Should I buy a road hazard warranty on my tires
Tire shops love to sell an road hazard warranty with each tire. You may wonder if it’s worth it because the tire comes with it’s own manufacturer’s warranty. But the tire manufacturer doesn’t cover damage from road hazards. So the extended tire warranty is really just a road hazard warranty. The fine print varies a bit depending on where you buy the extended tire warranty, but generally they cover the cost to repair the tire, and if it can’t be repaired, it covers the cost of replacement.
What tires can’t be repaired?
I’ve attached a PDF copy of the recommended repair procedures from the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
The quick version is that a tire should not be repaired if the puncture is larger than ¼-in. and is located outside the tread area. The tread area is defined as the area between the inner and outer shoulders of the tire. If the puncture is in that area, the only acceptable repair is a plug AND a patch. A plug alone, is NOT considered a permanent repair! Yes, you may have used plugs for years and not had an issue. Well, consider yourself lucky. Because as tread wears, plugs become less stable and can fail. A plug and a patch covers your butt.
A puncture or tear on the shoulder or sidewall cannot be repaired and the tire must be replaced.
So do you need an extended tire warranty?
It all depends on where you drive and your risk level. If you drive in construction zones and experience a high rate of punctures, a road hazard warranty is a very good investment. It’ll cover the cost of the repairs and replacement if the tire can’t be repaired.
And, if you drive in an area with large potholes that can damage the tire’s belts, you should buy a road hazard warranty.
What about the tire manufacturer’s warranty?
First, tire manufacturers’ warranties usually only cover two items: defects and tread wear. An example of a tire defect would be a bubble in the sidewall. But most tire makers don’t cover belt separations. Their feeling is that a belt separation is caused by impact, which is a road hazard and not covered.
When it comes to tread wear warranties you have to understand the tire companies aren’t stupid. Achieving the projected tread life depends on maintaining proper air pressure and regular tire rotations. If you buy a set of tires and they don’t last the full life, the tire manufacturer will examine the tires for evidence of improper pressure and will compare all four tires to see if you’ve rotated according to schedule. You’ll also have to produce receipts to prove you’ve done the rotations. Most car owner’s can’t demonstrate that they’ve maintained their tires, so most tread wear claims are rejected. Even if you can prove that you’ve maintained the tires, the tire warranty will only pay a pro-rated amount for the remaining tread that wasn’t available to you.
©, 2015 Rick MuscoplatPosted on by Rick Muscoplat