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Do I need new tires?

What are the basics?

There is no way to tell exactly how long a tire lasts. The lifespan and mileage of a tire depends of a combination of factors: its design, the driver’s habits, the climate, the road conditions and the care that's put into the tires.

A few milestones and tips:

1- Keep five years in mind

After five years or more in use, your tires should be thoroughly inspected at least once per year by a professional.

2- Ten years is a maximum

If the tires haven't been replaced 10 years after their date of manufacture, as a precaution, Michelin recommends replacing them with new tires. Even if they appear to be in usable condition and have not worn down to the tread wear indicator.
This applies to spare tires as well.

3- Proper care expands a tire’s lifespan

If you take good care of your tires' air pressure, tread wear, alignment, and so on, you can increase their longevity.

Check our Scheduled care tips

For original equipment: follow the vehicle manufacturer’s tire replacement recommendations.

How to check the manufacturing date

Look for the DOT number on your sidewall.

What damages tires?

Physical factors:

  • Age
  • Wear and damage

Road conditions:

  • Potholes, obstacles, kerbs, sharp objects, speed humps

Climate:

  • Extreme temperatures
  • Rain, snow and ice
  • Oil, grease and other chemicals
  • Strong sunlight and ozone

Driving habits:

  • Speeding
  • Quick starts and emergency braking
  • Driving on damaged roads
  • Failure to notice a change in handling, noise or vibration
  • Failure to consult a professional when something changes

Neglecting basic tire maintenance:

  • Air pressure
  • Not routinely checking for wear or damage
  • Alignment and rotation
  • Not going to a professional to remove or fit tires in case of damage or after an impact
  • Not balancing tires after they are fitted or replaced
  • Improper tire storage
  • Use of sealants that have not been approved

Improper usage:

  • Mixing tire types
  • Using tires on damaged, distorted or modified wheels
  • Using wheel and rim sizes that are not compatible
  • Fitting tires that do not have a speed capability and load index at least equal to or higher than those originally specified by the vehicle manufacturer
  • Reinflating a tire that has been run flat or seriously under inflated
  • Using a spare tire of a different size at speeds in excess of 50 mph

Do I need to change now?

We recommend to replace your tire if:

  • The tread is worn beyond the recommended tread depth levels
  • The sidewall is damaged
  • Any hole in the tread is greater than 6 mm in diameter
  • The bead is damaged or deformed (the bead is the edge of the tire that sits on the wheel)

1- Inspect your tire regularly and look for:

  • Uneven tread wear
  • Shallow tread
  • Troublemakers (rocks, nails, etc.)
  • Damaged areas
  • Damaged valve caps

2- 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, 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.

3- See a professional

  • If you see something you’re not sure about during your inspection, have it examined by your tire dealer.

To identify a specific problem.

How do I inspect my tire?

1- Check your air pressure

  • It’s quick and can prevent many problems
  • Do it once a month

See Air pressure: what should I know?

2- Check the tread wear with one of the three methods:

  • With a tread depth gauge
  • With the tread wear indicators

See How to check if you have enough tread left.

3- Inspect your tires for wear and damage problems

  • Check your sidewall for any punctures or bumps and the tread to see if the tires are wearing evenly. Be sensitive to any changes in handling or steering

See Worn out or damaged?

When should I inspect my tires?

  • Once every month
  • Before you go on a long road trip.

Next steps :

  • Any visible perforation, cut or deformation must be checked thoroughly by a tire professional.
  • Only a tire professional can tell you if your tire can be repaired or has to be changed.

Spare tire: can I use it on a day-to-day basis?

No.
Temporary spares have lighter construction to limit their weight on your vehicle so they don’t have the same speed or mileage capabilities. This could affect your vehicle’s stability. The only exception is if your spare tire is actually a 5th full-size tire that exactly matches the tires on your vehicle.

 

Can I use a high performance tire if my vehicle doesn't require one ?

  • If you prefer a sportier look or feel to your drive, you may choose to upgrade your tires to “high-performance” tires with a higher speed rating.
  • High performance tires will give you higher speed capability, improved handling control and maximize dry road grip to feel each curve.
  • But to get that extra grip, you may give up some tread life.

Fuel consumption: how does upgrading impact it?

High-performance tires with higher speed-ratings are designed to provide more grip. By definition that means comparatively lower fuel efficiency than for standard tires since more grip often means more rolling resistance and more effort needed from the engine to move the car forward. However, thanks to our Michelin Total Performance philosophy, we strive to deliver both great handling and fuel efficiency in our high-performance tires.

I want a bigger tire size: what do I need to know?

What is it?

Some performance-minded drivers upgrade their original equipment wheels with wider, bigger wheels. It’s called tire upgrading or plus sizing.

Why do it?

  • It offers better handling when done properly
  • It can make the vehicle look sportier

Two ways of doing it:
1- Plus 1, 2, etc.

  • This is the most popular method
  • Increase your vehicle’s wheel diameter and your tire’s rim diameter.
  • To make plus-sizing work, the tire’s aspect ratio decreases while the wheel diameter increases. The overall diameter of the tire doesn’t change; it’s the wheel’s diameter that increases.

For example:
Changing from a 14” wheel to a 15” wheel. This is called “plus 1” because it increases the size by 1”.

2- Plus Zero

You want to leave your wheel diameter the same but with a wider tire – note that you may need a wider wheel as well.

Why do it?

It will give you a wider contact with the road and sportier look without having to invest in new wheels (in most cases).

For example:
Going from a P195/75R14 tire to P215/65R14 tire. This means your tire width will be wider (195 millimeters to 215), your aspect ratio will be smaller (75 to 65) but the wheel diameter stays the same (14).

What Is Staggering?

A staggered fitment is putting larger wheels on the back of your vehicle than the front of your vehicle. This specification comes from the vehicle’s manufacturer, and is designed to improve performance on vehicles with rear-wheel-drive.

Plus-Sizing Legal notice:

Michelin does not recommend up-sizing due to safety reasons. Some manufacturers have tested and approved multiple wheel diameters, so be sure to ask your tire dealer about any sizing needs.

What are run flats and who can use them?

What are "run flat" tires?

Run flat tires have specific technology to allow you to drive for a limited distance at a reduced speed after a puncture or a drop of tire pressure. MICHELIN® Zero Pressure (ZP) tires provide run-flat technology that allows you to drive up to 50 miles at 50 mph with a flat tire.

Can I mount run flat tires on any vehicle?

No, only vehicles that originally were equipped with run flat tires should mount them – these vehicles have some suspension and chassis modifications designed for run flat tires.

Can I mix run flat tires with normal tires?

  • Never mix run flat tires with tires that do not have run flat technology (conventional tires) - unless in an emergency situation on a limited, temporary basis. The conventional tire should be replaced with a run flat tire as soon as possible.
  • It is also not recommended to mix different run flat technologies/products together.

My run flat tire has been punctured. How long can I drive on it?

Run flat tires only allow you to drive for a limited distance and reduced speed after a puncture or other event has resulted in either a drop in tire inflation pressure or a complete loss of inflation pressure. If you have MICHELIN® Zero Pressure (ZP) tires, you can drive up to 50 miles at 50 mph with a flat tire.

My tire is low: what should I do?

A tire is low (or 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.

Solution:

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

See where

Some advice:

Never use tires that have driven with very low pressure unless they have been thoroughly examined internally and externally by a tire professional.  

Why?

Internal damage is not visible while the tire is mounted; only a professional can tell whether the tire can be safely used again.

I need to replace my tire. Any advice?

General advice

  • Michelin recommends replacing all four tires at the same time for maximum safety, to maintain even wear and traction on all four tires.
  • Take time to research. You can re-buy your original equipment or a different set of tires. They need to fit your vehicle, your climate, driving environment and your driving style. See How to choose a tire
  • See a professional to mount and align your new tires.

Replacing only two tires

  • Your new tires need to be the same size and tire type as your current tires.
  • Your new tires need to be installed on the rear axle of your vehicle.
  • If you buy any variation from the original equipment tire size or speed rating, consult your tire dealer and the Fitting Guide for recommendations.
  • If you replace less than four tires, the rotation of the tires might be affected.