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Symptom: flat tire

Diagnostic: tire damage that requires repair

Most punctures nail holes or cuts up to ¼" confined to the tread may be satisfactorily repaired by trained professional using industry-approved procedures.

Solution:

Change your flat tire out with your spare tire. Then visit an authorized Michelin tire dealer for an inspection as soon as possible. They can then determine what damage (internally as well as externally) your tire has, and whether to repair or replace your tire.

Symptom: underinflated tire

Diagnostic: under inflation

A tire is called underinflated when it doesn’t have sufficient air pressure to meet the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended psi (pressure per square inch). Underinflated tires lead to flats and tire blowouts.

Underinflation:

  • Reduces tread life through increased tread wear on the outside edges (or shoulders) of the tire
  • Generates excessive heat, which reduces tire durability and can lead to tire failure
  • Reduces fuel economy through increased rolling resistance (underinflated tires make your vehicle work harder)

Solution:

Add air to your tire until it reaches the proper air pressure (psi, as measured by an air pressure gauge). To find the proper air pressure, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or find your recommended psi on the sticker on your door jam.

More on Air pressure

Symptom: wear on both edges

Diagnostic: under-inflation

A tire is called underinflated when it doesn’t have sufficient air pressure to meet the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended psi (pressure per square inch). Underinflated tires lead to flats and tire blowouts.

Underinflation:

  • Reduces tread life through increased tread wear on the outside edges (or shoulders) of the tire
  • Generates excessive heat, which reduces tire durability and can lead to tire failure
  • Reduces fuel economy through increased rolling resistance (underinflated tires make your vehicle work harder)

Solution:

>Add air to your tire until it reaches the proper air pressure (psi, as measured by an air pressure gauge).
Tire should be inspected by a Michelin tire dealer for source of air loss or signs damage due to underinflation.
To find the proper air pressure, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or find your recommended psi on the sticker on your door jam.

More on Air pressure

Symptom: wear in center and excessive wear

Diagnostic: over-inflation

  • On an overinflated tire, the center of the tread bears most of the load and wears out faster than the outside edges.
  • To prevent overinflation, always check tires when they’re cold, before they’ve been driven or at least three hours after.

Solution:

Adjust inflation pressure using a tire pressure gauge when tires are cold and before they are driven on. To find the proper air pressure, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or find your recommended psi on the sticker on your door.

More on Air pressure

Symptom: uneven wear

Diagnostic 1: poor alignment

  • Uneven front or rear tire wear means you need an alignment.
  • Changes in your vehicle's handling or steering response (e.g., pulling to one side)

Solution:

Many vehicles today are equipped with rear suspensions that can be adjusted for alignment. If this is the case, your vehicle may need a "front end" alignment or a "four wheel" alignment, depending on the symptoms you are experiencing. See your local Michelin authorized tire dealer for service and inspection.
More on Alignment

Diagnostic 2: over-inflation issues

  • On an overinflated tire, the center of the tread bears most of the load and wears out faster than the outside edges.
  • To prevent overinflation, always check tires when they’re cold, before they’ve been driven or at least three hours after.

Solution:

Adjust inflation pressure using a tire pressure gauge when tires are cold and before they are driven on. To find the proper air pressure, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or find your recommended psi on the sticker on your door jam.

More on Air pressure

Symptom: scalloped

Diagnostic 1: poor alignment

You need an alignment when you notice:

  • Uneven front or rear tire wear means you may need an alignment.
  • Changes in your vehicle's handling or steering response (e.g., pulling to one side)

Solution:

Many vehicles today are equipped with rear suspensions that can be adjusted for alignment. If this is the case, your vehicle may need a "front end" alignment or a "four wheel" alignment, depending on the symptoms you are experiencing. See your local Michelin authorized tire dealer for service and inspection.

Diagnostic 2: over-inflation

  • On an overinflated tire, the center of the tread bears most of the load and wears out faster than the outside edges.
  • To prevent overinflation, always check tires when they’re cold, before they’ve been driven or at least three hours after.

Solution:

Adjust inflation pressure using a tire pressure gauge when tires are cold and before they are driven on. To find the proper air pressure, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or find your recommended psi on the sticker on your door.

More on Alignment in our Scheduled care tips

Symptom : sawtooth edges and feathered edges

Diagnostic: misalignment

If a vehicle is misaligned, the edges of the tread have a sawtooth or feathered appearance. This is caused by erratic scrubbing against the road.

Solution:

You car most likely needs an alignment correction. Please see your local authorized Michelin tire dealer for inspection.

More on Alignment in our Scheduled care tips

Symptoms: dips and cups

Diagnostic: worn parts

  • 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.
  • Rear tires can cup, however, as well.

Solution:

Worn parts may be a sign that wheels are out of balance or that suspension or steering system parts need service or replacement. Please see your local authorized Michelin retailer for inspection.

Symptom: damage

Diagnostic: tire damage that requires repair

If your tire becomes damaged, it may be repaired if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The tire has not been driven on when flat
  2. The damage is only on the tread section of your tire (sidewall damage ruins a tire immediately) and/or
  3. The puncture is no greater than ¼"

Solution:

The proper way to have a tire repaired is to patch the tire from the inside and fill the puncture hole. Do not have your tire plugged. Ever. Plug repairs do not involve taking the tire off the wheel for a proper inspection. A plug is simply inserted into the punctured area, making it unreliable. Insist on a full inspection and have your dealer demount and internally as well as externally inspect the tire, patch and fill the repair on the inside of the tire.

Symptom: bar across tread

Diagnostic: worn-out tire

  • All tires have tread wear indicator bars at 2/32" of remaining tread.
  • When the tread is worn down to 2/32" or when you can see the tread wear indicator bars on any section of the tire, the tire is worn out and should be replaced.

Solution:

Take your vehicle to an authorized Michelin retailer for an inspection and have a professional measure the remaining tread with a tread depth gauge.

Symptom: indention

Diagnostic: This is not a problem. It is the normal radial sidewall.

  • Indentations are quite natural on radial tires (most tires) and will not affect performance.
  • Your tires feature one or more layers of fabric cord within its sidewall construction that run parallel to each other. (Steel cords are used within the tread.) Where the cords overlap, there is often slight indentation.

Symptom: bulge or bubble

A tire with a bulge or bubble cannot be repaired.

  • A bulge or bubble on the sidewall of a tire generally indicates damaged cords caused by a severe impact.
  • Damaged cords often are accompanied by a visible break in the inner liner.
  • If cords have been damaged, air has infiltrated into the plies and can result in a bulge.

Solution:

Immediately replace the tire with the spare and take the tire to an authorized Michelin tire retailerfor a proper inspection.

Symptoms: vibration or shimmy

Diagnostic: tires out of balance OR steering & suspension system malfunction

  • Tires that are out of balance can cause vibrations that lead to premature or uneven tire wear and unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle's suspension.

Solution and advices:

  • The solution could be as simple as rebalancing your tires
  • Visit your tire professional at the very first sign of vibration or "shimmy."
  • If rebalancing doesn't eliminate the vibration, have the alignment and/or suspension system components checked.
  • Tires should be balanced when they are mounted on wheels for the first time or if they have to be removed and remounted.

Symptoms: pulling to one side or poor steering

Diagnostic: poor alignment

Proper alignment is necessary for both even treadwear and precise steering. You need an alignment when you notice:

  • Uneven front or rear tire wear
  • Changes in your vehicle's handling or steering response (e.g., pulling to one side)

Solution:

Many vehicles today are equipped with rear suspensions that can be adjusted for alignment. If this is the case, your vehicle may need a "front end" alignment or a "four wheel" alignment, depending on the symptoms you are experiencing. See your local Michelin authorized tire dealer for an inspection.

More on Alignment in our Scheduled care tips

Symptoms: poor handling

Diagnostic: tire damage that requires repair

  • Most punctures nail holes or cuts up to ¼" confined to the tread may be repaired by a tire professional using industry-approved procedures.
  • An on-the-wheel plug-only repair is not reliable and is dangerous because after a puncture the inside of a tire must be inspected.

Solution:

Visually inspect each tire for noticeable damage. If found, replace that tire with your spare and take your vehicle into your local authorized Michelin retailer for an inspection as soon as possible. If you cannot find any damage, either call for roadside service or drive immediately (and under the speed limit) to your closest tire retailer.

If your tire becomes damaged, it may be repaired if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The tire has not been driven on when flat
  2. The damage is only on the tread section of your tire (sidewall damage ruins a tire immediately) and/or
  3. The puncture is no greater than ¼"

For help on how to inspect your tire, click here.

If your tire is flat, we can help teach you how to change a tire.

How is a tire properly repaired?

Patch, Yes. Plug, No.

The proper way to have a tire repaired is to patch the tire from the inside and fill the puncture hole. Do not have your tire plugged. Ever. Plug repairs do not involve taking the tire off the wheel for a proper inspection. A plug is simply inserted into the punctured area, making it unreliable. Insist on a full inspection and have your dealer demount and internally as well as externally inspect the tire, patch and fill the repair on the inside of the tire.