the time of purchasing you can opt for tire road hazard or a separate tire warranty.
However, these added warranties are expensive and will cost in the thousands of dollars. I experienced this first hand from the BMW dealership when they presented a tire and wheel warranty for a whopping cost of $1,600.
Me being a car guy, I opted out since I understood that road hazard warranties from Costco are a GREAT alternative to the tire warranty from the dealership.
Unfortunately, Costco will not cover wheel replacement but in another article, we will cover alloy wheel repair.
What about your bumper to bumper warranty?
Most cars come with a manufacturer's warranty, but not all warranties protect against damage from road hazards such as potholes, cracks, and dents. And most car owners don't realize that the tires on their vehicle are not covered under the same warranty as the rest of the car.
Tires are considered wearable items like brake pads and wipers. Typically, it is not covered.
However, if your tires simply have a nail, you can get it easily patched for around $35 - $50, instead of the full price of a replacement tire. Call around a few tire shops for prices.
I have personally patched dozens of tires and have driven thousands of miles safely.
NOTE: If you purchased your tires from Costco, they offer free tire repairs (If it can be safely done). Otherwise, they will prorate your tires credit in order to replace it.
Your Tires Might have a Separate Warranty as an Additional Cost
As mentioned already, new car tires are not included under your vehicle’s basic warranty. They may be covered by a separate one. However, you must keep track of all tire maintenance logs in order to avoid voiding any warranty.
If you don’t know what a tire warranty looks like, here’s how it works:
The manufacturer provides a list of recommended tire brands and sizes for each model. You buy those tires and pay the price listed on the sticker on the side of the tire. They are warrantied for a specific number of miles.
There are a number of caveats and you MUST make sure that you record regular tire rotation, keep the vehicle properly aligned and optimal tire pressure is maintained.
The mechanic checks the tire pressure and wear every 5,000-7,000 miles and then once per quarter thereafter. If there is any problem with the tire or wears prematurely, the tire dealer replaces it free of charge based on the manufacturer's warranty policy regarding tread life.
Roadside Assistance Coverage
While you might not have a tire warranty, you might have roadside assistance that can help get you moving again with a spare tire. Roadside assistance is an option offered by most automakers, but it doesn't come standard on every vehicle. Some companies offer free roadside assistance, while others charge customers extra fees for the coverage.
Different Types of Damage Tires Sustain
Bubble on Tire Sidewall
Are Tire Bubbles Covered Under a Road Hazard Warranty?
Tire bubble coverage varies greatly depending on manufacturer. Some offer full coverage while others don't. Whether it's a bubble on the sidewall or bubble inside the tire, it should be covered under a road hazard warranty.
NOTE: I have had positive experiences using Costco Tire center for any road hazard claims. Ranging from failed sidewall to bubbles, they replaced the tire under their 5 year road hazard coverage.
Some companies offer protection for certain conditions such as flatness, punctures, etc., while others do not. If you are unsure whether your vehicle is covered, contact the shop or dealership that installed the tires.
Depending on the puncture, a nail or a screw in the main tread pattern would most likely be fixable. However, if the nail is too close to the sidewall, it might not be possible to safely plug or patch it.
Cuts in the sidewall are not typically dangerous unless it reaches the tire cords. If you see any deep cuts or chunks missing, then I would take it to the tire shop and have them assess the damage. Again, if you see any cords in the tire, then you MUST replace the tire.
What Causes Cracking?
While checking your tire pressure may help prevent cracking, it won't always stop it. Cracks occur because of environmental factors, such as changes in temperature and humidity.
As the rubber in your tires expands and contracts with changing temperatures, it causes tiny tears. Cracks in the tread or sidewall is typically a sign of dry rot.
This occurs when the rubber technically dries out and shrinks causing micro cracks or fractures in the rubber. Most tire manufacturers will warranty.
Tires with less than 6 years on them should not have any dry rot. If yours does, then contact the dealership or tire shop to ask about the steps on claiming the replacement.
However, if your tires are older than 6 years, then most tire manufacturers won't cover a replacement. Old tires have a higher risk of tire blowouts because of the age of the rubber.
For example, if you hit something while driving and damage one of your tires, you won’t be able to claim anything because the manufacturer doesn’t cover road hazard damage.
However, you could file a claim with your auto insurer for the repair costs.
Getting a Tire Warranty Claim from Tire Shop or Online Retailers
Here’s everything you need to know about tires, including tire warranty coverage regarding manufacturer defects.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines tire warranties as "a written agreement between a consumer and a manufacturer, covering certain specified conditions." These agreements typically provide reimbursement for repair costs incurred due to a defect in the tire. In addition, many warranties require the purchaser to return the original tires to the dealer for inspection. If the tires meet the terms of the warranty, the dealer will replace them with identical new ones.
With a typical tire warranty, most manufacturers offer limited warranty coverage for vehicles purchased from authorized dealerships.
These warranties typically cover defects in materials and workmanship, but do not cover normal wear and tear as described above. They usually require registration of the vehicle within 30 days of purchase and often require that the vehicle be driven less than 10,000 miles per year.
Some states require that the manufacturer prove ownership of the vehicle before providing a replacement part. Others allow the dealer to issue a certificate of origin with road hazard warranties.
IMPORTANT: You can void your tire warranty with improper maintenance. This is why it is critical to keep your service records should you need to present it. Any uneven wear or irregular wear can also void your warranty as well.
How Long are Tire Warranties?
Most tires will have an initial minimum warranty period of about 24,000 miles. This is the distance the tire manufacturer guarantees it will perform well during the life of the tire. But there are exceptions. Some manufacturers offer extended warranties on tires.
For example, Goodyear offers a 5-year/60,000-km warranty on some models. Tier 1 tires like Michelin, Goodyear and Bridgestone offer extended coverage.
The warranty covers manufacturing defects, such as punctures, but does not cover damage caused by accidents, vandalization, etc. You must take care of the tires yourself, including rotating them regularly.
However, ConsumerReports states that there may be many restrictions that customers face when filing for a tire warranty.
Road hazard coverage will replace your tires if they are damaged beyond repair within the 12 month period. After the first year, road hazard coverage will cover any damages to your tire.
Tips from Tire Manufacturers
Tire manufacturers recommend checking tire pressure once every month and rotating tires every three months. They also suggest inspecting wheels for cracks or chips that could indicate a problem.
Remember, punctures can happen anywhere, even though it doesn't look damaged. For example, a tire could suddenly lose pressure without showing any signs of wear.
If you notice anything unusual about your vehicle's performance, take it into a repair shop immediately. You never know what might go wrong next.
First, check the spare tire to make sure it's inflated properly. Next, look around for anything sharp that could cause damage to the sidewall. Finally, take note of how much air pressure is left in the tires. If the tires won't hold air anymore, you'll need to replace them.
Final Thoughts on Car Warranties
In conclusion, tire warranties aren't usually included in vehicle warranties because tires are considered a separate part from the rest of the vehicle.
However, if your tire blows out during normal use, it's possible that the manufacturer will cover the costs associated with replacing it. So keep track of where you bought your tires, and check their individual policies to see if they offer coverage.
If you bought your tires somewhere else, however, you won't be able to use the manufacturer's warranty. Instead, you'll want to check with the retailer where you purchased your tires to determine whether or not they provide coverage.