1. Question:
Can I drive on a flat tire that does not have Run Flat technology?

Answer:
No. Michelin does not recommend driving on tires without Run Flat technology. The Michelin Run Flat tires have reinforced sidewalls designed to support the load of the vehicle in case of a pressure drop and allow for continued driving for up to 50 miles (depending on road and driving conditions) at a maximum speed of 50 mph. Standard tires do not have this technology.

2. Question:
What are road hazard damages?

Answer:
Road hazard damage is a damage that occurs when a tire fails as a result of a puncture, bruise or break incurred during the course of normal driving on a maintained road. Nails, glass and potholes are the most common examples of the road hazards.
Avoid running over objects (e.g., chuckholes, rocks, curbs, metal, glass, etc.) which may cause internal tire damage. Internal damage, not visible without demounting the tire, may be caused when a tire runs over an object. Continued use of a tire that has suffered internal damage (which may not be externally visible) can lead to dangerous tire failure. Determination of suspected internal damage requires demounting the tire from its rim and examination by a trained tire personnel.

3. Question:
What are the causes of center tread wear?

Answer:
When the center tread wears faster than the adjacent tread surfaces, possible causes include overinflation for load carried, rim width too narrow, misapplication, smooth wear after spin-out, improper tire rotation practices, aggressive acceleration, or underinflation for certain tire types, such as performance tires.
If the tread depth is at or below 2/32" in any groove or if cord material or under tread is exposed, the tire must be replaced. If sufficient tread remains, verify proper rim width and vehicle fitment as well as verify/adjust inflation pressures, then rotate the tires for maximum wear.

4. Question:
What can cause my tire to show One-Sided Shoulder Wear?

Answer:
When the shoulder of the tread on one side of a tire wears faster than the adjacent tread surface, this can result from a variety of conditions, such as front and/or rear misalignment (example, toe or camber), loose or worn suspension components, hard cornering, improper tire rotation practices, misapplication, high crown roads or non-uniform mounting.
If the tread depth is at or below 2/32" in any groove or if either cord or under tread is exposed, the tire must be replaced. If sufficient tread remains, verify that the tire has been properly mounted, then rotate the tires for maximum wear.

5. Question:
What can cause my tire to wear in more than one spot around the circumference?

Answer:
When tread is worn in one or more spots around the tire circumference, this can indicate brake lock/skid, improper balance, localized underlying separation, loose/worn suspension components, improper bead seating/mounting, progression from initial tread cut/chip/road hazard injury or chemical contamination. Surface texture may have initially shown abrasion marks from the tire sliding on the road, but the surface may have since worn smooth.
When the tires with a flat spot are used in a dual application, you may consider rotating one tire 180 degrees in relation to the flat spot on the other tire.
If the tread depth is at or below 2/32" in any groove or if either cord or under tread is exposed, the tire must be replaced.

6. Question:
What can cause my tire tread face to show one rib higher than the other?

Answer:
Feathering is a condition when the edge of each tread rib develops a slightly rounded edge on one side and a sharp edge on the other. The most common causes of feathering are incorrect toe-in setting or deteriorated bushings in the front suspension. The toe setting should be as close to 0 as possible for the optimum wear.
The tires should be inflated to the pressure as indicated on the sticker on the inside of the driver’s door. The vehicle manufacturer has determined this pressure is optimal for load, ride, handling, rolling resistance and tread wear performance.

7. Question:
What can cause the sidewall of my tires to start turning a brownish color?

Answer:
The brownish color on the sidewall of your tires is not a defect. The source of this discoloration can be varied. One possibility is that the tires contain an anti-ozone agent in their rubber compounds to slow down the ill effects of exposure to ozone in the air. This anti-ozone ingredient will migrate to the surface of the rubber and leave the appearance of a brownish dust. This is completely normal and technically is no cause for concern. In time, depending on usage, it will disappear.
Other possibilities for discoloration can be simply dust that is picked up from normal driving or brake dust which is generated by the abrasion of the brake pads against the brake rotor. This latter condition is more prevalent when the brakes are new or have recently been relined. In all cases, Michelin recommends that you continue to clean your tires with a mild soap and water.

8. Question:
What causes a tire to wear out?

Answer:
Treadwear or life expectancy is determined by many factors:
Driving habits and style of driving, geographical location, type of vehicle, type of tire, how vehicle is maintained, how tires are maintained, etc.
As a result, mileage expectancy is impossible to determine.
Michelin suggests that you have the tires/vehicle inspected by a participating tire retailer in your area to determine if there is perhaps a mechanical or maintenance issue that could be contributing to a rapid or irregular wear pattern.

9. Question:
What causes sidewall indentations on my tire?

Answer:
The condition, sometimes referred to as sidewall undulations, is a common characteristic of radial tire construction and are purely a visual characteristic and will not affect the performance of the tire. These indentations are more noticeable in larger/wider radial-ply tire sizes and become more visible with higher inflation pressures. The joining of the ply material in the sidewall area may cause a slight indentation or wavy appearance on the sidewall surface of the tire when it is inflated.

10. Question:
What could be the cause of my tires making a loud noise?

Answer:
Noise is most commonly due to an uneven or irregular wear pattern that has developed on the tires.
Michelin suggests that you have the tires inspected by a participating tire retailer in your area.

11. Question:
What could cause my tire to wear on the inside and outside shoulders?

Answer:
The cause of Inside and Outside shoulder wear is normally due to improper inflation pressure, hard cornering, frequent mountain driving, improper tire rotation practices or a rim width too wide for the tire. Commercial delivery service vehicle tires frequently experience this type of wear pattern.
If the tire's tread depth is at or below 2/32" in any groove or if cord material or under tread is exposed, the tire must be replaced. If sufficient tread remains, verify proper rim width and vehicle fitment as well as verify/adjust inflation pressures, then rotate the tires for maximum wear.

12. Question:
What could cause my tire tread to come off?

Answer:
A separation between the tread rubber and the underlying belt may be the result of cumulative poor inflation maintenance, improper inflation pressure, repair or storage, excessive load, speed or heat, prior impact damage, tread cut or puncture or run flat.
A tire exhibiting this condition should be permanently removed from service.

13. Question:
What does it mean if my tire has shredded into pieces?

Answer:
The tire industry refers to tires in this condition as "run flat" which refers to a tire that has lost air, whether it is from a slow loss or an immediate loss, and then subsequently run on. As the tire continues to operate or "run" with significant amount of air loss, it reaches the "run flat" stage, where serious internal damage is caused by the excessive deflection of the casing. If the air loss continues, the inside of the deflected sidewall can actually rub against itself. When the internal abrasion weakens the casing sufficiently a blowout can occur. Additional damage is often done by the relatively sharp rim flange cutting into the fully deflated casing as it is driven after the blowout, even in the short distance it takes to drive the vehicle to the side of the road.
Michelin is not indicating that the tire was not maintained, but simply that it lost air. Some of the many factors which can cause a tire to lose its inflated air pressure are penetrations, cuts, snags, impact breaks, valve stem leaks, incorrect mounting, just to name a few. While it may not be possible to pinpoint the cause of initial air loss, it is known the outcome is underinflation damage.

14. Question:
What does it mean when my tires start to show signs of aging, ozone cracking or weather cracking?

Answer:
The life of a tire cannot be measured by miles alone. Tires are composed of various types of material and rubber compounds, having performance properties essential to the proper functioning of the tire itself. These component properties evolve over time. For each tire, this evolution depends upon many factors such as weather, storage many factors such as weather, storage conditions, and conditions of use (load, speed, inflation pressure, maintenance etc.) to which the tire is subjected throughout its life. This service-related evolution varies widely so that accurately predicting the serviceable life of any specific tire in advance is not possible.
It is impossible to predict when tires should be replaced based on their calendar age alone. However the older a tire is, the greater is the chance that it will need to be replaced due to the service-related evolution or other conditions found upon inspection or detected during use.
While most tires will need replacement before they achieve 10 years, it is recommended that any tires in service 10 years or more from the date of manufacture, including spare tires, be replaced with new tires as a simple precaution even if such tires appear serviceable and even if they have not reached the legal wear limit.

15. Question:
What is cupping?

Answer:
Cupping can be attributed to bent or worn suspension parts, wheel misalignment, an imbalance of the tire/wheel assembly, etc. Once this type of wear pattern has occurred, it is irreversible and the tires will continue to wear unevenly.

16. Question:
What should I do if I notice a vibration?

Answer:
Vibration is an indication that your car has a problem that needs attention. The tires, steering system and suspension system should be checked to help determine the possible cause and correction of the vibration. If left unattended, the vibration could cause excessive tire and suspension wear. It could even be dangerous.

17. Question:
What should I do if my vehicle is pulling to one side?

Answer:
Incorrect alignment settings can adversely affect handling. Tolerable camber, caster and toe settings can be verified by a print-out from your alignment/tire shop or vehicle dealer.
If the tires are evenly worn, the alignment is in order and there is still a pull, the front tires should be criss-crossed (as long as they are not a directional tread design) to see if the pull changes directions.

18. Question:
What should I do if the cords on my tires are visible?

Answer:
Cord material may become visible at the base of tread grooves or slots due to underinflation, misalignment, loose/worn suspension components, hard cornering, improper tire rotation practices, misapplication, high crown road or non-uniform mounting.
If cord material is visible, the tire must be replaced.

1. Question:
Can I go to a lower speed rated tire than what came on the vehicle?

Answer:
It is recommended that the replacement tire size speed rating be equal to or higher than that of the O.E. tire size speed rating. If a lower speed rated tire is selected, then the vehicle top speed becomes limited to that of the lower speed rating selected. The customer must be informed of the new speed restriction. It is quite common and permissible during winter driving to use a winter tire with a lesser speed rating than the O.E. tire. Again the customer must be informed as mentioned above.

2. Question:
Can I mix radials and non-radials?

Answer:
Tires of different size designations, constructions, and stages of wear may affect vehicle handling and stability. For best all-around performance, it is recommended that all tires be of the same size, construction (radial, non-radial) and speed rating. If tires of different speed ratings are mounted on a vehicle, the same size, type and speed ratings need to be placed on the same axle, the tires with the lower speed rating will be the determining factor for permissible tire related vehicle speed. Never mix radial and bias-ply tires on the same axle.

3. Question:
Can I use my summer tires in winter?

Answer:
No. These tires are specifically designed for warm weather use. When average daily temperatures are at or below 45* F /7* C, you should make the switch to winter tires.

4. Question:
Can you elaborate on why winter tires have no Uniform Tire Quality Grade rating?

Answer:
Winter tires are not assigned tread wear ratings.
Winter tires are designed for cold weather use only. Usually when average daily temperatures are at or below 45* F / 7* C. While the tire operates just fine in warmer conditions, it will wear out very quickly.
Therefore, the life of the tread is impacted by the amount of driving performed in warmer conditions since the rubber compounds that give this tire winter grip are not designed to withstand non-winter conditions over the long-term. In short, winter tires used in the summer wear out very rapidly.

5. Question:
Do you recommend used tires?

Answer:
Avoid used tires - you can never know what hazards and abuse a previously owned tire has suffered. Internal damage can lead to dangerous tire failure.

6. Question:
How do I determine if my current rim is approved for Michelin tires?

Answer:
The rim width range is extremely important. This range represents proper rim widths that will assist the tire/wheel assembly in meeting its performance potential. To achieve the best balance between ride, handling and tread wear, select a rim width in the middle of the manufacturer’s range.
To improve cornering traction and steering response, choose a rim at or near the maximum recommended width. The wider the rim width, the straighter the sidewall and the quicker the steering response. Conversely, using a rim width at the low end of the range will cause the tire to balloon or curve out, slowing steering response.

7. Question:
How do I read the sidewall of my tire?

Answer:
The side of a tire contains information needed for your safety. Being able to read sidewall markings will help you better understand the performance of each tire. It will also provide you with information when mounting and servicing the tire.

Passenger Tire Sizing
Three primary sizing systems exist for passenger tires today: P-Metric, European Metric and Millimetric. Each of these systems evolved from the first tire sizing system - the Numeric Sizing system - that is now obsolete. It was developed when all tires had the same aspect ratio, and it provided only the nominal cross section width of the tire and the rim diameter in inches. The following are examples that identify the three sizing systems that are commonly seen today.

P-Metric
The P-Metric sizing system was developed to better align with the European tire sizing system. It provides a better description of the tire size. See examples below.

European Metric
Essentially, this system was a conversion of the Numeric system from inches to millimeters. Aspect ratio appears in the size designation in most cases where it is other than 82.

Light Truck Tire Sizing
Sizing for light truck tires takes the performance requirements of the vehicle, and the tires, into account. Light truck tires have evolved along with the expanded applications of trucks and vans that have grown to be multi-purpose vehicles that we use for work, for recreation or as passenger vehicles. There are three primary light truck tire sizing systems: Light Truck Metric, Light Truck High Floatation and Light Truck Numeric.

Light Truck Metric
This sizing system mirrors the P-Metric system for passenger tires.

Light Truck High Flotation
Light truck high flotation tires have evolved as lower aspect ratio tires became more popular on light trucks. The combination of lower aspect ratios and high flotation yielded better traction on sand and soft soil found in off-road situations.

Light Truck Numeric
This older system is still widely used, mostly on commercial vehicles.

FAQ - Example Of P-Metric Sizing SystemFAQ - Example Of European Sizing SystemFAQ - Example Of European Sizing System-B.jpgFAQ - Example Of Light Truck Metric Sizing SystemFAQ - Example Of Light Truck High Flotation Sizing SystemFAQ - Example Of Light Truck Numeric Sizing System

8. Question:
How do I read the DOT number?

Answer:
DOT signifies that the tire complies with the United States Department of Transportation tire safety standards, and is approved for highway use.
Example: DOT M5H3 459X 065
The first two digits following DOT designate the tire's manufacturer and plant code. The third and fourth characters denote the tire size. The fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth (optional) characters identify the brand and other significant characteristics of the tire. The ninth and tenth characters denote the week the tire was produced. The final number(s) signifies the year in which the tire was manufactured.
For Michelin brand tires, DOT markings related to the week and year of production will have an additional symbol for the decade of the 1990s. It will be shown as a triangle following these last three numbers.
Beginning in year 2000, an additional digit was added to the serial number to allow the year of production to have two digits.

FAQ - Example Of P-Metric Sizing SystemFAQ - Example Of European Sizing System

9. Question:
How is the overall tire diameter measured?

Answer:
A tire is mounted on the appropriate rim width as identified by T&RA (Tire & Rim Association) or ETRTO (European Technical Rim & Tire Organization) then inflated to 1.8 bar (26 psi). A calibrated measurement tape is run around the circumference of the tire in the center of the tread (which represents the largest overall diameter). This measurement of circumference is then divided by the mathematical constant known as PI (3.14126...) to calculate the diameter.

10. Question:
How much load/weight can my tire carry?

Answer:
Never exceed the load-carrying limits molded on the sidewall of the tires or the maximum vehicle axle load limit as shown on the vehicle tire placard, whichever is less. Overloading builds up excessive heat in the tire and could lead to failure.

11. Question:
What are zero pressure tires and TPMS?

Answer:
Zero pressure tires are designed to operate for a limited time with little or no air pressure without causing damage to the tire casing. In order to realize the zero pressure benefits, the tires must be mounted on proper wheels and the wheels must be equipped with an operational, Michelin-approved low tire air pressure warning system.

12. Question:
What guidelines should I follow when mixing tires on 4WD vehicles?

Answer:
If no instructions for tire mixing appear in the vehicle owner’s manual, adhere to the following guidelines:
• Do not mix sizes. All four tires must be branded with the same tire size.
• Do not mix radial and non-radial tires. All four tires must be either radial or non-radial.
• Be sure that the outside circumference of all four tires is within one (1) inch of each other.
• Do not mix tread pattern types such as all-terrain and all-season.

13. Question:
What is a directional tread design?

Answer:
Tires with directional tread patterns must be mounted so that the primary direction of rotation matches the directional arrows on the tire sidewall. If all four tires are the same size, directional tires can be rotated front to back.
Tires with tread patterns that are both asymmetric and directional require left and right specific tires. Sidewall markings will identify the side of the vehicle and the primary direction of rotation for the tire. If all four tires are the same size, they can be rotated front to back.

14. Question:
What is difference between P-metric and metric?

Answer:
P-metric sized tires are those with the "P" at the beginning of the tire size (such as P215/65R16). P-metric sizes were introduced in the United States in the late 70's and are installed on vehicles primarily used to carry passengers including cars, station wagons, sport utility vehicles and even light duty pickup trucks. Their load capacity is based on an engineering formula which takes into account their physical size (the volume of space for air inside the tire) and the amount of air pressure (how tightly the air molecules are compressed). Since all P-metric sizes are all based on the formula for load, vehicle manufacturers can design their new vehicles (weights and wheel-well dimensions) around either existing or new tire sizes.
Metric or Euro metric sized tires are the ones without the "P" at the beginning, (such as 215/65R16). Using metric dimensions to reflect a tire's width actually began in Europe in the late 60s. However, since Euro metric sizes have been added over time based on the load and dimensional requirements of new vehicles, the tire manufacturers designed many new tire sizes and load capacities around the needs of new vehicles. Not quite as uniform as creating sizes using a formula, but they got the job done.
Euro metric and P-metric tires in the same size (i.e. P215/65R16 and 215/65R16) are equivalent in their dimensions with just slight differences in their load capacity calculations and inflation pressure tables.

15. Question:
What is Excessive Spinning?

Answer:
Excessive wheel spinning, when freeing a vehicle from sand, mud, snow, gravel, ice or wet surfaces, can result in explosive tire failure, causing serious personal injury or vehicle damage. Do not exceed 35 MPH (55 km/h), as indicated on the speedometer. Never stand near, or behind, a tire spinning at high speeds when attempting to push a vehicle that is stuck.

16. Question:
What is Speed ratings?

Answer:
The speed rating of a tire indicates the speed category (or range of speeds) at which the tire can carry a load under specified service conditions. The speed rating system used today was developed in Europe in response to the need to categorize tires into standardized speeds. A letter from A to Z symbolizes a tire's certified speed rating, ranging from 5 km/h (3 mph) to above 300 km/h (186 mph).

FAQ - Speed Symbols

17. Question:
Where are Michelin tires manufactured?

Answer:
Michelin's strategy is to manufacture tires in the country where they will be sold whenever possible. In fact, the vast majority of their products sold in North America are built in the 21 plants they have across the United States, Canada and Mexico, employing most of the 23,000 employees of Michelin North America, Inc. However, Michelin is an international company, with manufacturing operations at 74 plants across 19 countries around the world. To meet the needs of the customers by providing more specialized tire lines in smaller quantities, they import some tire lines into North America and export others from North America.
Please be assured that no matter where your tires are manufactured, they are built to the standards that have made Michelin products the benchmark for the industry.

18. Question:
Where can I find the DOT on my tire and what does it signify?

Answer:
The "DOT" symbol certifies the tire manufacturer's compliance with the U.S. Department of Transportation tire safety standards. Tires manufactured for use in the United States have the full DOT serial number located on one sidewall near the rim. A partial DOT serial number will appear on the opposite side of the tire.

FAQ - Sidewallmarkings

1. Question:
Can I mount my own tire on the wheel?

Answer:
Never try to mount your own tires. Tire 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 tire and rim.

2. Question:
Can I use tire dressings?

Answer:
Michelin recommends using a soft brush and mild soap to clean tires. Tire 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.

3. Question:
Do my driving habits affect the life of my tires?

Answer:
Yes. Here are several tips to help increase the life of your tires:
• Don’t speed. High speeds can generate excessive heat, which can increase the rate of tire 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.

4. Question:
Do my new tires require special treatment?

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

5. Question:
Does Michelin recommend the use of after market balancing/sealant products?

Answer:
Michelin 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 tires, 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, Michelin strongly urges you to advise a tire dealer of the use of these products before having the tire 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.
Michelin neither approves nor disapproves the use of these products.

6. Question:
How and when should I rotate my tires?

Answer:

FAQ - Tire RotationFAQ - Tire Rotation

7. Question:
How do I know how old my tires are?

Answer:
Each tire 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 tire’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 tire was produced in the 43rd week of 1999.
Tires 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 tire was produced in the 35th week of the year 2000.

8. Question:
How do I remove the Bar code label from the sidewall?

Answer:
Although bar code label removal is not necessary for the safe and efficient use of the tire, it may be necessary to remove the label for aesthetic reasons. The 16 mm by 40 mm bar code label on the lower sidewall may be difficult to remove from some tires. Please advise your dealer that label removal may be facilitated by applying with a cotton swab a small amount of paint thinner (mineral spirits) to the label on a MOUNTED INFLATED tire. Then, carefully pry under the center of the label with a flat-bladed screw driver to remove it. Your dealer will do this slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the tire. After the label has been removed by this procedure, the tire should be carefully inspected.
Michelin is currently perfecting a more readily removable bar code label. In the meantime, the above procedure provides an effective method of removing the occasional "stubborn" bar code label from the tires when necessary.

9. Question:
How do I take care of my new tires?

Answer:
Properly maintained tires can help give you a more comfortable ride and a longer tread life. So:
• Check your tire pressure monthly with a tire pressure gauge (and make sure the tires are cold for at least 3 hours after driving).
• Check your tires frequently for any cuts, snags, punctures, any other injury, or irregular tire wear.
• At the first sign of irregular treadwear, have your alignment checked.
• Make sure the tires are balanced when they are mounted on the wheels.
• Rotate your tires following the schedule in your vehicle owners manual or as required by the tire manufacturer’s warranty.

10. Question:
How long should my original equipment tires last?

Answer:
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 tire wear concern should always be presented to your local authorized dealers for further evaluation.

11. Question:
How many miles will I get out of my tires?

Answer:
Many factors can affect the tread life of your tires, such as:
• Tread compounds
• Construction features
• Vehicle application
• Tire 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 tire. (Owning tires with Michelin’s technology doesn’t hurt either.)

12. Question:
How should I care for tires I have in storage?

Answer:
Tires 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 tire's oxidation and weathering agents within the rubber compounds and result in cracking. Be sure that surfaces on which tires are stored are clean and free from grease, gasoline or other substances that could deteriorate the rubber.
For mounted tires inflate at, but no higher than, the recommended air pressure. Store vehicle on blocks to remove load from the tires.

13. Question:
Is it safe to repair a flat tire?

Answer:
If a tire 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. Tires that are run even short distances while flat are often damaged beyond repair. Most punctures, nail holes, or cuts up to 1/4 inch - confined to the tread - may be satisfactorily repaired by trained personnel using industry-approved methods. Don't repair tires with tread punctures larger than 1/4 inch, or any sidewall puncture. Also, never repair tires which are worn below 1/16 inch tread depth. Your best bet is to make sure your spare tire 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 tire's sidewall for the correct inflation pressure, speed, and mileage limitations. See your dealer for expert tire repair.

14. Question:
Is there a time period on breaking in my new tires?

Answer:
New tires 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 tire be able to make its true gripping power felt.

15. Question:
Is there a way to tell when I need new tires?

Answer:
Tread wear indicators ("wear bars") are located at the base of the main grooves and are equally spaced around the tire. The tread wear indicators, which look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread, will appear on the tire when that point of wear is reached. When you see these wear bars, the tire is worn out and it's time to replace the tire. Always remove tires from service when they reach a remaining tread depth of two thirty-seconds of an inch (2/32"). Another easy way to check is to do the penny test. Take a penny and place it with Lincoln's head down in the tread groove. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, then it is time to replace your tires.

FAQ - Penny In Tread

16. Question:
Must I replace my present tires with the same size tires?

Answer:
Never choose a smaller size than those that came with the car. Tires should always be replaced with the same size designation — or approved options — as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer or authorized dealer.

17. Question:
Should my tires be balanced?

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

18. Question:
What air pressure does Michelin recommend when using an Optional tire size?

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

19. Question:
What is proper alignment?

Answer:
A vehicle is said to be properly aligned when all suspension and steering components are sound and when the tire and wheel assemblies are running straight and true. Proper alignment is necessary for even tread wear and precise steering. Uneven front or rear tire wear, or changes in your vehicle's handling or steering response (i.e. pulling to one side) can indicate misalignment. Many vehicles today are equipped with rear suspensions that can be adjusted for alignment. Your vehicle many need a "front-end" alignment or a "four-wheel" alignment, depending on the symptoms you are experiencing. The moderate cost of having your vehicle aligned can more than pay for itself in tire mileage, performance and comfort.

20. Question:
What is the correct air pressure for my tires?

Answer:
The vehicle manufacturer selects the size and type of tires for their vehicles. They perform the necessary testing to establish the vehicles’ optimized operating tire 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 tires on your vehicle are the same size as the original equipment tire, inflate them to the pressures indicated on the placard.
If the size of the tires is different than the size indicated on the placard, please contact Michelin for a pressure recommendation. Michelin will need the following information from the tire and wheel placard:
• the original equipment tire size
• the vehicle manufacturer's inflation pressure

FAQ - Air Pressure On Door Plaq

21. Question:
What is the expected service life of tires?

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

22. Question:
What is the lowest Inflation Pressures permitted?

Answer:
Lower inflation pressures for improved flotation are permitted ONLY if the tire maintains adequate load-carrying capacity at the lower pressure. 20 psi is the minimum recommended pressure for a passenger or light truck tire. Pressures lower than 20 psi may be used off the road when speeds are less than 15 MPH and when the tire has adequate load-carrying capacity at the lower pressure.
The best recommendation for highway use is to follow the inflation pressure specified by the vehicle manufacturer which can be found in the owner’s manual or on the sticker on the inside of the driver’s door.
When installing a different size than the original equipment tire, the replacement tire should be inflated to provide the same load capability of the original tire size at the manufacturer’s recommended pressure.

23. Question:
What is Michelin's opinion on the use of nitrogen in tires?

Answer:
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 tire. Unfortunately, there are other possible sources of leaks (tire/rim interface, valve, valve/rim interface and the wheel) which prevent the guarantee of pressure maintenance for individuals using air or nitrogen inflation. Tires 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 tire manufacturer. Whether they are inflated with air or nitrogen, regular pressure maintenance remains critical because under-inflated tires lead to:
• reduction in road holding
• reduction in wet traction capability
• increased sensitivity to road hazards
• reduction in treadlife
• increase in fuel consumption
• reduction in tire life due to excessive heat from over deflection

24. Question:
What should I look for when inspecting my tires?

Answer:
In addition to performing regular maintenance, you must also keep an eye out for potential problems that might affect your tires. Regular inspections can help you prevent tire trouble, and keep you rolling safely down the road.
When inspecting your tires, 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 underinflation, misalignment and improper balancing.
Shallow tread. Bald tires 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 tire should be at least 1/16 of an inch deep. If it isn’t, the tire must be replaced. To help you see tread problems, tires 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.
You can also perform a simple test using a US penny. Put the edge of the coin into the tread, with Lincoln going in head first. If the top of Lincoln’s head is covered by tread, that’s good. If the top of his head is entirely visible, it’s time to replace the tire.
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 tire as you drive.
Damaged areas. Cracks, cuts, splits, punctures, holes and bulges in the tread or on the sides of the tire can indicate serious problems, and the tire may need to be replaced.
Slow leaks. Tires 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 tire, wheel and valve checked — and if necessary, repair or replace the tire.
Valve caps. Those little caps on your tire’s valve stem keep moisture and dirt out, so make sure they are on all your tires. Also, when you have a tire replaced, have a new valve stem assembly installed at the same time.
Driving on a damaged tire can be dangerous. If you see something you’re not sure about during your inspection, have it examined by your tire dealer. Any time you see damage to a tire, don’t drive on it — use a spare if you need to go somewhere. And finally, pay attention to the “feel” of your tires as you drive. A rough ride may indicate tire damage or excessive wear. If you notice vibrations or other disturbances while driving, and/or you suspect possible damage to your tire or vehicle, immediately reduce speed, drive with caution until you can safely pull off the road and stop, and inspect your tires. If a tire is damaged, deflate it and replace it with your spare. If you do not see any tire damage and cannot identify the source of the vibration, take the vehicle to a tire dealer for a thorough inspection.

FAQ - Penny In Tread

25. Question:
When should I check my air pressure?

Answer:
Air pressure in tires, including the spare, should be checked at least monthly and always before extended driving. Tires 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 tires are hot; use an accurate air pressure gauge to check pressure and maintain it at the level recommended on the vehicle tire vehicle placard or in the vehicle owner’s manual. Under-inflation produces extreme flexing of the tire and builds up heat to the point that tire failure may occur. Over- or underinflation may adversely affect vehicle handling. Cold tire pressures should never be higher than the limit molded on the sidewall.

26. Question:
When should I replace my spare tire?

Answer:
While most tires will need replacement before they achieve 10 years, it is recommended that any tires in service 10 years or more from the date of manufacture, including spare tires, be replaced with new tires as a simple precaution even if such tires appear serviceable and even if they have not reached the legal wear limit.
For tires that were on an original equipment vehicle (i.e., acquired by the consumer on a new vehicle), follow the vehicle manufacturer’s tire replacement recommendations, when specified (but not to exceed 10 years).
The date when a tire was manufactured is located on the sidewall of each tire. Consumers should locate the Department of Transportation or DOT code on the tire which begins with DOT and ends with the week and year of manufacture. For example, a DOT code ending with “2204” indicates a tire made in the 22nd week (May) of 2004.

27. Question:
When should worn tires be replaced?

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

28. Question:
Where should I mount the tires if I only purchase 2?

Answer:
Michelin recommends replacing all four tires at the same time, however if replacing only two new tires, be sure that the new tires are the same size and tire type as the current tires and that the dealer always installs the new tires on the rear axle of the vehicle.
Why put the 2 new tires on the rear axle?
• The New tires will provide better wet grip than your half-worn tires.
• It will help reduce the potential for the vehicle to fishtail and lose stability in wet conditions

29. Question:
Why is there a maximum Inflation pressures on the sidewall of my tire?

Answer:
The tire 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 tire is the maximum pressure for the tire. 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.

1. Question:
Can I mix different speed-rated tires on my car?

Answer:
If tires of different speed ratings are mounted on a vehicle, the lower speed-rated tires should be placed on the front axle. This is to prevent a potential oversteer condition. Vehicle handling may be affected, and the vehicle’s speed capacity is now limited to the lowest speed-rated tire.

2. Question:
Can I mix tire types on my car?

Answer:
For best all-around performance, the same type tire should be used on all four-wheel positions. Tires of different size designations, constructions, and stages of wear may affect vehicle handling and stability. NOTE: Some vehicles are intentionally fitted with different size tires on front and rear.
For four-wheel drive vehicles, if no instructions for tire mixing appear in the vehicle owner’s manual, adhere to the following guidelines:
• Do not mix sizes. All four tires must be branded with the same tire size.
• Do not mix radial and bias-ply tires. All four must be either radial or bias-ply.
• Be sure that the outside circumference of all four tires is within 1'' of each other.
• Do not mix tread patterns, such as all-terrain and all-season.

3. Question:
Can I replace the tires on my car with a lower speed-rated tire?

Answer:
When replacing speed-rated tires, you must use replacement tires with ratings equal to or greater than those of the original equipment tires, if the speed capability of the vehicle is to be maintained. The handling of a performance vehicle may be different when the replacement tires are not the same speed rating. Refer to the vehicle owner’s manual to identify any tire speed rating restriction that could affect operation of the vehicle.

4. Question:
Do I have to replace my present tires with the same size tires?

Answer:
Never choose a tire that is smaller in size or has less load-carrying capacity than the tire that came with the vehicle. Tires should always be replaced with the same size designation — or approved options — as recommended by the vehicle or tire manufacturer. The correct tire size can be found on the door placard of the vehicle. Your current tires’ size can be found by reading the markings on the sidewall.

5. Question:
Where do I install new tires if I only buy two?

Answer:
Michelin recommends replacing all four tires at the same time, however if replacing only two new tires, be sure that the new tires are the same size and tire type as the current tires and that the dealer always installs the new tires on the rear axle of the vehicle.
Why Put the 2 New Tires on the Rear Axle?
• The New tires will provide better wet grip than your half-worn tires.
• It will help reduce the potential for the vehicle to fishtail and lose stability in wet conditions

1. Question:
Are winter tires only for snow conditions?

Answer:
Winter tires are designed for optimal security on any winter road conditions – dry but frozen, rain, ice and snow. They should then be mounted on your vehicle as soon as the temperature falls consistently below 7° C.

1. Question:
When should I mount winter tires on my vehicle?

Answer:
It is recommended to mount winter tires as soon as the temperature remain consistently below 7° C

1. Question:
For security in winter, is it not enough to drive slowly and carefully?

Answer:
At any given speed, a winter tire will always be safer than a summer tire on a wet or cold road.

1. Question:
Don’t winter tires wear out faster than summer tires?

Answer:
Winter tire tread compounds last as long as summer’s, even though they are specifically designed for a maximum efficiency in winter conditions.

1. Question:
Is it not useless to mobilize additional tire budget to buy winter tires?

Answer:
The kilometers you will drive on winter tires are kilometers that your summer tires will save. Winter tires are usually of the same price if not lower than summer tires. Considering that you will need to buy at least one set of tires during the life of your vehicle, buying winter tires right from the beginning will represent the same money invested at the end, but you will benefit from a better performance in winter weather conditions and increased security.

1. Question:
What are the benefits of a winter tire?

Answer:
The tread rubber compound, essential tire item, can be compared to chewing gum. As soon as the outside temperature gets under 7° C, your tires tread rubber compound begins to harden like your chewing gum would. Winter tires are built with a specific tread rubber compound designed to keep your vehicle’s grip, traction and braking qualities at lower temperature to provide security on cold, icy and slippery roads.

1. Question:
Do I need to replace all of my 4 all season or summer tires with 4 winter tires?

Answer:
Yes. 4 tire winter installation is recommended to insure proper handling characteristics of the vehicle.

1. Question:
Are braking distances really conditioned by the weather?

Answer:
Braking distances can be up to eight times longer on winter roads. On a dry surface 8 meters will be required to stop a vehicle running at 50 km/h, 16 meters on wet, 32 meters on dry packed snow and 64 meters on ice.

1. Question:
Do we have to check air pressure more often with winter tires?

Answer:
No, as with summer tires Michelin recommend that air pressure should be checked ounce a month. The lower the temperature, the lower the air pressure measured in a tire.

1. Question:
How do we recognize a winter tire?

Answer:
Winter tire tread will show numerous sipes that will allow for a better control on winter driving conditions. They are marked with the severe snow marking (3 peak mountain with snowflake) and M+S marking on their sidewall.

1. Question:
Can two different brands of winter tires be mounted on my vehicle?

Answer:
There is no legal obligation to mount 4 tires of the same brand on a given vehicle. However, in order to optimize the performances of Michelin products and obtain a perfect homogeneity between the front and rear axles, Michelin recommends that 4 identical tires be mounted on a vehicle (same brand, same tire model, same load and speed indexes).

1. Question:
Why are Michelin tires are more expensive than their competitors?

Answer:
Michelin winter tires are built with the best materials and advanced technology to insure maximum security and driving pleasure into winter conditions.

1. Question:
The garage mechanic told me that I need to change my rims to mount winter tires, is it true?

Answer:
No, if the size of the winter tires is the same as the summer tires, there is no obligation to change rims or wheels. If the size is different you may have to change rims. Check the size and diameter recommended for your car. On the other hand, buying additional rims can be an investment in reducing future fees of mounting and demounting.

1. Question:
Can we use a lower speed index when mounting winter tires?

Answer:
It is quite common and permissible during winter driving to use a winter tire with a lesser speed rating than the O.E. tire. If a lower speed rated tire is selected, then the vehicle top speed becomes limited to that of the lower speed rating selected.

1. Question:
How important is air pressure for winter tires?

Answer:
Nothing has a greater impact on a tire's safety, performance, longevity, treadwear and even your overall vehicle handling and gas mileage than tire air pressure! Not only can the wrong air pressure damage your tires, it can also be dangerous. Underinflation can increase friction, causing your tires to generate excessive heat build up leading to potential failure. Overinflation makes your tires firmer and more prone to damage from potholes and other road hazards. Don't forget: your tires are your only contact with the road. If you want them to work well, make sure they're inflated properly!

1. Question:
What should be considered when using Winter Tires?

Answer:
It is recommended that winter tires be applied on all four positions. Winter tires can be installed only on the rear axle of a rear wheel drive vehicle. If winter tires are installed only on the rear axle of a rear wheel drive vehicle, vehicle stability may be significantly impacted. In winter conditions, the front axle will have significantly less traction and result in increased understeer. In dry and wet conditions the rear axle may have significantly less traction and results in increased oversteer. Winter tires may not be only installed on the front axle. If they are installed on the front axle of any vehicle, they must also be installed on the rear axle. Without winter tires on the rear, vehicle handling can be adversely affected. This may result in loss of vehicle control that could cause serious injury or death.