FAQ

Tyre Care and Maintenance

  • Can I mount my own tyre on the wheel?

    Never try to mount your own tyres. tyre mounting is a job for the people who have the proper equipment and experience. If you try to do it yourself, you run the risk of serious injury to yourself as well as possible damage to the tyre and rim.

  • Can I use tyre dressings?

    We recommend using a soft brush and mild soap to clean tyres. tyre dressings that contain petroleum products or alcohol can accelerate the aging process and contribute to cracking.

    Michelin does not endorse the use of after-market conditioners. The effects of such products are unknown as it would be impossible to test all of the products on the market today.

  • Do my driving habits affect the life of my tyres?

    Yes. Here are several tips to help increase the life of your tyres:

    • Don’t speed. High speeds can generate excessive heat, which can increase the rate of tyre wear. Drive the safe, legal speed limit.
    • Avoid fast turns on curves and around corners.
    • Avoid fast starts and panic stops.
    • Don’t ride on the edge of the pavement or drive over curbs, potholes, or other obstructions.

    For more driving tips, such as seasonal driving, click here.

  • Do my new tyres require special treatment?

    Special treatment is not required for your new tyres. However, drive carefully while you get accustomed to them. You may feel a difference when accelerating, braking, cornering or possibly driving in wet conditions.

  • Do you recommend the use of after market balancing/sealant products?

    We cannot test all products being marketed today, and do not certify or endorse any of these after-market products for efficiency or compatibility.

    Because some of these products may degrade the inner liner of tyres, caution should be taken. The long term effect of these products is unknown (chemical reaction when exposed to pressure, temperature and time).

    Because some of these products may be flammable, we strongly urge you to advise a tyre dealer of the use of these products before having the tyre and wheel serviced. Failure to do so could lead to serious injury or death.

    Please refer to the warnings and instructions provided by the manufacturers of these products regarding their use.

    We neither approve nor disapprove the use of these products.

  • How and when should I rotate my tyres?

    PREFERRED TYRE ROTATION PATTERNS
    Passenger & 4-Wheel Drive Light Truck

    Rear & 4-Wheel
    Drive Vehicules

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    Front Wheel
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    DUAL WHEEL ROTATION PATTERNS

    Rear & 4-Wheel
    Drive Vehicules

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    Front Wheel
    Drive Vehicules

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  • How do I know how old my tyres are?

    Each tyre has a required Department of Transportation (DOT) number imprinted on at least one of its sidewalls. That number begins with the letters "DOT" and may contain up to 12 additional numbers and letters.

    The first and last digits are the most important:

    • The first two letters or numbers identify the tyre’s manufacturer and plant code.
    • Prior to the year 2000, the last 3 digits of a DOT number represented the week (2 digits) and the year (1 digit) of production. So if the last three digits are 439, the tyre was produced in the 43rd week of 1999.
    • tyres produced after January 1, 2000, have a 4-digit date code at the end of the DOT number. The first 2 digits represent the week of production and the last 2 digits represent the last 2 digits of the year of production. So, 3500 indicates the tyre was produced in the 35th week of the year 2000.
  • How do I take care of my new tyres?

    Properly maintained tyres can help give you a more comfortable ride and a longer tread life. So:

    • Check your tyre pressure monthly with a tyre pressure gauge (and make sure the tyres are cold—at least 3 hours after driving or within 2 km of initial use.).
    • Check your tyres frequently for any cuts, snags, punctures, any other injury, or irregular tyre wear.
    • At the first sign of irregular treadwear, have your alignment checked.
    • Make sure the tyres are balanced when they are mounted on the wheels.
    • Rotate your tyres following the schedule in your vehicle owners manual or as required by the tyre manufacturer’s warranty.

    For more tyre maintenance tips.

  • How long should my original equipment tyres last?

    We do not offer a written mileage warranty on any tyres supplied as original equipment. Due to the variety of styles, construction features, tread compounds, vehicle applications, geographical conditions and driving habits, it is difficult to provide a specific mileage expectancy.

    However, any tyre wear concern should always be presented to your local authorized dealers for further evaluation.

  • What will be my tyre mileage in Kilometers?

    Many factors can affect the tread life of your tyres, such as:

    • Tread compounds
    • Construction features
    • Vehicle application
    • Tyre maintenance
    • Geographic conditions
    • Atmospheric conditions
    • Driving habits
    • And more

    That’s why exact mileage is impossible to predict. Take special care when braking, accelerating, cornering, etc., to help increase the life of the tyre. (Owning tyres with Michelin’s technology doesn’t hurt either.) If you have concerns about the rate of wear on your tyres, consult your local authorized Michelin retailer.

  • How should I care for tyres I have in storage?

    Tyres should be stored in a cool place away from direct sunlight, sources of heat and ozone such as hot pipes and electric generators. Exposure to these elements during prolonged periods of time will exhaust the tyre's oxidation and weathering agents within the rubber compounds and result in cracking. Be sure that surfaces on which tyres are stored are clean and free from grease, gasoline or other substances that could deteriorate the rubber.

    For mounted tyres inflate at, but no higher than, the recommended air pressure. Store vehicle on blocks to remove load from the tyres, especially in case of long term storage of tyres. Also ensure that tyres are not exposed to excessive heat, ozone or come in close contact with electrical equipment like transformers.

  • Is it safe to repair a flat tyre?

    If a tyre loses all or most of its air pressure, it must be removed from the wheel for a complete internal inspection to be sure it's not damaged. tyres that are run even short distances while flat are often damaged beyond repair. Most punctures, nail holes, or cuts up to 6 mm and angle of injury < 15 degrees confined to the tread -- may be satisfactorily repaired by trained personnel using industry-approved methods. Don't repair tyres with tread punctures larger than 6mm or angle of injury <15 degrees (if repair is within repairable limits on tread area)or any sidewall puncture.
    Also, never repair tyres which are worn below 1.6 mm tread depth. Your best bet is to make sure your spare tyre is always ready to do the job. Check it regularly for proper air pressure and be sure that it is in good shape. If your car is equipped with one of the several types of temporary spares, be sure to check the spare tyre's sidewall for the correct inflation pressure, speed, and mileage limitations. Always get the tyre repaired only by a tyre expert.
    Certain type of tyres like run-flat tyres are not recommended to be repaired more than once. Customers should be cautious about the same.

  • Is there a time period on breaking in my new tyres?

    New tyres have to be driven a few hundred miles on dry roads to rid the tread of parting agents and antioxidants applied during production. Not until the tread has been slightly roughened will the tyre be able to make its true gripping power felt.

  • Is there a way to tell when I need new tyres?

    If you look around the tread carefully, you will see a bar of rubber which goes across the main grooves of the tread and isn't part of the regular pattern. This is the wear indicator. A MichelinMan figure on the shoulder of each of our tyres shows the location of the wear indicators. If the rubber is at the same level than these wear indicators, the tyre has raised the legal limits of 1.6mm or could even be below it. It is time to change it !

    Additional Information

    • Is it safe to drive with tyre at the minimum tread depth (1.6mm)? No. Independent tests done in the UK by Auto Express in 2006 show that at 1.6mm, the braking distance is increased by 40% in the wet compared to tyres with 3mm tread depth. Results were similar when performing tests on grip, handling aquaplaning and braking distance on dry roads. NB: Test conducted using the same car, under the same conditions with the same driver.
    • Can I drive more than 4 years with my set of tyre if the tread depth is above 1.6mm? No. Generally speaking, tyres do not last more than 4 years. Thus, whatever the tread depth at this stage, you should change your tyres.
  • Must I replace my present tyres with the same size tyres?

    Never choose a smaller size than those that came with the car. tyres should always be replaced with the same size designation -- or approved options — as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer or authorized dealer.
    For best all-around performance, the same type tyre should be used on all four-wheel positions. tyres of different size designations, constructions, and stages of wear may affect vehicle handling and stability.

    NOTE: Some vehicles are intentionally fitted with different size tyres on front and rear.

    For four-wheel drive vehicles, if no instructions for tyre mixing appear in the vehicle owner’s manual, adhere to the following guidelines:

    • Do not mix sizes. All four tyres must be branded with the same tyre size.
    • Do not mix radial and bias-ply tyres. All four must be either radial or bias-ply.
    • Be sure that the outside circumference of all four tyres is within 1” of each other.
    • Do not mix different tread patterns on the same axle.
  • Should my tyres be balanced?

    Proper balancing is critical for optimal vehicle performance, especially at today's higher highway speeds. When tyre and wheel assemblies are unbalanced, a vibration can result from wheel and assembly shimmy (shaking from side to side) or wheel assembly tramp (tyre and wheel hopping up and down). Therefore, it is important that these assemblies are in both static and dynamic balance.

  • What air pressure do you recommend when using an Optional tyre size?

    When installing a different size than the original equipment tyre, all vehicle manufacturer specifications must be maintained. The replacement tyre should be inflated to provide the same load capability of the original tyre size at the manufacturer’s recommended pressure.

  • What is proper alignment?

    A vehicle is said to be properly aligned when all suspension and steering components are sound and when the tyre and wheel assemblies are running straight and true. Proper alignment is necessary for even tread wear and precise steering. Uneven front or rear tyre wear, or changes in your vehicle's handling or steering response (i.e. pulling to one side) can indicate misalignment. Some vehicles today are equipped with rear suspensions that can be adjusted for alignment. Irrespective of the symptoms you are experiencing, a four wheel alignment check is suggested.

    The moderate cost of having your vehicle aligned can more than pay for itself in tyre mileage, performance and comfort.

  • What is the correct air pressure for my tyres?

    The vehicle manufacturer selects the size and type of tyres for their vehicles. They perform the necessary testing to establish the vehicles’ optimized operating tyre inflation pressures which can be found on the vehicle placard (located on the inside of the driver's door) and in the vehicle owners’ manual.

    If the tyres on your vehicle are the same size as the original equipment tyre, inflate them to the pressures indicated on the placard.

    If the size of the tyres is different than the size indicated on the placard, please contact us via phone or email for a pressure recommendation. We will need the following information from the tyre and wheel placard.

    • the original equipment tyre size
    • the vehicle manufacturer's inflation pressure.
  • What is the expected service life of tyres?

    While most tyres will need replacement before they achieve 10 years, it is recommended that any tyres in service 10 years or more from the date of manufacture, including spare tyres, be replaced with new tyres as a simple precaution even if such tyres appear serviceable and even if they have not reached the legal wear limit.

  • What is your opinion on the use of nitrogen in tyres?

    Nitrogen is an inert gas. It is simply dry air with the oxygen removed (air contains nearly 79% Nitrogen). The physical properties of nitrogen reduce the pressure loss due to the natural permeability of the materials of the tyre. Unfortunately, there are other possible sources of leaks (tyre/rim interface, valve, valve/rim interface and the wheel) which prevent the guarantee of pressure maintenance for individuals using air or nitrogen inflation. tyres manufactured by Michelin are designed to deliver their expected performance when inflated with air or nitrogen, as long as, the user respects the pressures recommended by the vehicle manufacturer on the vehicle's placard or by the tyre manufacturer. Whether they are inflated with air or nitrogen, regular pressure maintenance remains critical because under-inflated tyres lead to:

    • a reduction in road holding
    • a reduction in wet traction capability
    • an increased sensitivity to road hazards
    • a reduction in treadlife
    • an increase in fuel consumption
    • a reduction in tyre life due to excessive heat from over deflection
  • What should I look for when inspecting my tyres?

    In addition to performing regular maintenance, you must also keep an eye out for potential problems that might affect your tyres. Regular inspections can help you prevent tyre trouble, and keep you rolling safely down the road.
    When inspecting your tyres, look for:

    Uneven tread wear. This can include more wear on one tread edge than the other, a rippled pattern of high and low wear, or exposed steel wire. Uneven wear can be caused by problems such as under inflation, misalignment and improper balancing.

    Shallow tread. Bald tyres tend to skid and slide on the pavement, and are more likely to be damaged by potholes and other road hazards. The tread on your tyre should be at least 1.6mm deep. If it isn’t, the tyre must be replaced. To help you see tread problems, tyres have built-in “tread wear indicators.” These are narrow bars of smooth rubber that run across the tread: When the tread is even with the bars, it is worn down to the minimum level and must be replaced immediately.

    Troublemakers. Check for small stones, pieces of glass, bits of metal and other foreign objects that might be wedged into the tread, and carefully pick them out. They can cause serious problems if they are pushed farther into your tyre as you drive.

    Damaged areas. Cracks, cuts, splits, punctures, holes and bulges in the tread or on the sides of the tyre can indicate serious problems, and the tyre may need to be replaced.
    Slow leaks. tyres lose some air pressure (about 2 psi) over the course of a month or so, but if you find that you have to add air every few days, have the tyre, wheel and valve checked—and if necessary, repair or replace the tyre.

    Valve caps. Those little caps on your tyre’s valve stem keep moisture and dirt out, so make sure they are on all your tyres. Also, when you have a tyre replaced, have a new valve stem/valve nozzle assembly installed at the same time.

    Driving on a damaged tyre can be dangerous. If you see something you’re not sure about during your inspection, have it examined by your tyre dealer. Any time you see damage to a tyre, don’t drive on it—use a spare if you need to go somewhere. And finally, pay attention to the “feel” of your tyres as you drive. A rough ride may indicate tyre damage or excessive wear. If you notice vibrations or other disturbances while driving, and/or you suspect possible damage to your tyre or vehicle, immediately reduce speed, drive with caution until you can safely pull off the road and stop, and inspect your tyres. If a tyre is damaged, deflate it and replace it with your spare. If you do not see any tyre damage and cannot identify the source of the vibration, take the vehicle to a tyre dealer for a thorough inspection.

  • When should I check my air pressure?

    Air pressure in tyres, including the spare, should be checked Once fortnightly/once in two weeks and always before extended driving. tyres should be checked when they are cold (at least three hours after the vehicle has been stopped and before it is driven more than one mile or two kilometers). Do not reduce pressure when tyres are hot; use an accurate air pressure gauge to check pressure and maintain it at the level recommended on the vehicle tyre vehicle placard or in the vehicle owner’s manual. Under-inflation produces extreme flexing of the tyre and builds up heat to the point that tyre failure may occur. Over- or under-inflation may adversely affect vehicle handling. Cold tyre pressures should never be higher than the limit molded on the sidewall. Be cautious to never bleed the tyres when hot.

  • When should I replace my spare tyre?

    While most tyres will need replacement before they achieve 10 years, it is recommended that any tyres in service 10 years or more from the date of manufacture, including spare tyres, be replaced with new tyres as a simple precaution even if such tyres appear serviceable and even if they have not reached the legal wear limit.

    For tyres that were on an original equipment vehicle (i.e., acquired by the consumer on a new vehicle), follow the vehicle manufacturer’s tyre replacement recommendations, when specified (but not to exceed 10 years).

    The date when a tyre was manufactured is located on the sidewall of each tyre. Consumers can locate the code where the last four digits of the code provide week and year of manufacture. For example, a DOT code ending with “2204” indicates a tyre made in the 22nd week (May) of 2004.

  • When should worn tyres be replaced?

    Worn tyres should be replaced by trained personnel when 1.6mm tread depth remains, as indicated by tread wear indicators molded into the tread grooves. Use of worn out tyres [less than 2/32nds inch (1.6 mm) remaining of tyre tread depth] increases the probability of tyre failure, and in wet conditions can cause the tyre to lose traction suddenly. In most states, it is illegal to drive with less than 1.6 mm of remaining tread depth.

  • Where should I mount the tyres if I only purchase 2?

    Michelin recommends replacing all four tyres at the same time, however if replacing only two new tyres, be sure that the new tyres are the same size & tyre type as the current tyres and that the dealer always installs the new tyres on the rear axle of the vehicle.

    Click here for more information.

    Why Put the 2 New tyres on the Rear Axle?

    • The New tyres will provide better wet grip than your half-worn tyres.
    • It will help reduce the potential for the vehicle to fishtail and lose stability in wet conditions
  • Why is there a maximum Inflation Pressures on the sidewall of my tyre?

    The tyre size and tread design that was originally equipped on your vehicle may be used on other vehicles, some of which being heavier than others, therefore requiring higher air pressure for additional load carrying capacity.

    The maximum pressure on the sidewall of the tyre is the maximum pressure for the tyre. The manufacturer of the vehicle has determined the appropriate air pressure for the application based on vehicle weight, to provide the best ride, tread wear, performance, etc. For applications such as towing, pulling, hauling, etc., air pressure should be increased accordingly.

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