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The Michelin FAQ provides answers to many commonly asked questions about our company and our tires
|It is recommended to mount winter tires as soon as the temperature remain consistently below 7° C|
The side of a tire contains information needed for your safety and that of your customer. 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.
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.
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.
DOT signifies that the tire complies with the United States Department of Transportation tire safety standards, and is approved for highway use.
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.
If no instructions for tire mixing appear in the vehicle owner’s manual, adhere to the following guidelines:
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 5km/h (3 mph) to above 300 km/h (186 mph).
|Speed Symbol||Speed (km/h)|
|Speed Symbol||Speed (mph)|
(Consult tire manufacturer)
Yes. Here are several tips to help increase the life of your tires:
For more driving tips, such as seasonal driving, click here.
To obtain even and maximum tire wear, it may be necessary to rotate your tires. (Please note: Tires with a mileage warranty, tire rotation is required to maintain its warranty status). Refer to your vehicle owner's manual for instructions on tire rotation.
Some tires have arrows on the sidewall showing the direction in which the tire should turn. When rotating this type of tire, care must be taken to maintain the proper turning direction as indicated by the arrows.
Unless otherwise recommended by the vehicle manufacturer's owner's manual, tires should be inspected and rotated every 10000 to 12 000 km or rotated at the first sign of uneven or irregular wear. Any of the rotation patterns shown can be used.
ALTERNATIVE ROTATION PATTERNS FOR ALL VEHICULES
Passenger & 4-Wheel Drive Light Truck
Each tire has a required Transport Canada and 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:
Properly maintained tires can help give you a more comfortable ride and a longer tread life. So:
For more tire maintenance tips, click here.
Many factors can affect the tread life of your tires, such as:
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.) If you have concerns about the rate of wear on your tires, consult your local authorized Michelin retailer.
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 us via phone or email for a pressure recommendation. We will need the following information from the tire and wheel placard:
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:
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 penny. Put the edge of the coin into the tread, with the Queen going in head first. If the top of the Queen’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.
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.
All new MICHELIN® tires purchased after March 1, 2011, are backed by the Michelin Promise Plan™, which includes a 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee, Flat Tire Changing Assistance and a Limited Mileage Warranty. Take the tire to your local authorized Michelin® dealer and have them properly inspect the tire. Tell the dealer what you are experiencing so they can diagnose the problem.
There may be a circumstance where air loss can be covered by warranty, however, this can only be determined when inspected by a tire professional an a Michelin authorized dealer.
Some common causes of sudden or slow air loss that are not covered by warranty are:
Road hazard injuries (punctures, cuts, impact damage to the liner, ply material or sidewall rubber).
Valve stem or core air loss form damage, loose or aged rubber stem.
Air loss from the bead seating area (corrosive buildup on the wheels which prevents a proper seal between the wheel flange and the tire beads, bead seating area damage from accidental mounting or dismounting, foreign material between the rim flange area and the tire bead seating area, bent rim flange).
Our passenger and light truck tires, used in the normal service on the vehicle on which they were originally fitted and in accordance with the maintenance recommendations and safety warnings contained in the Passenger and Light Truck Limited Warranty are covered by this warranty against defects in workmanship and materials for the life of the original usable tread, or six years from date of purchase, whichever comes first. At this time, all warranties, expressed or implied, expire. Replacement will be made in accordance with the terms and conditions described below.
A tire which becomes unserviceable due to a condition covered by this workmanship and materials limited warranty will be replaced with a comparable new tire, free of charge, when 2/32nds of an inch (1.6mm) or less of the original tread is worn, (or 25% or less, whichever is more beneficial to the user) and within 12 months of the date of purchase. Mounting and balancing of the tire is included. You pay the cost of any other service charges and applicable taxes. When more than 2/32nds of an inch of original tread has been worn (or 25% or less, whichever is more beneficial to the user) and after 12 months from the date of purchase, you must pay the cost of a comparable new replacement tire on a pro rata basis. The retailer will determine the charge by multiplying the percentage of the original usable tread worn, by the price in the current base price List. You pay the cost of mounting, balancing and any other service charges and applicable taxes.
When the purchase receipt is not available, the 6 year warranty period commences with the DOT date found on the sidewall of each tire.
This warranty does not cover tires which become unserviceable due to road hazard injury, such as a cut, snag, bruise, impact damage, puncture or other damages such as improper maintenance, rapid or uneven wear caused by mechanical irregularity in the vehicle, accident, fire, tire alteration, etc
Our passenger and light truck tires are sold through our network of retailers. We do not sell direct to the public.
The selling retailer establishes pricing on tires. For pricing on our tires please contact your local participating dealer. A listing of dealers can be found by utilizing the dealer locator link on www.michelin.ca or in your local Yellow Pages under the category – Tire Dealers Retail.
Our warranty covers defects in workmanship and material for the life of the tread or 6 years, whichever comes first. We do not cover tires that are damaged as a result of road hazards, cuts, punctures, impact, etc.
Some retailers offer extended policies for road hazard injuries in addition to the manufacturer’s warranty. Refer to your original sales receipt to see if such coverage applies.
A bulge or bubble in the sidewall is sometimes the result of damage from coming in contact with a curb, pothole or other object. Evidence of this damage can be:
A tire that sustains any of the above injuries is damaged and is not covered under warranty.
However, your satisfaction is important to us and we request that you take the tire into a participating dealer for inspection to determine if warranty coverage applies.
Road hazard damage is 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 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.
When the center tread wears faster than the adjacent tread surfaces, possible causes include over inflation for load carried, rim width too narrow, misapplication, smooth wear after spin-out, improper tire rotation practices, aggressive acceleration or under inflation 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.
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.
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.
When the cause of the flat spot is not apparent, your tire dealer should contact our Consumer Care Department.
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.
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, we recommend that you continue to clean your tires with a mild soap and water.
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.
Our Limited Warranty covers defects in workmanship and material for the life of the tread or 6 years from the original date of purchase, whichever occurs first. We offer no mileage warranty on the tires that were originally equipped on your vehicle.
We suggest 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.
Your satisfaction is important to us. Please have the dealer contact us with the tire inspection as we are willing to offer you assistance with your concern.
Noise is most commonly due to an uneven or irregular wear pattern that has developed on the tires.
We suggest that you have the tires inspected by a participating tire retailer in your area. To find the dealers near you, refer to the Yellow Pages of your telephone book or utilize the Dealer Locator on our website.
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.
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.
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 "runflat" 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.
We are 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, we know the outcome is underinflation damage.
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 the greater 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.
The warranty covers defects in workmanship and material for the life of the tread or 6 years from the date of purchase, whichever occurs first. With no proof of purchase, the warranty period is for 6 years from the date of manufacture (this is indicated in the DOT # on the sidewall).
An inspection of your tires must be performed by a participating Michelin dealer. Once the dealer has had the opportunity to inspect your tires, inform him that you have been instructed by Michelin to request they contact us at 1-888-871-4444 to discuss their findings "while you are there".
Factors that can affect rapid tire life are:
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.
This should be performed by a participating dealer.
Cord material may become visible at the base of tread grooves or slots due to under inflation, 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.