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Tire Inspector Tool

The Tire Doctor will see you now. If you notice a problem with one of your tires, we can diagnose it here. Which of the following best describes the problem?

Wear on Both Edges

Underinflation:

  • Reduces tread life through increased treadwear 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 (soft 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 jamb (Here’s how.)

If your tire continues to lose pressure, visit your local authorized Michelin tire dealer.

Wear in Center

Overinflation 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 or before they’ve been driven.
  • Or, check tires at least three hours after they have been driven.

Solution:

Take air out of your tire, using a tire pressure gauge, until your air pressure reading matches your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended psi. 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. (Here’s how.)

Uneven Wear

Poor Alignment

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 service and inspection.

Scalloped

Poor Alignment

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 service and inspection.

Overinflation 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 or before they’ve been driven.
  • Or, check tires at least three hours after they have been driven.

Solution:

Take air out of your tire, using a tire pressure gauge, until your air pressure reading matches your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended psi. 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. (Here’s how.)

Sawtooth or Feathered Edges

Misalignment

Misalignment issues:

  • 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:

Your car most likely needs a toe-in or toe-out alignment correction. (For more information on toe-in and toe-out alignment, click here.) See your local authorized Michelin tire dealer for helpful service.

Excessive Wear

Overinflation 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 or before they’ve been driven.
  • Or, check tires at least three hours after they have been driven.

Solution:

Take air out of your tire, using a tire pressure gauge, until your air pressure reading matches your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended psi. 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. (Here’s how.)

Dips

Worn Parts

Worn parts issues:

  • Cupping (also called dipping or scalloping) is most common on front tires.
  • 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 helpful service and inspection.

Damage

Damage That Requires Repair

Tire Damage Issues:

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

Solution:

If your vehicle is equipped with one of the several types of temporary spares, replace your damaged tire with the spare, but be sure to first check the spare tire's sidewall for the correct inflation pressure, speed, and mileage limitations. Take your vehicle into an authorized Michelin retailer for an inspection as soon as possible.

The proper repair of a radial tire includes the placing of a rubber patch on the inner liner of the tire and a rubber filling of the hole by a professional. Do not attempt to have repaired tires with tread punctures larger than ¼" or any sidewall puncture. Also, do not have tires repaired that are worn below 2/32" tread depth.

Cups

Worn Parts

Tire Damage Issues:

  • Cupping (also called dipping or scalloping) is most common on front tires.
  • 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 helpful service and inspection.

Bar Across Tread

Worn-Out Tire

Worn-Out Tire Issues:

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

Solution:

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

Uneven Wear

Poor Alignment

You need an alignment when you notice:

  • Uneven front or rear tire wear
  • Generates excessive heat, which reduces tire durability and can lead to tire failure.
  • 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.

If your tire continues to lose pressure, visit your local authorized Michelin tire dealer.

Soft Tires

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

Underinflation:

  • Reduces tread life through increased treadwear 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 (soft 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 jamb. (Here’s how.)

If your tire continues to lose pressure, visit your local authorized Michelin tire dealer.

Flat

Damage That Requires Repair

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

Worn-Out Tire Issues:

Most punctures, nail holes or cuts up to ¼" confined to the tread may be satisfactorily repaired by trained personnel 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.

Excessive Wear

Overinflation 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 or before they’ve been driven.
  • Or, check tires at least three hours after they have been driven.

Solution:

Take air out of your tire, using a tire pressure gauge, until your air pressure reading matches your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended psi. 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. (Here’s how.)

Damage

Damage That Requires Repair

Tire Damage Issues:

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

Solution:

If your vehicle is equipped with one of the several types of temporary spares, replace your damaged tire with the spare, but be sure to first check the spare tire's sidewall for the correct inflation pressure, speed, and mileage limitations. Take your vehicle into an authorized Michelin retailer for an inspection as soon as possible.

The proper repair of a radial tire includes the placing of a rubber patch on the inner liner of the tire and a rubber filling of the hole by a professional. Do not attempt to have repaired tires with tread punctures larger than 1/4" or any sidewall puncture. Also, do not have tires repaired that are worn below 2/32" tread depth.

Wear on Both Edges

Underinflation Issues:

  • Reduces tread life through increased treadwear 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 (soft 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 jamb. (Here’s how.)

If your tire continues to lose pressure, visit your local authorized Michelin tire dealer.

Wear in Center

Overinflation 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 or before they’ve been driven.
  • Or, check tires at least three hours after they have been driven.

Solution:

Take air out of your tire, using a tire pressure gauge, until your air pressure reading matches your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended psi. 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. (Here’s how.)

Indentation

Normal Radial Sidewall

Indentations are quite natural on radial tires (which most all tires on the road are) 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. (For more information on tire construction, click here

Bulging, however, is not normal on a tire. It signifies that there is a gap between the cords, and must be replaced immediately. Do NOT drive on this tire, even down the road to a tire retailer.

Remember this easy math: indentations = good; bulges = bad.

Bulge or Bubble

Damaged Tire That Needs to Be Replaced

A tire with a bulge or bubble cannot be repaired. Damage and Replacement Issues:

  • 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 retailer for a proper inspection.

Vibration

Tires Out of Balance OR Steering & Suspension System Malfunction

Tires that are out of balance can cause a vibration that can lead to driver fatigue, premature or uneven tire wear, and unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle's suspension. Tires should be balanced when they are mounted on wheels for the first time or when they are remounted after being repaired.

Solution:

Pay serious and immediate attention to vibrations. The solution could be as simple as rebalancing your tires, but it could be as dangerous and complicated as fixing your steering and suspension system. Visit your local authorized Michelin tire dealer 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.

Pulling to One Side

Poor Alignment

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 service and inspection.

Shimmy

Tires Out of Balance OR Steering & Suspension System Malfunction

Tires that are out of balance can cause a vibration that can lead to driver fatigue, premature or uneven tire wear, and unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle's suspension. Tires should be balanced when they are mounted on wheels for the first time or when they are remounted after being repaired.

Poor Steering or Poor Handling

Poor Alignment

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 service and inspection.