Michelin FAQs

The Michelin FAQ provides answers to many commonly asked questions about our company and our tires.


Do you currently offer any promotions or rebates?

Promotions and rebates are generally offered during the spring, summer, fall and winter seasons. Check our promotions page for current offers. And to get Michelin news and deals sent directly to your inbox, sign up here.

How do I check the status of my rebate?

You can check your status here or call our toll free number 1-866-212-9619.

To find out about current promotions and rebates, check our promotions page.

Tire Registration

How do I register my tires online?

To register your tires, please visit our Web site at Tire Registration

Winter Tire FAQs

Are winter tires only for snow conditions?

Winter tires are designed for optimal safety on extreme winter road conditions – dry but cold, rain, slush, ice and snow. They should then be mounted on your vehicle as soon as the temperature begins to approach freezing. Replace Winter with Summer or All-Season Tires as soon as temperatures go consistently above freezing.

When should I mount winter tires on my vehicle?

It is recommended to mount winter tires as soon as the temperature consistently approaches freezing.

For security in winter, is it not enough to drive slowly and carefully?

At any given speed, a winter tire is always considered safer than non-winter tires on wintry roads.

Don’t winter tires wear out faster than summer tires?

Winter tire tread compounds last as long as non-winter tires provided they are operated during the winter season as recommended.

Is it not useless to mobilize additional tire budget to buy winter tires?

The miles you will drive on winter tires are miles that your non-winter tires will save. Winter tires are usually near 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.

What are the benefits of a winter tire?

The tread rubber compound, an essential tire item, can be compared to chewing gum. As soon as the outside temperature consistently approaches freezing, your tires tread rubber compound begins to harden like your chewing gum would. Winter tires are designed with a more flexible tread rubber compound designed to keep your vehicle’s grip, traction and braking qualities at lower temperature to provide safety on cold, icy and slippery roads.

What is the price of MICHELIN® winter tires?

The price of tires depends on the car needs & the product line, as well as the size of the rims on your vehicle. The selling retailer establishes their pricing on tires. Find a listing of dealers by utilizing the dealer locator link on michelinman.com.

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

To ensure proper handling characteristics of the vehicle, we recommend the installation of a complete set of 4 winter tires. If winter tires are installed only on the rear axle of a rear wheel drive vehicle, vehicle stability may be significantly impacted.

Are braking distances really conditioned by the weather?

Braking distances can be up to eight times longer on winter roads. On a dry surface 26 feet will be required to stop a vehicle running 30 mph, 52 feet on wet, 104 feet on dry packed snow & 208 feet on ice.

Do we have to check air pressure more often with winter tires?

No, as with summer tires Michelin recommends that air pressure should be checked once a month. The lower the temperature, the lower the air pressure measured in the tire. Each 10 degree (F) drop in temperature equates to loss of 1 psi of tire pressure.

How do we recognize a winter tire?

Winter tire tread will show numerous sipes (cuts in the tread block) and many biting edges 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.

Can two different brands of winter tires be mounted on my vehicle?

In order to optimize the performances of our products and obtain a perfect homogeneity between the front and rear axles, we recommend that 4 identical tires be mounted on a vehicle (same brand, same tire model, same load and speed indexes)

Why are MICHELIN tires more expensive than their competitors?

In order to deliver MICHELIN® Total Performance™ in all products, Michelin develops new technologies and uses the finest grades of material combined with patented mixing technologies to be able to achieve the best possible performances in multiple domains. MICHELIN® tires are designed to maximize your safety and driving pleasure.

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

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.

Can we use a lower speed index when mounting winter tires?

 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. The customer must be informed of the new speed restriction. It is quite common and permissible during winter driving to use a winter tires with a lesser speed rating than the O.E. tire. Again, the customer must be informed as mentioned above.

How important is air pressure for winter tires?

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 flexing, 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!

What should be considered when using Winter Tires?

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.

Technical Info and Definitions

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

It is recommended that the replacement tire size speed rating be equal to 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.

Can you elaborate on why winter Tires have no Uniform Tire Quality Grade rating?

Winter tires are not assigned tread wear ratings, wet traction or temperature ratings. Winter tires are designed for cold weather use only, usually when average daily temperatures are consistently approach freezing. While the tire operates just fine in warmer conditions, it is not recommended for summer usage.


Treadwear and temperature ratings are not primary attributes for winter tires and usage is regional.

Do you recommend Used tires?

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.

Do you support Plus Sizing?

Please remember, Plus Sizing must be taken with proper care. When replacing tires with optional size designations, be sure to check vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations (found in owner’s manual or on door sticker). Interchangeability is not always possible because of difference in load ratings, tire dimensions, wheel well clearance and rim size. Contact a participating tire retailer that is trained to assist you with plus sizing.

How do I determine if my current rim is approved for your tires?

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. Refer to our website for tire specifications.

How do I read the sidewall of my tire?

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.

faq 1

faq 1

European Metric
Essentially, this system was a conversion of the Numeric system from inches to millimeters. 

capture d e cran 2021 02 19 a 13 32 52

capture d e cran 2021 02 19 a 13 32 52

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.

faq 3

faq 3

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.

faq 4

faq 4

Light Truck European Commercial Metric
This size system mirrors the European Metric system for passenger tires and is intended for commercial light truck vehicles sometimes referred to as “Euro Vans”. Often these tires are referred to as European C-Type sizes.



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

faq 6

faq 6

How do I read the DOT number?

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 2418
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.

capture d e cran 2021 03 30 a 10 46 23

capture d e cran 2021 03 30 a 10 46 23

How is the overall tire diameter measured?

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 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.

How much load/weight can my tire carry?

Never exceed the load-carrying limits or maximum vehicle axle load limit as shown on the vehicle tire placard. Overloading builds up excessive heat in the tire and could lead to failure.

What are Zero Pressure tires and TPMS?

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 pressure warning system (TPMS).

What guidelines should I follow when mixing tires on 4WD vehicles?

If no instructions for tire mixing appear in the vehicle owner’s manual, adhere to the following guidelines:

  • All four tires should be matched for tire size (unless the vehicle was originally equipped with different sizes on front and rear axles) tire brand, and tire model.
  • The tire rolling radius or revs/mile should match for all four tires. This can be assured by having the same tire size, tire brand, and tire model on all four positions.
  • Do not mix tire types such as all-terrain, all-season or winter.
  • Unless contrary to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation, if the tires are the same size, brand, and model, the tread depth can vary from tire to tire up to 5/32 of an inch. This means that a single tire can be replaced even if the other three tires are worn as long as:
    • It is not contrary to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation/owner's manual
    • All four tires have the same size, brand, and model.
    • The difference in tread depth does not exceed 5/32".
  • Note, tire rolling radius (or revs/mile) is sensitive to tire inflation pressure. All tires should be properly inflated.

What is a Directional tread design?

Tires with directional tread patterns must be mounted so that the forward 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.

What is difference between P-metric and metric?

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 mid 70s 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 wheelwell 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.

What is Excessive Spinning?

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, 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.

What is a Speed rating?

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).

faq 9

faq 9

Where are your tires manufactured?

Our strategy is to manufacture tires in the country where they will be sold whenever possible. In fact, the vast majority of our products sold in North America, are built in the 21 plants we have across the United States, Canada and Mexico, employing most of the 23,000 employees of Michelin North America, Inc. However, we are an international company, with manufacturing operations at 74 plants across 19 countries around the world. To meet the needs of our customers by providing more specialized tire lines in smaller quantities, we import some tire lines into North America and we 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 our products the benchmark for the industry.

Where can I find the DOT on my tire and what does it signify?

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 and Canada 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.

dot description 1062

dot description 1062
  1. Tire Brand Name
  2. Mud+Snow
  3. Severe Snow Service Symbol
  4. Original Equipment Approval Symbol (Porsch Shown)
  5. Tire Line Name
  6. Int'l Compliance (E.C.E. Shown)
  7. U.S.D.O.T Compliance followed by Tire Identification Number
  8. North American Load and Pressure Marketing
  9. Tire Size Designation (Euro Metric Shown)
  10. Service Description (Load Rating Speed Rating)
  11. Tire Construction Materials
  12. UTQG Rating
  13. Radial & Tubeless
  14. Construction Type


For more information on DOT, follow this tire tips link

Where do I find more information on the Tweel?

For information on Tweel, visit www.michelintweel.com

Tire Care and Maintenance

Can I mount my own tire on the wheel?

Never try to mount your own tires. Tire mounting is a job for trained professionals 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.

Can I use tire cleaners?

Avoid the use of petroleum based tire cleaning products as they can exhaust the tire's oxidation and weathering agents within the rubber compounds, resulting in cracking.
Use only non-petroleum based products or plain soap and water for tire cleaning.

Do my driving habits affect the life of my tires?

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

Do my new tires require special treatment?

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.

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

We cannot test all products being marketed today, and do not certify or endorse any of these after-market products for efficiency or compatibility.
Because some of these products may degrade the inner liner of 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, we strongly urge 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.
We neither approve nor disapprove the use of these products.

How and when should I rotate my tires?

For detailed information on Tire Rotation, please visit the How to rotate tires tips page.

How do I know how old my tires are?

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.
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, 3516 indicates the tire was produced in the 35th week of the year 2016.

How do I take care of my new tires?

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—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.
For more tire maintenance tips, click here

How long should my original equipment tires last?

Any tire wear concern should always be presented to your local authorized dealers for further evaluation.
Many of our authorized retailers offer specific mileage warranties on several lines of tires sold as replacement tires, including some tires that are used as original equipment. These mileage warranties are administered based on the retail outlets verification of proper tire maintenance having been performed.

How many miles will I get out of my tires?

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


  • Tire Type
  • 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.) If you have concerns about the rate of wear on your tires, consult your local authorized Michelin retailer.

How should I care for tires I have in storage?

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.

Is it safe to repair a flat tire?

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 6mm (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 6mm (1/4 inch), or any sidewall puncture. Also, never repair tires which are worn below 1,6 mm (2/32 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.

Is there a way to tell when I need new tires?

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.

6 1 visual pennyintread 140303

6 1 visual pennyintread 140303

Must I replace my present tires with the same size tires?

Never choose a smaller size than those that came with the car. Tires should always be replaced with the same size designation, with approved or greater load carrying capacity -- or approved options -- as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer or authorized dealer

Should my tires be balanced?

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

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

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. Please contact one of our Consumer Care agents to determine the correct pressure for the optional tire size that you are installing or visit your local tire retailer for assistance.

What is proper alignment?

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.

What is the correct air pressure for my tires?

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.

tire pressure

tire pressure

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:


  • the original equipment tire size
  • the vehicle manufacturer's inflation pressure.

What is the expected service life of tires?

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.

What is the lowest Inflation Pressures permitted?

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.

What is your opinion on the use of nitrogen in tires?

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:

  • A reduction in road holding
  • A reduction in wet traction capability
  • An increased sensitivity to road hazards
  • A reduction in treadlife
  • An increase in fuel consumption
  • A reduction in tire life due to excessive heat from over deflection

What should I look for when inspecting my tires?

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 2/32 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.

6 1 visual pennyintread 140303

6 1 visual pennyintread 140303
  • 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 further 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 (1 to 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.

When should I check my air pressure?

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). 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 under-inflation may adversely affect vehicle handling. Cold tire pressures should never be higher than the limit molded on the sidewall.

When should I replace my spare tire?

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 “2218” indicates a tire made in the 22nd week (May) of 2018.

When should worn tires be replaced?

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.

Where should I mount the tires if I only purchase 2?

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 & tire type as the current tires and that the dealer always installs the new tires on the rear axle of the vehicle.  Click here for more information.


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 oversteer and lose stability in wet conditions

Why is there a maximum Inflation Pressures on the sidewall of my tire?

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.

Tire Flat Spotting - How do I minimize it?

As we have stated above, typical tire flat spotting is not permanent, however, it could be a temporary annoyance. Fortunately, steps to minimize flat spotting are in line with good tire maintenance. You can minimize tire flat spotting by keeping your tires at placard pressure. We do not recommend that you inflate beyond placard pressure and certainly do not over-inflate. Also, for your tires and for your vehicle, regular operation and movement of your vehicle is recommended. For tire/vehicle storage, see the website section on tire storage.

Tire Flat Spotting - What is it? Does it go Away?

It is not uncommon to leave your car parked for days or even weeks without moving the car. It is also not uncommon in colder climates to drive your car in the day, park it over night and have the temperatures drop significantly. In both of these situations, your tires could experience temporary “flat-spotting.” What is this and what causes it? What does it feel like and does it go away? Before we start, just to reassure you, it does go away with running of your tires and we will explain below.

Let’s start with what it is and what causes it. Your tires have many components and almost all tires now have a nylon cap internally just below the tread. When your tire sits, of course the portion on the ground is flat, not round, like the rest of the tire. When the nylon stays in this flat state for a long time, or sometimes when it transitions from a warm tire to a cold tire, it can take a “set” to this flat shape.

Now, let’s talk about how it feels and how it goes away. It feels like you would expect. As you drive and your tires rotate, the “flat spot” which really isn’t flat anymore, just not quite as round as the other parts of your tire, makes your tires and vehicle vibrate. You will likely feel it in the steering wheel and maybe in the car in general. The good thing is that as you drive, your tires rotate, obviously, and your tires warm up. Both of these actions will work the “set” out of the nylon cap meaning that the “flat spot” will go away and the vibration will diminish to normal levels. The amount of driving distance and time will vary, but achieving normal highway speeds for over 20 minutes will relax most flat spotting.

What else is there to know about Flat Spotting?

There are two other types of flat spotting that are much less prevalent. First, if you lock your tires up in severe braking, you could “flat spot” the tread by wearing away a large amount of tread in one particular area. This would be visually apparent on the tire and would also create a vibration in the car. It can eventually go away, but would likely take a long time, thousands of miles. Modern vehicles with Anti-Lock Brakes rarely experience this type of flat spotting.

Second, if your tires have been subjected to long storage times while loaded and over-inflated and with fairly high temperatures, the tires could develop a “semi-permanent” flat spotting. This flat spotting will eventually go away, but it may take a good bit of driving. Tires should not be stored loaded and over-inflated while subjected to heat. This is well-understand meaning that this type of flat spotting is unlikely.

In all cases, if you experience vibration when driving and it does not diminish or go away, you should see a tire specialist and have your tires inspected. Persistent vehicle vibration, caused by tires or other suspension components, could be an indication of a more serious problem.

What can be done to address Browning of White Sidewall Letters?

Click here for bulletin regarding Browning of White Sidewall Letters on tires.

Tire Replacement

Can I mix different speed-rated tires on my car?

Mixing speed ratings on a vehicle is not recommended. 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.

Can I mix tire types on my car?

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.

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

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.

Do I have to replace my present tires with the same size tires?

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 or by consulting your local authorized Michelin retailer. Your current tires’ size can be found by reading the markings on the sidewall.

Is my damaged tire covered by a Michelin® warranty?

All new MICHELIN® replacement tires are backed by the Michelin Promise Plan™, which includes a 60-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.

Where do I install new tires if I only buy two?

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 & tire type as the current tires and that the dealer always installs the new tires on the rear axle of the vehicle. Click here for more information.


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

Safety Recall Information

What is the Safety Recall for MICHELIN Cross Climate SUV tires?

Michelin has announced a voluntary recall of 377 MICHELIN ® CrossClimate ™ SUV tires sold in Canada. These tires are typically found on such vehicles as SUV’s, CUV’s and minivans. Detailed information about this voluntary recall can be found here.

What is the Safety Recall for MICHELIN LTX M/S commercial light truck tires?

Michelin is recalling one version of a specific size of the Michelin LTX M/S tire. These tires are typically found on such vehicles as commercial light trucks, full-sized heavy duty vans, small RVs and some large pickup trucks. Detailed information about the recall can be found here.

What is the Voluntary Safety Recall for LTX M/S2, X Radial LT2 & Latitude Tour tires?

Michelin Tires has issued a voluntary safety recall on several sizes of its LTX M/S2, X Radial LT2 & Latitude Tour tires. Detailed information about the recall can be found here.


My tire has gone flat. Is this covered by your warranty?

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 and 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 from 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).

What is a brief description of your tire warranty?

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 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 current selling price at the adjustment location or 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

What should I do if I think I have warranty issue?

Our tires have a limited warranty, which covers defects in workmanship and material for the life of the original usable tread or for 6 years from date of purchase, whichever occurs first. Take the tire(s) to your local participating tire retailer and have them properly inspect the tire. Tell the tire dealer what you are experiencing so they can diagnose the problem. If you or your tire dealer have any questions please have them call us while you are there at 866-866-6605.

Where can I get a warranty booklet?

You can get a warranty booklet from any authorized dealer or downloads are available here.

General Information

Can I buy a road hazard policy?

We do not provide road hazard coverage. In some cases tire retailers may offer and administer their own road hazard warranty programs. Typically, retailers will offer a customer the opportunity to purchase a road hazard warranty only in conjunction with the purchase of new tires. We play no role in retailer road hazard warranty programs and do not maintain any listing of retailers that offer such coverage. You may wish to contact participating dealers in your area and inquire if they would be willing to sell such coverage to you.

How can I obtain a Michelin Merchandise & Apparel catalog?

See Michelin brand merchandise and apparel here.

Where can I find tires for my classic or restored vehicle?

In the United States, the sole distributor of vintage Michelin tires is Coker Tire Co. Coker Tire specializes in tires for vintage and antique automobiles, motorcycles and bicycles. Coker Tire can be reached at 800-251-6336 or on-line at www.cokertire.com

Where can I purchase Michelin merchandise including the Michelin Man Bobblehead?

Please visit our merchandise site where you will find many exciting items such as Michelin caps, t-shirts and much more.