A while back I bought four new tires for my old car. The tires came with a pro-rated 65,000-mile guarantee and were $74 each, or just under $300 for the entire set.
As the salesman was tallying the bill he asked if I’d like to purchase the extended warranty for my tires.
“And how much is that?” I sheepishly asked.
“It’s only $9.95,” came the salesman’s immediate reply.
“Is that per tire?”
“So it’s not really $9.95, right? What you should have said is that it’s going to cost me an extra $40.”
I think I caught the salesman off-guard because he immediately tried to assure me that he wasn’t trying to pull a fast one. I nodded my head, but my raised eyebrows belied my true feelings.
That’s when the guy looked me straight in the eye and insisted that the extended warranty was “a really good deal that most people take advantage of.”
I passed on the warranty but, if what that salesman told me is true, it troubles me that there are a lot folks out there who insist on wasting their money for dubious services.
Prorated Tire Warranties
Almost all tires come with a pro-rated warranty from the manufacturer that typically cover only workmanship defects. The reimbursement amount depends on how much tread is remaining when you make the claim. The rest comes out of your pocket.
Of course, new tires are rarely defective, but when they are, a defect usually becomes apparent soon after the purchase date.
Extended Tire Warranties
Extended tire warranty plans are meant to cover what prorated manufacturer warranties usually don’t. That is, replacement or damage repair of tire and rims due to nails, pot holes, sharp debris, and other hazards. They don’t usually cover alignments, however, which may be required if your car hits a curb, pothole or other hazard. Even so, that sounds like a pretty good idea, right?
Here are a few reasons why you may be better off taking your chances by not paying for an extended tire warranty:
Some tires may come with free road hazard warranties. Although uncommon, some manufacturers and dealers actually offer free road hazard warranties. Ask your tire salesman to double-check and see if your tires already come with one. After all, why pay for something if it’s already free?
The odds favor the dealer. If extended warranties weren’t to the dealer’s benefit, they wouldn’t be offering them. I’ve driven more than 500,000 miles in my lifetime. Over that time, I’ve driven over a nail or some other debris that has punctured my tire and caused a flat on just two occasions. That’s an incident rate of less than once every 250,000 miles. In my case, considering the new tires I bought are only expected to last 65,000 miles, it made little sense to insure them.
The cost-risk ratio is too high. Despite the low risk of tire damage due to road hazards, let’s say I did run over a nail that damaged my tire. The cost of replacing the tire is $74. Considering that I would have to pay $40 for the extended warranty, my ultimate savings would be $34. It makes little sense to spend $40 in the off-chance that I might save $34.
Remember, insurance and extended warranties protect us from high risk events and losses that we can’t afford to replace. For most car owners, a flat tire is a low-risk low-cost affair that can usually be covered with loose change hiding under the sofa cushions.
OK, OK … You’ll probably have to raid your change jar too. But you get the drift.
Photo Credit: shino
This great “deal” reminds me of getting comprehensive and collision insurance on your car. The premium for this type of insurance stays the same but if something happens to the car, you only get coverage for the current value of the car which is considerably lower after owning the car for, say, three years.
You should shop around, comprehensive on my older vehicles is nowhere near as much as on newer ones.
Were you racking up accidents or in a high risk group?
The king of personal finance, Dave Ramsey, recommends against all extended warranties.
Len Penzo says
@20s: I disagree with Ramsey in that regard. I can think of instances where extended warranties actually make a lot of sense. For example, parents who give their younger kids expensive electronic devices like XBoxes and hand-held devices like iPods may want to consider extended warranties. I’ve bought them for precisely that reason and they easily pay for themselves because my son is very hard on them. I’ve made multiple claims on several electronic devices that he has ruined or broken.
Not a parent, so take it with a grain of salt…but if I had a son, and I gave him an expensive toy, I’d tell him if ‘he is hard on it and it tears up’….guess what….the next one is on his dime.
I never buy extended warranties on anything….because as you said about tires:
“If extended warranties werent to the dealers benefit, they wouldnt be offering them”……the same being true about any EW.
I take care of my stuff, and as a result, it would be extremely rare for me to use an EW, and thus I figure I’m way ahead not buying them.
Excellent outlook – but most people are not like this and waste their money on idiotic things. Anyone who’d buy their kid something they broke – instead of teaching them the value of it by NOT buying them another one – is a FOOL !
What??? Hey Bill! Sometimes kids just wear things out from lots of playing — especially video games! In those cases, the kids are only the victims of pushing the games beyond their reliability limits. In that case, the real FOOL is the parent who DOESN’T get the warranty!
bo schrewe says
You must not live in michigan where it’s possible to destroy 5 to 10 tires over the course of the 3 year warrant lmao
Len Penzo says
Wow, Bo. What are the roads made of in Michigan? Nails?
Free Money Minute says
I agree with him on this. You can likely self insure for most things you buy with a little planning.
Sears & Roebuck (soon to be a memory) used to be really bad about pushing them, because they were so profitable for the company. Our first house, we bought several major Kenmore appliances. At the end of the standard warranty, you’d get a call hawking an extended one. Lady says to me on the phone during one of these calls “We have a WHOLE HOUSE warranty for only (seems like it was 400/yr at that time) that will cover every Sears anything you own”.
I went thru the list of stove, fridge, washer, radial arm saw, and so on with her…”yes…yes…all that is covered”…..then I broke the bad news to her. “Lady….I do my own repairs, and I haven’t spent $400 on parts in my life, much less in a year…..so I think I’ll pass”
Mr Credit Card says
I’ve always paid the warranties on the tyres. There were a couple of time when they hit a nail and I had them replaced. Because I had them on “warranty”, the cost to replace them was a fraction of a new tire cos they prorate it based on “can’t remember what”.
Then before I went for my recent vacation, my tire in my Lexus 350 went flat. When I came back I tried to change it (I did not have any warranties on this one). But I could not get the spare out!
So I called triple A. Guy came out and I thought he was going to change the tire for me. But instead, he repaired it. I saw him insert a thick rubbery stuff in the hole, “cemented” it and said it was good to go. He said that was the way an auto shop would repair it, but they would have charged me $40 for labor. He charged me only $7. He then said that if I brought it to the dealer, they might change it! Or had I had a warranty and brought it to the person who sold me the tires on warranty on my other car, he would have replaced it and “charge me only a prorated rate because I had a warranty!”..
Moral of the story is : warranty for tires are useless. Get a AAA membership and call them whenever you have a flat. They’ll send someone to fix it for $7!
That might work if you have a quick patch or plug for your tire, but if you drive on bad roads and hit potholes that blow out the sidewall and it is after a year when the tire company warranty is gone, then a tire shop road hazard protection is key in getting a cheaper replacement (less than 1/2 the cost).
Most tire issues are not of the sidewall variety. For that reason the certificates just aren’t worth the purchase unless theyre for tires that are over $200 to replace. Its $80 for a set of 4 certificates. Chances are you may have an issue with only 1 of the 4 tires. That means youre already purchasing the extra tire you may or may not need in advance….and that’s not worth it for a $100 tire. Take the chance and drive well.
It is hard to read and to digest but this is the reality one has to face.It is not only with the tyres , but the other things such as Laptops too. My friend had purchased one extended warranty for his Laptop (the name I would not like to mention) but his screen got damaged but it was not covered in the warranty !
OTR Tire Guy says
That also doesn’t account for uneven wear, or failure to rotate those tires, either. Somewhere in there is a clause that allows them to get out of honoring the warranty.
If it fails, most shops have a used tire with over 1/2 the life available to replace it, at under 50% of the cost of a new tire.
Unless you are dropping some serious cash on tires, it is not worth the money.
Green Pumpkin says
Beware of those gas stations and tow truck tire repairs – they are meant to be temporary and will void the tire manufacturer’s warranty. You could also buy a can of fix-a-flat for $4 bucks at Kmart and have the same effect.
A tire needs to be dismounted from the wheel and patched from the inside for a proper repair. This type of repair usually runs around $20 at a tire store – often free with the road hazard coverage
Whether you buy road hazard is your own decision, but I am on the road with you, please fix your tire correctly so you don’t have a blowout and smash into my car.
Len Penzo says
When I was a teenager my car ran off the road after a front-tire blowout due to improper maintenance. Luckily, me and my sis weren’t hurt. But I did learn a hard lesson at a young age about the importance of keeping properly maintained tires.
Wrong. Plugs are permanent. No less effective than patches when used properly. Patching is generally a hassle and not needed except on big holes / tears that are to big for plugging. Most people could plug their tires themselves in minutes. I worked a small service station as well as have had off road vehicles my whole life. Never did anyone come back about a plug and I never had one fail.
The only thing that messes up tires and is a pain for service people to reverse is fix-a-flat or similar products. NEVER!!!! put that stuff in a tire. Ever! NEVER, EVER!!!! Tire has to be busted off the wheel. Then all that liquid cleaned out. NOT FUN. Then plugged or patched.
I’ve even plugged holes where 2 or 3 plugs where needed on my own mud tires. Never had a issue after.
I’ve done doubles back then on other peoples tires. Tires that were on their last leg anyways and customers were warned that we were not suppose to really do it. But that it was a cheap option since they were in a hard spot. Want to know how happy those people were for a $4 option that never re-failed? You can guess. We turned their bad day into a great day in minutes.
soap and water
soap the tire. find the hole.
Barb the hole out so no debris in it.
put rubber cement the plug . Always!
push the plug in.
trim it slightly. Not all the way.
Never an issue or complaint.
In general and directed towards the article. What brought me here is I am buying 35 x 12.50 x 15 AT’s for my Jeep. Was researching the Discount Tire warranty. For something that is going to be off road and cost $210 – $260 per tire which will see rough terrain. That extended no questions asked warranty which is good up to 3/32 tread seems like a no brainer. But then again that’s what I am Googling on.
Hey Kulluh, if you get this & reply in time. How about sidewall leaks on the tread indicator triangle, the triangle itself has a 2 day leak to be flat on just bought in beginning of the year Yokohama tires. Yokohama tires are heavy, noisey, horrible gas mileage & American tire company who I bought these piece of cheap tires from sold me tires that are for all season especially for snow & rough weather, I’m in southern Cali when the F@$K do we see snow. Yet they sell these tires in a no snow ever zone. My question is have you plugged up one of these leaks up before & yes the triangle itself is the leak!
Karen Kinnane says
I’m with you Kulluh! Had three nails in tires over the years and Sean at the gas station pluged the nail holes for $20. each. Never had a plug failure. I did spring for the warranty on a new refrigerator (The stripped down, simplest model.) because modern appliances don’t seem to last like the old ones did. Generally I never buy the extended warranties and have no cause to regret that policy.
Jerry A says
I’m sorry to say that Green Pumpkin is wrong. There are several ways to fix a flat tire. I have fixed deflated tires still on the rim with special rubber strips, a couple of tire patching tools, and regular rubber cement. The kit costs between $5-10 and can be used to fix several flat tires. I have watched a professional garage mechanic do the same job with similar materials. When done right, those can last the life of the tire. They are _not_ temporary. The “fix a flat” cans are the worst way to do it and may be dangerous depending upon the compressed gas in the can (some are flammable).
To Len: Improper maintenance is not the same thing as an improper repair job.
Len Penzo says
“Improper maintenance is not the same thing as an improper repair job.” Agreed.
You can fix tires a lot of ways, but that doesn’t make it a GOOD fix. To properly repair a flat tire in needs to be patched from the inside. If you want the BEST fix plug and patch the tire. If you only PATCH the tire, which is what you described, then you take a large chance of air getting past the plug and causing bubbles in your side wall. If you plug a tire that later has a sidewall bubble then the tire warranty, if still in effect, will not cover it.
Little House says
This gives me something to think about. However, I want to add that when I purchased my car 4 years ago, we also purchased tire insurance. It was a nominal monthly fee. We’ve actually used it a couple times, like 1.) when the Honda dealership stuck glass in our tire. Yes, you heard me correctly (it’s a scam they have going and we no longer go there!), our tire insurance refunded us the cost of our tire, $125. 2.) I recently ran over a nail (I don’t know how this happened!) and the air was oozing out, enough for another motorized to point this out to me. I took it in to our tire shop and they fixed it for free (I don’t know if they would have done this for anyone, but our tires are less than 2 years old.
In the end, maybe I paid, and am still paying, way more for this convenience than the actual amount I’m getting out of it. However, I do have the piece of mind because I don’t have to worry if I run over another nail. It will be fixed free of charge!
Nick Martin says
What ind of Honda dealer is this? Did you report them to Honda of America? I have had a Honda dealer service cause a flat tire and they fixed it free of charge. I didn’t have to use a tire warranty. BTW, most tire shops (Discount, Big O, Tire Rack, etc.) will fix a simple nail or slow leak for free without the extended warranty. The only time the extended warranty comes into play is if the tire is unfixable and needs to be replaced.
Daddy Paul says
Not only do I turn down extended warranties I also turn down new valve stems. They put on new stems anyway and I save 3 bucks a tire.
I just purchased a set of tires and also purchased the warranty even though my friend pointed out the same valid reasons not to. I did so “just in case.” It has finally dawned on me, I do have a roadside assistance plan with my car which would have someone come out and repair the tire, if necessary.
Len Penzo says
@Mr. CC: Great advice! I know that most any gas station will plug a flat for between $5 and $10. As for me, I use AAA too. I swear by their service – it is absolutely terrific.
@LittleHouse: It’s tough to put a price on peace of mind – so if the money you spends makes you more comfortable, then good for you! I am slightly concerned about the Honda dealer sticking glass in your tire. Although I have to say, I have the world’s best Honda dealer! They are very reputable and, when it comes to repairs and maintenance, they are usually the ones telling me that a service I’ve requested is not necessary.
@DaddyPaul: I always wondered about the tire valve stems! Thanks for teaching me something new. Looks like I wasted $12 anyway this time around…
@Lillie: Don’t be too hard on yourself. I ended up buying $12 worth of valve stems I probably didn’t need. LOL
Nick Martin says
A tire store will fix the tire for free without the extra warranty. The warranty is only if the tire is unfixable. If you get a flat on the road, you still use AAA to put on your spare but then take the flat tire to the tire shop and see if they can fix it. If it can be fixed, then it will be free of charge at most major tire shops.
I’ve never been a fan of extended warranties for anything. As mentioned, the odds are always in favor of the vendor… big time.
It’s almost never worth the money unless you are one of the unlucky ones whose tires (or other product) malfunction quickly. But even so, if you always refuse the extended warranties you will still come out far ahead in the long run.
I always purchased a set of tires and also purchased the warranty even though my friend pointed out the same valid reasons not to. It has finally dawned on me, I do have a roadside assistance plan with my car which would have someone come out and repair the tire, if necessary.
I just got back from my tire dealer and I’m pretty pissed. I have an 80k prorated tire warrenty. I have yokohama avid trz’s and had the tires on my car about a year and a half and put about 25-30k on them. When I originally bought them I paid about $100 each. That wasn’t with a deal or anything. So, I had an air bubble in the sidewall of my tire( the second sidewall problem I have had with these tires) and figured they would be mostly covered.
Well, when I get the bill I was shocked that they were charging me $92. I said something to the guy and he told me the tires were about 50% worn, so the tire was $61. Then the new insurance on the tire was $13 and new valves were $12, plus tax. I was pissed, I told him I paid $100 for these tires when they were brand new and it’s ridiculous that I have to pay $92 for half the same tire. I told him if I knew that, I would have just paid the extra $20 for the new tire. He said that these tires have gone up over 20% sense the time I had bought them. I feel like I was just kicked in the nuts. I will never purchase the warrenties on tires again and it’s the last time I go to this tire dealer. I have a friend that works there that I am going to talk to about it this week. I just can’t believe it was so much.
Len Penzo says
I appreciate you sharing your story with my readers, Dan. You definitely got screwed. Sorry to hear about that. If I were you I would look for another tire dealer who is honest enough to tell you to pass on those warranties.
I ran over a nail with my expensive new Michelins on my brand new Ford SUV. Ford and other tire places could not or would not fix it. All advised me to shell out $300 to them to buy a new expensive replacement Michelin and Ford also suggested a $500 tire warranty from Ford which would cover such brand new tire damage.
Bottom line. Michelin would not cover their supposedly warranteed brand new tire that could not withstand the damage from one tiny nail. Ford would not cover their supposedly waranteed brand new car or the tires they put under it. And State Farm would not cover under their zero deductible and supposedly “comprehensive” coverage that they sold me.
Now folks, we all know that when I was asked to pay for the new car and when signed for the auto insurance, I was assured that “everything” was “fully covered” …
But when it came time to stand behind their products, Ford, Michellin and State Farm all assured me that somewhere in the “comprehensive” contract that I had signed with them were the some corporate lawyer’s weasel words that do not at all match the auto dealer’s pitch, the insurance agents smarmy smile, or the Madison Avenue television advertising they all use to shill their products as being able to fiord rivers, climb mountains with ease, herd cattle and explore the goddam Arctic in effortless ease.
As always, you cannot trust a snake … and these people are all reptiles.
ShimShank Redemption says
You could have simply driven to the nearest Costco and purchased a road hazard warranty on the existing Michelin tires since they were allegedly brand new. Ford was not selling you a warranty but their new “Tire Replacement Program” they have incorporated on new vehicles, it used to be called Tires for Life, but there are many stipulations in the contract and you must adhere to the guidelines, like rotating your tires which ties you to their service department for oil changes and mileage driven service intervals. Most customers don’t follow the manufacturers service intervals and end up voiding the contract getting the dealership out of replacing the tires. By the way they really weren’t for the “life of the vehicle”, it entitled you to 2 sets of tires.
You obviously ran over something to close to the sidewall to repair. Road hazard is NOT a part of Ford’s coverage or coverage from the tire manufacturer. You always have an option to purchase coverage for that if you want but if you decline that coverage then blame yourself when you have a problem like this and not Ford, the dealership or the tire manufacturer.
How the hell do you know they ran over something? Were you behind them to see it? Did you have a dream of the incident? Or did you look into your crystal ball? I think they should shift the blame towards you for commenting with your final verdict, you psychic police warranty responding douchebag. Can you foretell what I’m thinking right now?
I always get the warranty from the tire place. My truck tires were $150 +$10 for warranty apiece and that was cheapest anyone had. With the giant hole the hazard put into the tire they replaced it for $39 purchased in 2007 now 2012. They always do the tire rotations and air for free. AZ has all kinda of crap on roads, always new construction usually use the warranty more than once.
Douglas Roper says
I bought extended warranty since I was told that the flatless tire I have on my BMW cannot be repaired even if it a simple nail puncture. As such I would told it buying extended warranty will save me a lot just in case I run over a nail.
Money Beagle says
I have to disagree with you on this one, at least from personal experience the warranty has paid for itself more often than not. On just about every set of tires, I’ve had one run into some sort of sitaution where one needed to be replaced due to a flat or something like that. I also recently had some tires that I put on 20,000 miles ago end up having problems, and since the protection plan gave them a 60,000 mile warranty, I had 75% of the replacement costs covered. Maybe it’s just because Michigan roads are so awful, but tire warranties are a no-brainer and seem to pay for themselves.
Curmudgeon Jones says
Science has proven that paying extra for additional warranties is statistically a very poor economic decision. This includes any and all products of any type – tires, electronics, cars, watches, and so on. If paying more provides peace of mind, great, but as a business decision, you would be better off taking all that money and betting it in blackjack at a casino.
Doable Finance says
The big problem I find with extended warranty for any merchandise is it starts immediately overlapping manufacturer’s warranty. If you paid with credit card, check its features, may be it provides some kind of warranty as well.
One tire on my car got busted completely. The dealer installed a new tire with no charges to me because the manufacturer’s warranty covered it.
For the most part, extended warranties are just wasting money.
I love my AAA membership. That said, there are also tire insurance programs through certain dealers that will insure whatever tires you have, so that it is not based on the warranty period.
Well, I agree that most extended warranties are a waste of money. I do get the road hazard protection with new tires, however. If new tires on my car were only $74 each, I wouldn’t bother; but when I’m paying $150+ per tire, an additional $7 is worth it to me. I’ve had to use the road hazard protection a few times over the years. Having the guy replace my expensive tire (that wouldn’t have been covered under the ‘normal’ warranties), no questions asked, for just $7 is a deal. If I add up all the money I’ve spent for road hazard protection over the last 35 years and compare it to the amount of money I would have spent replacing those tires out of pocket, I’m *way* ahead.
I agree 100% with NOT buying a tire warranty. I’ve been buying my tires from the same company chain for more than 25 years and always bought the tire warranty. I used it once. The warranty only pays for the tire replacement you still pay for mounting & balancing & disposal fee. I think I recall paying the tax on the tire also. So the tires that I recently bought I did NOT buy the warranty. The salesmen seem astonished, bewildered, confused & hurt but I stuck to my guns. About 3 weeks later I was low on air so I went to one of the chain store to get it repaired free and true to form and following Murphy’s law the salesman come out and said the sidewall was damaged and that I needed a new tire. Because the tire was under the manufactures warranty and it was prorated the tire cost me about $6.00 with mounting & balance final price was about $30.00. BTW I drive about 18,000 miles a year and doing it successfully without a tire warranty.
For what it’s worth, and these are for the folks that mention nail damage, you can purchase a tire plug kit for less than ~$10 at WalMart and it will come with enough plugs to fix multiple sets of tires.
These plugs are the EXACT same plugs that tire repair shops use, are extremely DIY friendly, and the kits are small enough that they’ll fit in your glovebox.
Rather than buy the tire warranties, I instead invested in a plug kit and a small air compressor (about $20 total) that allows me to fix my own nail punctures wherever they might occur. This combo has lasted for the past 8 years on my family’s 3 vehicles not to mention all the balls, air mattresses, and floating tubes the compressor has also aired up.
The only downside is that most of my neighbors/co-workers know about this and are always calling or bringing me their tires to fix!
I couldn’t agree more with this. With one $10 kit purchased years ago, I have repaired MANY simple flats due to nails, screws, etc. It usually takes about ten minutes and a bit of muscle to get it done, but every repair I’ve done has been permanent. I’m quite certain there are YouTube videos out there to walk you through this simple process.
Daryl Bowling says
you ought to try good year tires, brand new on a travel trailer, four plus the spare and the replacement tire i had to buy because i guess with 3 thousand miles the side walls are supposed to blow out. LOL The manufacture would not honor their word. So nothing i own will ever have a goodyear tire on it again since they are so good for their word NOT. I would not trust that company to clean the floor much less put someone ik care about on their product. Oh part of the deal on the travel trailer was extra coverage, they would not honor it either, sad it was goodyears problem.
ShimShank Redemption says
You don’t know what you’re talking about, get your facts straight and actually support your argument. The only truth in your story is the travel trailer company’s part of not being able to take care of the tire issue. Tire warranties are applicable to the TIRE MANUFACTURER, not to maker of the trailer/vehicle/truck.
Actually this statement isn’t accurate. When you purchase a vehicle the tires are considered OEM from the auto dealership and isn’t covered by the tire manufacturer. I learned this the hard way.
Chances are it was YOUR problem. Either you were driving with under-inflated tires, towing faster than the tires are rated for, or you over-loaded the trailer you were towing. Another possibility is you picked up a nail that caused it to lose pressure or you had a flat repaired with just a plug (like so many here recommend, but it a BAD idea).
Suzanne @ Advisor Business Coach says
I am going to be the typical female here and say that taking care of tires is my husband’s job. All kidding aside, I am not guilty of paying for this kind of insurance. It just didn’t seem like a smart thing to do at the time. Have you ever done an entire post on what kinds of insurance are worth it? Just wondering.
Len Penzo says
Good one, Suzanne. 🙂
As for the insurance question: I’ve done lots of posts on different kinds of insurance. The trouble is, there is rarely a standard “right” or “wrong” answer when it comes to buying insurance, because everyone’s risks — and tolerance for risk — are going to be different. Especially when it comes to the major insurance offerings: home, life, auto and health.
Heck, despite my opinion that tire insurance is a waste of money, I’m sure there are at least a few people out there who can make a good case why buying tire warranties was a smart choice — for them.
I agree that in most cases extended warranties are a waste of money. They may be worthwhile in specific cases. So the message is to consider your situation objectively and READ THE CONTRACT.
My sister got a great deal on an extended car warranty (something I would never buy). She is a postal carrier and wears out cars very quickly. She got her money’s worth out of that warranty (new trans., many repairs…) many times over. Later they got wise and excluded “commercial use.” Goes to show, that every situation is unique to the individual.
Len Penzo says
Coincidentally, this is the topic of today’s latest post!
Maybe I’m the exception, but this warranty has greatly benefited me on two occasions. If you have low profile tires and/or AWD I would suggest the warranty. The first circumstance was from a tire that constantly leaked air so eventually the sidewall of the tire cracked and I needed a new tire. The warranty totally paid for that tire which was a few years old and the paid for the other tires for the life remaining on them. The other instance is I hit a pothole (they’re everywhere in MN winters) and one of my tires got a bulge. Just like the first time they replaced the tire for free and I got credit on the other tires for the wear remaining on them.
If you have AWD your tires should all have the same treadwear or your center differential will be working overtime. This means if all the tires have half their life left and one goes bad, you will need to change all four tires.
Mark Willis says
I had always bought the road hazard warranty. I bought an expensive set of Goodyear Tires from Scher Tires, Long Beach, California in November 2012. Last week a friend borrowed my car, I asked her to stop at Scher’s and have them rotated. The new owner – Mr. Scher died in December 2012- Said yes we will rotate them as a courtesy, but tell him his road hazard warranty is now void because Scher Tires went out of business when Mr. Scher passed away, 21 days after he bought the tires! I checked the paperwork and he is correct, the RHW was sold and administered by Scher Tires, not Goodyear.
So I payed $40.00 for 21 days of road hazard coverage! Worst deal I ever made.
Len Penzo…it’s impossible to tell someone they should or shouldn’t buy the road hazard on their tires unless YOU are the one paying for the replacement or repairs. The tires on my truck are over $400 each so just 1 of them having to be replaced makes it well worth the cost of the road hazard. Additionally, even if I never use it I prefer to have it. Much like my car insurance, I never WANT to need it but even if it weren’t required by law I would.
Len Penzo says
Fair enough, Harley. Peace of mind is priceless.
However, when it comes to tire warranties, I don’t need to buy such insurance to have that peace of mind — for me, said peace of mind is achieved by simply doing the math and realizing the minuscule odds I face of ever getting a flat.
I don’t agree, at least in my situation. First a few things. When you patch (or repair) a tire, it reduces the speed rating by one “class” so unless you are running zr rubber on your civic, most people cannot legally patch a tire. Because typically people replace tires with the manufacturer spec tire, which has the exact speed rating required.
My vehicle runs on staggered tires (245 front 285 rear) the least expensive tires I can find are north of $200 each and must be replaced in pairs. Typically $500 an axle. I have had 3 full replacements with discount tire’s warranty. That’s $1500 worth of tires for about $50. Since you can’t patch zr tires and put them on a vehicle that requires a zr rating. And you can’t replace a single tire on a staggered high performance car. in this situation discount tire’s no bull replacement warranty is very good value for money.
Len Penzo says
That is a lot of flat tires, Justin. Where do you drive?
I stand by my main thesis: One has to factor the odds of getting a flat. For most people, it is a rare occurrence. You seem to be driving in an area that has more than its fair share of sharp objects on the road. (Or very bad luck.)
An extended warranty sounds like a good thing to have when you buy a new car (which you shouldn’t do unless you’re rich and can take the hit on depreciation). But it’s best to stay away.
Well I’m not a professional but I’ve learned through trial and error.
I think the 1st thing that most consumers should know and that will help them the most is to differentiate between Manufacturers Warranties as opposed to Authorized Retailer’s Road Hazard Warranties and additional cost items such as Discount Tire’s Certificates for Repair, Refund, or Replacement.
Tread Wear Warranty: Typically depends on the tire manufacturer, is offered via the manufacturer via their authorized retailers, is pro-rated based on tread wear, and is typically serviceable at almost any authorized retailer.
Road Hazard Warranty: If any, is usually specific to the authorized retailer the tires were purchased from, and are generally similar from authorized retailer to authorized retailer within the same region; however, this is what usually entices us to go back to our original seller for servicing needs when our tires are subjected to a road hazard this includes flat tire repair, rotations, rebalance, etc..
Discount Tire’s Certificates for Repair, Refund, or Replacements is specifically for the following: Full tire failure – “If a tire covered by the Certificate for Refund, Repair or Replacement FAILS DUE TO A DEFECT OR AN UNREPAIRABLE ROAD HAZARD, and still has legal tread (3/32″) remaining across the tire, and it has been IN USE LESS THAN 3 YEARS from date of purchase, Discount Tire will GIVE A REFUND OF THE FULL PURCHASE PRICE, together with the applicable sales tax and give you THE OPTION TO PURCHASE THE SAME NEW OR COMPARABLE TIRE AT THE REFUND PRICE, with the payment of any applicable sales tax. There is no prorating, no disqualification for any reason such as run-on damage and no mileage adjustment.”
1) Retailers such as Costco, Sams Club, and Discount Tire offer similar Road Hazard warranties, what is different are the Discount Tire Certificates for Repair, Refund, or Replacement that can be purchased at an additional cost.
2) Manufacturers almost always offer some sort of tread wear warranty against premature tread wear, etc. for their tires. For instance; Michelin has a 6 year limited warranty which includes: 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee FlatTire Changing Assistance Limited Mileage Warranty and yes, pro rata on early tread wear tire replacement via their authorized retailers.
So item 2 while serviceable via authorized retailers doesn’t come from the retailer itself but the manufacturer, an “authorized retailer” is simply abiding the manufacturer’s warranty specifications. This is NOT what Discount Tires certificates is for.
After researching I found Costco, Sam’s Club, and Discount Tire also offer added Road Hazard benefits at no additional charge, however the certificates that Discount Tire offers for an additional charge goes one step further by stating; if you’re the victim of a covered road hazard instead of prorating like Costco and Sam’s Club thereby offering only a partial credit based on remaining tread life, Discount Tire will instead replace the tire with a new one of equal value up to 3/32 of remaining tread life. As long as your tire is still being manufactured and stocked or can be ordered by the authorized retailer, this means you’d get another of the same exact tire, or if not, you can select another.
Lets talk about the problems:
1) Since the amounts offered as a warranty credit toward the early worn tires seems malleable or subjective then there’s no telling whether or not we’re being given the most or correct amount of credit due us.
2) No matter how good of a price we see advertised, it always pays to shop. Costco isn’t advertising a $70 rebate at this time. Even if I were able to negotiate from Sam’s or Costco $163 per tire, and tire installation is $15 per tire it would only match the deal I negotiated with Discount Tire and I would have to ascertain if I could then get the $70 visa gift card (I checked; this is a merchant choice and not offered via Sams or Costco at this time). This effectively makes the certificates $4 per tire. I haven’t used a certificate since 2008 but the certificates still seem worth $4 each, the math of adjustments.
3) Limited knowledge of how the process works, for example, what coverage is there, and where does coverage come from?
4) Tires that come originally with a new vehicle purchase are often excluded from manufacturers warranty policies. Those tires are considered OEM to the dealership. *Dont ask me how tire manufacturers are getting away with this. So, if you purchase a new vehicle from Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota, etc., your original set can fall exclusively under the car manufacturers warranty. *Read Michelins policy.
My Story and Negotiation:
Now the real question is: How much is that worth to you? In my opinion….not much. Thanks to Consumer Reports and TireRack I purchased 4 of the top rated Michelin Pilot A/S 3 Ultra High Performance tires from Discount Tire. Each tire one hundred and sixty six dollars. I refused the TPMS sensors (they typically reset them but don’t mind charging you for new ones). Sixteen dollars per tire for labor (mounting and balancing), no tire disposal fees were charged or discussed, and Twenty-eight dollars and twenty-five cents for certificates.
I paid for all and went home since they had to order the tires. Speaking to a friend who alerted me to the fact that this could be done by Sam’s Club for fifteen dollars a tire, I inquired the next day at Direct Tire who pointed out the difference between their certificates and the Road Hazard offered by Sam’s Club and Costco, but my salesman also (without my asking) took nearly fifty percent off the certificates by increasing the credit amount offered on my current early worn tires (yes, a special note for the future; there’s room to negotiate the warranty rebate amount offered for your early worn tires). In addition, I found a lower price from MavisDiscountTire.com so he matched that tire price too. Since the next cheapest price in my neighborhood was Costco at eleven dollars more a tire, technically the certificates cost four dollars a tire. That about makes it worth it for me for three reasons. A) Costco and Sams doesnt negotiate), B) I didn’t want to test the early wear warranty credit at a different authorized dealer, and C) The seventy dollar visa rebate card was not offered at Costco and Sams until later I wanted my tires now.
Len, I dont want my very first comment to criical soo let me first say that you.run a great site. You normally give well thought out, sound, logical advice. However, this obviously not the case in the article above.
Each tire has its own seperate warranty. Utilizing one of them does not nullify the other three. This means that popping only one $74 tire under warranty saves you $64 dollars, NOT $34! 😀
Im not saying you are right or wrong but f you want people to respect your opinion atleast APPEAR to thought it out first haha.
Have said all of that. I’ll tell you that the warranty CAN pay off in spades. I just had my second blow out in two weeks. Both times I was under warrany and both times I saved about $80! Mind that I defintely did NOT have an additional $90 to spend on a new tire under both incidences.
I bought 4 brand new run flats for my daughters Mini Cooper, that’s the only tire her car is suppose to have, very expensive tires that cannot be repaired if it gets s nail or screw in it. Bought the certificates for each. Within 1 year she had picked up nails 3 times. I paid an extra $40 bucks for those 4 certificates and they replaced her tires each time for FREE. Otherwise she would have had to layout $600 for 3 new tires. I bought certificates for 2 tires I bought for my Jeep. 4 years later I picked up a nail in the side of one of those tires, can’t be fixed, must be replaced. With my certificate I received a brand new tire. Free, no mounting charge no charge at all, 4 years later. So I totally disagree with your opinion of not buying the extended warranty certificates. Everyone picks up nails, simply can’t be helped
Curmudgeon Jones says
I have been a consumer for over 30 years. Since the start, I placed all the money I could have spent on extra warranties into an interest bearing account. Last April, after having saved thousands upon thousands of dollars from NEVER buying an extra warranty over more than 30 year’s worth of purchases, I took the entire savings and bet it on red at a roulette table in Vegas. I hit and have invested my winnings and am now a retired multi-millionaire. I have a scientific mind, so had planned on something like this since I was a kid since the odds for hitting the bet were higher than the odds supporting extra or extended warranties. I think I made the right business decision. Oh, I have had a few nail punctures during my lifetime. Cost me a few hundred extra bucks. I don’t care, I have millions now.
I agree that the odds are in your favor not to pay the extra money. I’ll just have to check with my dealer to make sure that the tires I do end up buying have some sort of coverage.
RD Blakeslee says
There is a warranty that is “free”, covering consumer goods of all kinds – it’s called “implied fitness for intended use”.
One application is a tire where the tread separates and the tire does not deflate, remaining at normal pressure. The tire should be replaced, but, in my case I had to hire a lawyer before the claim was responded to.
Non-response cost the supplier an additional 5K, which the lawyer got me for – what ? Pain and suffering? I dunno …
Len Penzo says
Great tip, Dave. Thanks for sharing that!
I always get the “Road Hazard Protection” on my tires and I’m glad I do. I seem to have a knack for getting nails in the sidewalls of at least 2 tires for every set of tires I own. That plus the other nail that get’s on the bottom of the tire. Not sure why I am so unlucky with tires but it has always been that way for me. This has worked to my advantage but it’s not for everyone. It’s paid for replacement tires and plugs.
Debbie Christian says
You have to weigh your risk vs your reward. When I delivered newspapers from 1 to 6 am every day driving with my tires in the gutter I quit buying new tires because I destroyed at least one every 3 to 6 weeks and had to patch a tire almost every week. I was driving so I could reach to put papers in tubes and mailboxes. So a $10 almost worn out tire made sense when my average speed was 25mph and I was almost the only car on the roads.
Now I drive out in the middle of the paved road at 70mph and have not had a damaged tire in years. Part of that is to pay attention to traffic far ahead, you can see them run up on the problem and switch lanes, slow down etc to reduce risks and damage. My risk has changed because my driving has changed.
Well first off this is all about choice. I have done both, bought tires without a warranty and had a tire fail and the tire shop would not replace it. I have bought and had a blow out and had to buy a whole new tires on two occasions. This time I purchased the warranty. It all depends on where your standing when it comes to warranties. They to me, are like life insurance. You know your going to die so it is a given and we all know if you drive long enough on a tire you are going to get a flat. So you either pay now or pay later it is your choice.
I will tell you though, even with an extended warranty your not getting out without any Fee.
First you paid for the warranty which is usually about 25 dollars when you bought the original tire and then once you get the tire replaced it is another 25 dollars for a new warranty on the new tire. They do not carry over to the new tire. So now that tire has cost you 50 bucks alone in warranties . So in conclusion the tire was no where near free. If it seems like a good deal chances are it just a deal,.
The only warranty I buy is on tires. You cannot make blanket statements on something like this and say it’s a waste of money for everyone. I have used my warranties on nearly every tire I purchase. I live in a remote area and go through tires like underwear. So for me it’s not an option as I woldnt even be able to afford to drive with the amount of tires we go through. For $25 I get a new $200 tire every time without question. That’s worth it imo.
I agree with you. I own a BMW and each tire is about 450.00. I ended up purchasing this protection on the new car, because when I had the previous BMW, i had to come up with 350.00 to purchase one, due to an unknown object which came out no where which hit the tire and made a big hole to it. In my opinion, I rather have piece of mind, and it is always good to be safe than sorry.
Danny Green says
Tires are usually meant to last for a specific period of time. Taking insurance for them is practically useless. As you said, they insist because odds favor them to a great extent. Awareness is important in such scenarios.
🙄🤣🤣 joke is on you. I have had 6 flat tires from nails in the last 2 years. Discount tire charges $15/ tire for the warranty. So Id say I have saved some dinero.
Len Penzo says
Wow! Do you live on a construction website, or just drive behind a lot of nail trucks? 😜 For most people, having even a few flats resulting from nails is a lifetime achievement — let alone six in two years.
You are the exception — not the rule. In fact, you are not even the exception, Ana … more like a once-in-a-million-years outlier.
So you also had to purchase 6 more certificates for the replacements. I think you forgot to include that in your calculations.
I agree with this. If I was driving in a city, with good roads I would definitely decline a tire warranty.There are exceptions of course.
For people that drive on bad roads, both paved and unpaved, these warranties may be worth it.
My tires are roughly $200 USD each installed and paying $20.00 per tire ($80) for a warranty is a no-brainer for my situation. In the last year I’ve had two tires replaced, with no additional out of pocket expense. I’m ahead $320 ($400-$80).
Whether the extended warranty makes sense has a lot to do with the cost of the tire, your driving habits, and the state of the roads you’re on.
Sure it seems like less of a value at $9/tire if your tires are only $74 each, but newer or larger vehicles with larger rim sizes, wider tires, etc, can easily cost double that for an entry level tire and triple that BEFORE you get to top shelf tires. What if they were charging only $3 per tire? I’d do it then, unless your roads are in pristine condition which just isn’t the case here by a long shot.
Keep your Civic running as long as possible. Newer vehicle maintenance and repair costs are much, much higher.
Problem with your take on the matter is you are a 21 year old vehicle with 14″ tires. Yes in that case a road hazard may not be worth it. Use a 2018 or so Honda Civic with 18″ tires which are probably standard equip. that tire can run up to $300 each. Your saving more than $36 then.
Paid $20 at Big O to replace an unfixable tire. That’s for the labor only. I’m glad I got the protection plan 2 years ago.
I would have to say that it depends on how much a person drives and the fine print of the warranty so I disagree with you. I drive around 30-40k miles a year and go through tires like crazy. Walmart for instance offers a reasonable price road hazard warranty that has saved me a tremendous amount of money over the years. Everything from a nail in the tire, to debris on the highways, slow leaks and even a couple of blowouts. You have to be really lucky if the tire damage is repairable. In almost all of my situations the damage occurred in the part of the tire that is not able to be repaired. Paying 1/2 the price for 1 or 2 new tires is definitely worth the warranty especially if the damage occurs within a couple months of buying the tires.
I always have the insurance added when purchasing new tires. I swear I end up using it at least once a year or more. I have had so many nails, screws and other mishaps. It easily pays for itself. When I was a single mom there was a few times I used the insurance and was thankful I had it because I didn’t have extra money to pull out for a new unexpected tire.
What I did not see mentioned here, and have experienced myself with extended warranties on tires is the hidden cost. When you get a tire replaced under this extended warranty (or certificate as the company I dealt with calls them) you have to purchase another warranty or certificate on the replacement tire. The replacement is NOT free. In the end, the original cost of the certificates and the replacement certificate was more than what replacing the tire at full price would have been.
I just want to know what size, and brand of tire you got for $74 a piece.