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Car tires warranty

I bought four tires five years ago, however when I went to get an oil change today at the dealership they told the two tires on the back was shot/bad shape. I bought the four tires from Farm & Fleet. I went to Farm & Fleet to see if I could get the tires replaced, however they wouldn’t. The tires I bought have a 50,000 miles warranty or five years, whichever comes first. My five years for these tires are up in September. These tires only have 28,000 miles on them. The head guy at the Farm & Fleet told me first that I had exceeded my five years, however after I gave him my paperwork he told me he would have to take a look at the car.

Once he took a look at the car, he told me that due to not having the car align regularly and not rotating the tires, it cause the two tire to wear. I told him I him that I do have the tires rotated. He than just told me that I needed to have the car aligned more, so this would not happen again.

They just refused to honor the warranty? Is this common?

In my own experience tire warranties aren’t worth a thing in terms of general wear (maybe for defects and such). I’m actually surprised they didn’t honor it though because one of the reasons they usually aren’t worth a thing is that they are almost always honored on a prorated basis. If your five years are up in Sept and the warranty was based on time you’d be entitled to about 8% of the value of the tire. (60 mo. total w/ 5 mo left) If you paid $50 for the tire, on most warranties you’d be looking at $4 in warranty value.

Anyway - indeed failure to keep the car in alignment does make an early mess out of tires. But without seeing them no one would be able to tell you if your tire wear has anything to do with alignment. Either give a really detailed description of the wear pattern or snap a very clear photo and post it.

And, IMHO the only real way to get the full life/wear and warranty coverage on a tire is to find a good, reputable tire shop and bring the car to them every 5K miles or so for a balance/rotation/alignment check. Its the only way the installer really knows what went on for the life of the tire. Put yourself in the shoes of the Farm and Fleet guy - some character walks in off the street almost 5 years after buying tires and demands 2 new ones. Without having seen the car regularly there are at least 10 good reasons that the tires wore the way they did that have nothing to do with what is covered under the warranty.

Five years is also plenty on a set of tires. I would just buck up and get some new ones.

They honored the warranty. After five years, you should be better off with new tires anyway, especially if they have been worn down from lack of rotation or lack of alignment. You saved a lot of money by not rotating them, but a lot of tire places do rotation for free like Sam’s Club. Maybe you will be happy with one of those deals. I recommend alignments every two years if your car is over four years old. It will keep your gas mileage from suffering. Your timing was perfect because you got the full five years out of your tires and the front ones are still holding air.

Many of these places often require the tires be rotated every 5000 miles but you do not state if you did this.

If their policy states this and you did not comply then the warranty is void.
Warranty will not cover an odd tire wear problem caused by lack of regular rotation, alignment, under or overinflation, etc.
That’s about the best I can do without seeing what the tread looks like.

YES, this is common.

If you intend to collect on a tire warranty you need to have all your ducks in a row. If you can’t provide proof that you rotated the tires, and maintained the correct inflation pressure at all times, you’re pretty much out of luck.

Sorry, but that’s how it works. Tire “warranties” are almost completely worthless.

Thanks for responding so quickly and for all the good information. I really appreciate it. I did have the tires rotated every so often, however I had it done at a ford dealership. The alignment on the car was done at least three times on the car out of the five years.

Not to be rude or mean, but you sound just like the guy at Farm & Fleet.

Most tire warranties are worthless. A company may well replace a tire that has a clear manufacturing defect, particularly if the problem shows up right away. The company is not going to replace a tire simply for wear. A 50,000-mile warranty is not a guarantee that a tire will have a usable lifespan of 50,000 miles. That figure merely is the length of the “manufacturing defect” agreement.

Even if a tire experiences tread separation halfway through its warranty period, the car owner still gets screwed when he seeks redress. The warranty itself is written in too much legalese.

A $50 tire is prorated so now the tire dealer may offer a $25 discount off the purchase of a new tire. But that savings applies to list price. Since you originally bought a $65 tire on permanent sale at $50, your $25 discount is applies to anther $65 tire. You still will have to shell out $40 for a replacement. And if you insist on replacing in pairs you will have to spend $40 + $65 = $105 for two. Or you can drop your claim and buy two for the standard sales price of $100. Catching on now?

Don’t blame the tire companies. Nearly all cases of premature wear are the owner’s fault. Tires wear out quickly when subjected to underinflation, misalignment, aggressive driving, and so on. Tire companies cannot stay in business giving away free tires merely because of premature wear due to owner’s ignorance.

As SteveF said, “A $50 tire is prorated so now the tire dealer may offer a $25 discount off the purchase of a new tire. But that savings applies to list price. Since you originally bought a $65 tire on permanent sale at $50, your $25 discount is applies to anther $65 tire. You still will have to shell out $40 for a replacement. And if you insist on replacing in pairs you will have to spend $40 + $65 = $105 for two. Or you can drop your claim and buy two for the standard sales price of $100.”

Steve is 100% correct. Even if they did honor the warranty, since the “adjusted price” under the warranty applies to the list price of the tire (which few people actually pay), rather than the real everyday selling price of the tire, it is common to be charged more for the tires under warranty than if you just purchased them in the regular fashion–hence, as was previously stated, tire warranties are virtually worthless, unless you can use the warranty VERY soon after the tires are purchased.

Also, the OP said that he had the tires “rotated every so often”. Unfortunately, tire rotation is not effective at reducing uneven wear unless it is consistently done at the same interval, i.e. every 5k, or every 7.5k or…

My suggestion for future tire purchases is to buy from Costco. While road hazard guarantees are a thing of the past at other dealers unless you pay extra for them, Costco will fix or replace a tire for the life of the tread if it is punctured. The free replacement takes place if the tire is not repairable. In addition to having very good prices to begin with, Costco also performs rotations free-of-charge on their tires. All-in-all, a deal that is very hard to beat.

In summary, the OP was apparently unable to document proper rotation of his tires, and lacking this documentation, the retailer acted as all retailers would under the circumstances. And, even if the retailer had honored the warranty, it likely would have resulted in a higher cost for the OP than if he had just bought 2 tires for the usual retail price. Sorry, but this is the reality of the situation.

I think there are 2 key points:

  1. There were 4 tires purchased

  2. Only 2 have bad wear

Just by itself, that indicates an alignment problem and a lack of rotation.

It would be different if all 4 tires had the same condition - and better still if all 4 tires were worn evenly.

Excellent point, CR.

As you stated, excessive wear on just 2 of the tires would seem to indicate either a lack of proper rotation or bad alignment, thus obviating the retailer from responsibility for the situation. The tire retailer acted as he should have under the circumstances.

I agree with the consensus here. However, when I encounter any warranty problems,right or wrong, I do not buy more from the same dealer. It does not matter if I am right or wrong; it is just my personal policy. One is never obliged to buy from anyone, and reasons not to do so need not be logical or correct. That is the way marketing is.