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SAFETY DRIVING

Why do Tires Matter?

Tires are usually taken for granted.
Until the road puts them to the test.

It's the tires that stop the car.

When it comes to safety, tires are the most important component on your vehicle.
The brakes stop the wheels, not your car! It's actually your tires that stop it.

Let's take a closer look.
Here, rubber meets the road:

The contact area is the size of the palm of your hand.

And this is where it all happens:
braking, traction, handling, steering, comfort
On such small area, a failure at high speed could have serious consequences.

Your safety also depends on you.

You took time to choose your car.
Taking time to choose your tire is just as important.

 

We can all recall stressful situations where our tires made the difference:

Think of that bike that came from nowhere

 

 

That driver in front of you suddenly breaking,
that dog crossing the street

 

 

This difficult ride under a wall of rain

 

Your safety does not just depend on the way you or others are driving.

It depends equally on your choice of tires.
For your peace of mind (and your family’s...), take the time to choose well!

But how do I choose the right tire?

To help you compare and choose, look at 4 different aspects:

 
Safety

Safety

Most tires perform well in everyday situations, but difficult conditions will reveal their differences. Choose tires that can perform well in the worst types of weather or roads you encounter. The difference can be huge.
Not all tires are equal – choosing the right ones can keep you safe.

Value

Value

Making a compromise now could mean spending more later. Why? Because tires that last longer and can help you save fuel allow you to save in the long run. Get more efficient tires now, replace them much later! (And forget about shopping for tires for a while.)

Enjoy the ride

Enjoy the ride

Like a shoe, a tire needs
to fit you perfectly.
1. Take any car
2. Try a different set of tires
You end up with an entirely different driving experience. So, do you like a comfortable drive or precision handling to take that corner like a pro? Make sure your tire reflects your style.

Sports Car ?

Sports Car?

A sprinter doesn't want to run in slippers. Neither does your car. A sport or luxury car won’t feel like one unless the tires can translate its power to the road.

Environmentally friendly

Rolling resistance is friction and therefore a waste of energy.A lower rolling resistance will reduce your fuel consumption and your CO2 emissions.
Everybody wins!

All in one

Thanks to MICHELIN® Total Performance™, you can be assured that you get all of these in each of our tires.

Sports Car
 

Keep your tires Safe

Most of us have notions of safe driving.
But what about keeping tires safe?
A few simple things can help avoid unfortunate experiences.

  • It will help me save

    • Checking tire air pressure, and regular tire maintenance such as rotation, alignment and inspections can help you save money.

    It can extend the life of your tyres so you don’t have to buy as often

    Simple things like checking your tires’ pressure to make sure that they are properly inflated can make a real difference in how long your tires last. Under or over-inflated tires don’t wear evenly and won’t last as long. For example, a tire that is consistently 20% under- inflated can last 20% less. That means a tire that should normally last 40,000km would be worn out by 32,000km. Also, since the front and rear axles and right and left sides of your car wear down your tires differently, rotating your tires regularly between the different positions will ensure they wear evenly and last longer.

    It can save you money on fuel

    • Under-inflated tyres are one of the biggest causes of using excess fuel.
    • Under-inflated tyres have higher rolling resistance, which means it takes more effort from the engine to move your vehicle.

  • It ensures your safety

    Your tires are the only point of contact that your vehicle has with the road – they need to be in good working condition at all times to ensure your safety.
    To avoid any problems, follow these important care tips:

    • Inspect your tyre:

    You may not always notice if one of your tires has been damaged. Inspect your tires regularly for wear and any damage to avoid any sudden problems. Also, have a professional inspect your tires every year.

    • Check the air pressure:

    Driving with incorrect tire pressures can affect a vehicle’s handling and braking, particularly in wet conditions, and can seriously compromise your safety. Driving on severely under-inflated tires can cause heat build-up and eventually a blowout. Check your tire pressure monthly and before every long trip.

    • Respect the load capacity:

    Do not exceed the load capacity relative to the tire’s load index. Tires loaded beyond their maximum loads can build up excessive heat that may result in sudden tire destruction.

    • Driving at high speed* can damage your tire:

    At greater speeds, tyres have greater a chance of being damaged by road hazards or heat build-up. High speeds can also contribute to a rapid air loss or even a sudden tyre explosion, which can cause the loss of control of the vehicle.

    Use your spare tire!

    If you see any damage to a tire or wheel, replace it with your spare tire and have your tire checked by a professional.

    *Exceeding the safe, legal speed limit is neither recommended nor endorsed.

  • Air Pressure: what should I know?

    General Guidelines

    • Check the pressure of all your tires monthly, including the spare. Even if you don’t see any damage, Tires can lose up to 1 psi - pounds per square inch - every month. This can be accelerated by air leaks due to accidental puncture, leaks in the valve or valve cap, or by wheel malfunction.
    • Check your tire pressure before making a long trip.
    • For best results, check your tyre pressure when tires are cool– before driving the car or if it has covered less than 3 miles at low speed.
    • If the tire is hot, add 4-5 psi to the car manufacturer's recommended pressure value (0.3 bar) or wait until it has cooled down, which is an average of three hours after parking the car.
    • Never deflate a hot tyre.

    How do I check my tyre pressure?

    1. Insert the pressure gauge into the valve stem on your tyre.
    2. The gauge will “pop” out and show a number: that's the psi number.
    3. The hissing sound is air escaping the tyre. It shouldn’t affect pressure substantially, unless you hold down the air pressure gauge too long.
    4. Compare the measured psi to the recommended psi.
    5. If the psi is above the recommended number, let air out until they match. If it's below, add air until it reaches the proper number.

    Where can I find the recommended pressure for my tires?

    • In the vehicle owner's manual.
    • On a sticker on the driver's door or the gas tank door.
    • Do not use the number on your tire’s sidewall, as this does not indicate the pressure needed in your tire.

    About pressure gauges

    • Be careful if you are using a pressure gauge provided in gas stations. The pressure gauge is often not reliable.
    • Buy a high-quality pressure gauge and check its accuracy with a tire professional.

    Getting it right is important

    • Under-inflated or over-inflated tires can wear down faster than expected, have reduced grip, and can consume more fuel. It just takes a few minutes a month to help ensure your safety and the longevity of your tires.

  • Nitrogen: what are the benefits?

    What is nitrogen?

    Nitrogen is simply dry air with the oxygen removed. Air contains nearly 79% nitrogen already.

    How is it used?

    • Most tires are filled with compressed air. But some tire retailers have started to put nitrogen into their tires.
    • Nitrogen and compressed air can be mixed.
    • Most tires can be inflated with air or nitrogen, as long as the pressures recommended by the vehicle manufacturer are respected.

    The benefits:

    When nitrogen replaces oxygen, less air can escape your tires, and your inflation pressure stays higher longer.

    Tyre inspection:

    Unfortunately, there are other possible sources of leaks (tire/rim interface, valve, valve/rim interface and the wheel), which means there's no guarantee of maintained pressure with either air or nitrogen. The pressure and overall tire condition must still be checked frequently.

  • Valve: what should I know?

    What is the role of the valve?

    • It ensures the proper tire pressure is maintained.
    • It blocks moisture from entering the tire.
    • The valve cap is also important to maintain the pressure (high quality caps are recommended).
    • The valve cap also helps to block dust particles from obstructing the valve.

    Aging and damages

    • Valves are usually made of rubber and therefore age with time.
    • They can be damaged by high speeds and air can leak.

    When should I change the valves?

    Whenever you buy new tires.

  • How to check if you have enough tread left

    General

    In order to effectively grip the road, evacuate water and maintain control, your tires need to have a safe amount of remaining tread. If the grooves in the tire design have almost disappeared, the tire will simply not grip the road as well. This is particularly dangerous in wet or wintry conditions.

    • Plus, if you drive with tires under the legal tread limit, you may be fined.
    • You should check the wear of your tires regularly. If your tires are approaching the legal limit or if you have any doubts, get them checked by a tire professional. Or see below how to check it yourself.

    Three methods

    1- Check the tread wear with a tread depth gauge

    • Make sure the car is on hand brake and in first gear (for manual gearboxes) or park (for automatics).
    • Check the depth of the main tread grooves in several places across and around the tire, using the gauge as instructed by its manufacturer.
    • The legal minimum tread depth in the United States is 2/32nd's across the central three-quarters of the tread width and round its entire circumference.

    2- Check the tread wear indicators

    • Tires have tread wear indicators molded into the base of the main grooves.
    • When the tread surface is worn to the same level as these indicators, the tire is at the legal limit and should be replaced.
    • Winter tires: MICHELIN winter tires have a ‘snowflake’ design to show the location of additional tread wear indicators. They are 4mm high. Replace your Winter tires once they are worn down to the level of the 'snow' tread wear indicators.

  • Tyre rotation: what should I know?

    What is it?

    During rotation, each tire and wheel is removed from your vehicle and moved to a different position to ensure that all tires wear evenly and last longer.

    When should I do it?

    Tires should be rotated every six months or 6,000 to 8,000 miles.
    However, check your owner's manual to see if there is a recommended rotation scheme.

    Benefits:

    Since the position of the tire on your vehicle can affect how it wears down, regular rotation helps ensure that tires wear evenly, extending the life of your tires and improving performance.

  • Tire alignment: what should I know?
    (also known as "Suspension alignment")

    Tire alignment is a simple process, which may require slight adjustment of front and/or rear suspension components. If your alignment is off, your vehicle could be unsafe to drive.

    When should I have my tire alignment checked?

    • You’ve hit a sizable object on the road.
    • You see a wear pattern developing on the shoulders (outer edges) of the tires.
    • You notice a difference in your vehicle’s handling or when you are steering.
    • When you replace suspension or steering components.
    • At least every 7000 km.

    A few example indicators:

    • Your vehicle pulls or drifts to one side, when you are travelling on a straight, flat road with little cross-wind.
    • Your steering wheel does not return easily after a turn.
    • Your steering wheel remains at an angle when driving in a straight line.

    Why is important?

    • To minimize wear and tear on your vehicle and to maximize driver and passenger comfort.
    • To reduce wear on your tires, help increase their life and performance, and improve fuel economy.
    • To improve handling and driving safety by reducing steering and stability problems.

    How are wheels aligned? The details

    There are three main adjustments made during alignment:

    • Camber: if you’re viewing from the front of the vehicle, camber is the angle of the wheel, in degrees.
    • Caster: if you’re viewing the side of a vehicle, the caster angle identifies the forward or backward slope of a line drawn through the upper and lower steering pivot points.
    • Toe: it’s the difference in the distance between the front of the tires and the back of the tires.

  • Tire balancing: what should I know?

    What is it?

    • Sometimes when tires are mounted the distribution of weight of the tire+wheel assembly is not perfectly even all around the tire.
    • A wheel is out of balance when one area is heavier or lighter than the rest. The result is bouncing or wobbling, which can decrease tread life, increase vibration, and cause stress on your vehicle.
    • Tire balancing compensates for the weight differences to make sure that the tire weight is balanced. Tire professionals will add weights where necessary to counterbalance the tires.

    When should I balance my tires?

    • When a tire is replaced
    • When a balance weight is moved or removed
    • When you purchase new tires

    How are wheels balanced?

    1. To balance a wheel, your mechanic uses a balancing machine to determine where the heavy spots are.
    2. Weights are then attached to the exterior or interior of the wheel to counteract centrifugal forces acting on the heavy areas when the wheel is turning.

    Any advice?

    If you ever feel bouncing, wobbling or vibrations, consult a tyre professional quickly.

A safer ride

A few good things to be reminded of…
and maybe even a few tips you didn’t know about!

Safe driving

  • Safe driving on the highway

    • Always observe highway speed limits.
    • Activate your turning signalsr well in advance before overtaking or changing lanes.
    • Don't turn suddenly or you may lose control of your car and roll over.
    • Take regular breaks. Don't drive while tired.

  • Safe driving at night

    • Give your eyes some time to adjust to the light and shadows.
    • Tilt your rear view mirror slightly to reduce the dazzling effect of the car headlights behind you or switch to night setting, if your rear view mirror has this option.
    • Don't look directly at the headlights from cars travelling in the opposite direction.
    • Don’t drive too fast: visibility is reduced at night, making it hard for you to see the road ahead.

  • Safe driving in fog

    Visibility deteriorates in fog:

    • Turn on your dipped headlight and fog lights.
    • Reduce your speed and refrain from overtaking.
    • Leave enough time to react in an emergency by keeping a safe braking distance from the vehicle in front of you.

  • Safe driving in wind

    • Reduce your speed. Be prepared to stop at any time.
    • Close all windows. An open window can attract airborne particles like dust that can affect visibility.
    • Keep an eye out for obstacles or debris being blown on to the road.
    • Be aware that people may not hear your horn during strong windy conditions.
    • If you’re carrying cargo on your vehicle, make sure it’s tied down securely.
    • Be very careful passing taller vehicles especially in exposed areas or on bridges.

  • Safe driving in mountain areas

    Before driving:

    • Prior to setting off, check your brakes; test them and check the brake fluid.
    • Carry the tools necessary in case you break down (for a full list see Precautions and Emergencies).
    • Check the condition of your spare tire: the appropriate pressure is especially important.
    • Carry extra food, appropriate clothing and emergency aids.
    • Check the weather and road conditions in the mountain area and choose your route wisely.
    • Tell at least one other person where and when you are traveling and when you are due back so they can alert the emergency services If you don't return on time.

    While driving:

    • Blow your horn in advance if your view is blocked during cornering.
    • Drive carefully and slow down in turns, especially when your view is blocked.
    • Never speed or pass in sharp turns where you may not see oncoming vehicles.

  • Safe driving in mud

    Simple ways to decide if you can get across the mud:

    • When there’s heavy mud on the road or if you’re driving off-road, stop your vehicle and inspect the hardness and depth of the mud before driving through it.
    • Observe tire tracks of other vehicles to gauge the depth and consistency of the mud.
    • Determine the type of vehicles that have left the track from the sizes and widths of the track. Use that information as a reference to decide if you can get across.

Winter Weather Guide

  • Do I need winter tires?

    If you live in an area where the ambient temperature consistently below 44˚F (or 7 celsius) you should consider installing winter tires. 

    Winter tires are designed to perform better in a wide range of wintry conditions such as wet roads, snow and ice.
    They also improve your vehicle’s grip, performance, safety in these conditions and they shorten your braking distances. 

  • Winter, all-season and summer tires

    In cool temperatures, summer tires do not provide the performance that winter road conditions requires. They are made with different materials optimized for warmer condition and they can, for instance, harden under cold temperature lowering their grip level. Summer tires have difficulty to grip the road in snow or icy conditions.

    The differences can be startling:

    A typical car travelling at just 31 mph¹ on snow will take 48 meters to come to a halt with summer tires – a scary 78 feet more than if the same car is equipped with winter tires.

    1 Braking distance on snow from 31 to 0 mph. Test carried out in 2007 by independent testing body "Test World" in Ivalo, Finland using 195/65R15.

    All-season tires are designed to be driven year-round, but if you live in an area with severe winter conditions (heavy snow or ice), they may not be sufficient. All-season tires are designed to perform well in a large range of conditions, but not to handle the worst. Winter tires can provide you with the extra grip you need to get through deeper snow or ice-covered roads.

  • Three peak mountain snowflake symbol and “M+S”

    Three Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol

    Only tires which have the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol (a snowflake inside a mountain) have been tested for use in severe snow conditions. They meet or exceed industry-established snow traction performance requirements.
    Tires with this marking are what we traditionally call "winter tires".

    “M+S” means Mud and Snow tires

    They have been specially designed to improve your car’s performance in mud and fresh or melting snow. Many all-season tires have this marking.

    However, not all “M+S” tires have been tested as winter tires. So just even if a tire has a “M+S” marking, it can only be considered a true winter tire if it also has the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol. On the other hand, all winter tires carry the “M+S” mark..

  • Lifecycle of winter tires

    Wear

    Winter tires do not wear more quickly than other tires. The rubber is different, but comparable in durability. You can fit them early to enjoy maximum benefits.

    When should I replace them?

    • When the wear reaches down to 4 mm s mark.
      See how to measure wear.
    • After 5 years of usage, you should make sure they are thoroughly inspected at least once per year.

    Cost and value

    The cost of winter tires is generally equivalent if not less than standard replacement tires on a vehicle.
    Over the lifecycle of your vehicle, you will need to purchase at least one extra set of tires on average. Equipping the vehicle with winter tires during the first winter season will represent the same cost in the end but will optimize the performance in treacherous driving conditions with the benefit of added safety.

  • Put winter tires on all four wheels

    For maximum safety and control over your vehicle in cold weather conditions, fit winter tires on all four wheels.

    Why not only two tires?

    • Fitting winter tires just on the front axle can mean that the rear axle slides more easily. You risk spinning the vehicle under acceleration (rear wheel drive cars) or when turning (front or rear wheel drive).
    • Fitting only two winter tires on the rear axle increases the risk of driving straight on when you try to take a turn.

  • You need winter tires on 4WD (AWD)

    4WheelDrive does provide optimized power transmission delivery but minimal assistance in transverse handling and braking situations. With winter tires, you can feel optimized levels of traction during all manoeuvers including acceleration, braking, and handling.

  • Do I need studded tires?

    Do you drive more on icy roads than snowy roads?

    Studded tires are the right choice for you.

    Do you drive more on snowy roads or a variety of different road conditions?

    Non-studded winter tires could be a better choice.

    What are studded tires?

    Tires with metal studs inserted into the tread to increases grip on ice, making it easier to start and stop on the least friendly road surfaces imaginable.

    Studded tires are not ideal for driving on roads that are not covered with ice, as they can increase braking distance, road noise and wear.

Everything to feel winter ready:

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