FAQ for cars
FAQ for cars
The Michelin FAQ provides answers to many commonly asked questions about our company and our tyres
Technical Info and Definitions
Can I go to a lower speed-rated tyre than what came on the vehicle?
It is recommended that the replacement tyre size speed rating be equal to or higher than that of the O.E. tyre-size speed rating. If a lower speed-rated tyre 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 tyre with a lesser speed rating than the O.E. tyre. Again the customer must be informed, as mentioned above.
How do I determine if my current rim is approved for your tyres?
The rim width range is extremely important. This range represents proper rim widths that will assist the tyre/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 tyre to balloon or curve out, slowing steering response.
Refer to our website for tyre specifications.
How do I read the sidewall of my tyre?
The side of a tyre contains information needed for your safety and that of your customer. Being able to read sidewall markings will help you to better understand the performance of each tyre. It will also provide you with information when mounting and servicing the tyre.
How much load/weight can my tyre carry?
Never exceed the load-carrying limits moulded on the sidewall of the tyres or the maximum vehicle axle load limit as shown on the vehicle tyre placard, whichever is less. Overloading builds up excessive heat in the tyre and could lead to failure.
What are zero pressure tyres?
Zero pressure tyres are designed to operate for a limited time with little or no air pressure without causing damage to the tyre casing. In order to realise the zero pressure benefits, the tyres must be mounted on proper wheels and the wheels must be equipped with an operational, Michelin-approved low tyre air pressure warning system.
What guidelines should I follow when mixing tyres on 4WD vehicles?
If no instructions for tyre mixing appear in the vehicle owner’s manual, adhere to the following guidelines:
- Do not mix sizes. All four tyres must be branded with the same tyre size.
- Do not mix radial and non-radial tyres. All four tyres must be either radial or non-radial.
- Ensure that the outside circumference of all four tyres is within 2.5 cm (one (1) inch) of each other.
- Do not mix tread pattern types.
What is a Directional tread design?
Tyres with directional tread patterns must be mounted so that the primary direction of rotation matches the directional arrows on the tyre sidewall. If all four tyres are the same size, directional tyres can be rotated front to back.
Tyres with tread patterns that are both asymmetric and directional require left and right specific tyres. Sidewall markings will identify the side of the vehicle and the primary direction of rotation for the tyre. If all four tyres are the same size, they can be rotated front to back.
Which Michelin tyres are right for my car?
Where can I get all tyre-care information to gain more years on my tyres and tyre care in general?
It’s always good to have your tyres checked up regularly, so please visit our online training centre to take full advantage of your Michelin tyres.
How do I acquire Michelin's tyre prices?
Michelin establishes a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) for its tyres. This price, however, is only a guide as Michelin cannot dictate the price at which authorised Michelin dealers sell our tyres to consumers. To obtain a quote on tyres and tyre-related services, please contact the Michelin Hotline at 1300 72 78 78. Alternatively, locate your dealer here.
What’s the appropriate tyre pressure for my car?
Proper inflation is the single most important part of tyre care. The inflation pressure on the side of the tyre is the maximum operating pressure. It is not necessarily the right inflation for your vehicle. Always use the inflation recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. You can find it in your owner's manual, posted on the edge of the driver's door, on a door post or on the inside of the glove box door. Also, don't forget to check the spare. Your Michelin dealer/retailer can answer any questions you may have about tyre inflation.
Tyre Care and Maintenance
Do my driving habits affect the life of my tyres?
Yes. Here are several tips to help increase the life of your tyres:
- Don’t speed. High speeds can generate excessive heat, which can increase the rate of tyre wear. Drive at 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 road or drive over kerbs, potholes or other obstructions.
How and when should I rotate my tyres?
preferred tyres rotation patterns cars
dual rotation patterns cars
How do I take care of my new tyres?
Properly maintained tyres can help to give you a more comfortable ride and a longer tread life. So:
- Check your tyre pressure monthly with a tyre-pressure gauge (and make sure that the tyres are cold – at least 3 hours after driving).
- Check your tyres frequently for any cuts, snags, punctures, any other injury, or irregular tyre wear.
- At the first sign of irregular tread-wear, have your alignment checked.
- Make sure that the tyres are balanced when they are mounted on the wheels.
- Rotate your tyres following the schedule in your vehicle owner's manual or as required by the tyre manufacturer’s warranty.
How many kilometres will I get out of my tyres?
Many factors can affect the tread life of your tyres, such as:
- Tread compounds
- Construction features
- Vehicle application
- Tyre maintenance
- Geographic conditions
- Atmospheric conditions
- Driving habits
- And more
That’s why exact mileage is impossible to predict. Take special care when braking, accelerating and cornering, etc., to help increase the life of the tyre. (Owning tyres with Michelin’s technology doesn’t hurt either.) If you have concerns about the rate of wear on your tyres, consult your local authorised Michelin retailer.
How should I care for tyres that I have in storage?
Tyres 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 tyre's oxidation and weathering agents within the rubber compounds and result in cracking. Be sure that the surfaces on which the tyres are stored are clean and free from grease, fuel or other substances that could deteriorate the rubber.
For mounted tyres inflate at, but no higher than, the recommended air pressure. Store vehicles on blocks to remove the load from the tyres.
Is it safe to repair a flat tyre?
If a tyre loses all or most of its air pressure, it must be removed from the wheel for a complete internal inspection to be sure that it's not damaged. Tyres that are run for even short distances while flat are often damaged beyond repair. Most punctures, nail holes, or cuts of up to 0.6 cm (1/4 inch) - – confined to the tread - – may be satisfactorily repaired by trained personnel using industry-approved methods. Don't repair tyres with tread punctures of larger than 0.6 cm (1/4 inch), or any sidewall puncture. Also, never repair tyres which are worn below 1/16 inch tread depth. Your best bet is to make sure that your spare tyre 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 tyre's sidewall for the correct inflation pressure, speed and mileage limitations. See your dealer for expert tyre repair.
Is there a time period on breaking in my new tyres?
New tyres have to be driven for a few hundred miles on dry roads to rid the tread of the parting agents and antioxidants applied during production. Not until the tread has been slightly roughened will the tyre be able to make its true gripping power felt.
Is there a way to tell when I need new tyres?
Tread-wear indicators ("wear bars") are located at the base of the main grooves and are equally spaced around the tyre. The tread-wear indicators, which look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread, will appear on the tyre when that point of wear is reached. When you see these wear bars, the tyre is worn out and it's time to replace the tyre. Always remove tyres from service when they reach a remaining tread depth of two thirty-seconds of an inch (2/32").
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Must I replace my present tyres with the same size tyres?
Never choose a smaller size than those that came with the car. Tyres should always be replaced with the same size designation – or approved options – as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer or authorised dealer
Should my tyres be balanced?
Proper balancing is critical for optimal vehicle performance, especially at today's higher motorway speeds. When tyre and wheel assemblies are unbalanced, a vibration can result from wheel and assembly shimmy (shaking from side to side) or wheel assembly tramp (tyre and wheel hopping up and down). Therefore, it is important that these assemblies are in both static and dynamic balance.
What is proper alignment?
A vehicle is said to be properly aligned when all suspension and steering components are sound and when the tyre and wheel assemblies are running straight and true. Proper alignment is necessary for even tread wear and precise steering. Uneven front or rear tyre 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 tyre mileage, performance and comfort.
What is the correct air pressure for my tyres?
The vehicle manufacturer selects the size and type of tyres for their vehicles. They perform the necessary testing to establish the vehicles’ optimised operating tyre inflation pressures which can be found on the vehicle placard (located on the inside of the driver's door) and in the vehicle owner's manual.
If the tyres on your vehicle are the same size as the original equipment tyre, inflate them to the pressures indicated on the placard.
What is your opinion on the use of nitrogen in tyres?
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 tyre. Unfortunately, there are other possible sources of leaks (tyre/rim interface, valve, valve/rim interface and the wheel) which prevent the guarantee of pressure maintenance for individuals using air or nitrogen inflation. Tyres 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 those of the tyre manufacturer. Whether they are inflated with air or nitrogen, regular pressure maintenance remains critical because under-inflated tyres lead to:
- A reduction in road holding
- A reduction in wet traction capability
- An increased sensitivity to road hazards
- A reduction in tread-life
- An increase in fuel consumption
- A reduction in tyre life due to excessive heat from over deflection
What should I look for when inspecting my tyres?
In addition to performing regular maintenance, you must also keep an eye out for potential problems that might affect your tyres. Regular inspections can help you prevent tyre trouble, and keep you rolling safely down the road. When inspecting your tyres, 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 under-inflation, misalignment and improper balancing.
- 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 farther into your tyre as you drive.
- Damaged areas: Cracks, cuts, splits, punctures, holes and bulges in the tread or on the sides of the tyre can indicate serious problems, and the tyre may need to be replaced.
- Slow leaks: tyres lose some air pressure (about 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 tyre, wheel and valve checked—and if necessary, repair or replace the tyre.
- Valve caps: Those little caps on your tyre’s valve stem keep moisture and dirt out, so make sure they are on all your tyres. Also, when you have a tyre replaced, have a new valve stem assembly installed at the same time.
Driving on a damaged tyre can be dangerous. If you see something that you’re not sure about during your inspection, have it examined by your tyre dealer. Any time that you see damage to a tyre, don’t drive on it – use a spare if you need to go somewhere. And finally, pay attention to the “feel” of your tyres as you drive. A rough ride may indicate tyre damage or excessive wear. If you notice vibrations or other disturbances while driving, and/or you suspect possible damage to your tyre or vehicle, immediately reduce speed, drive with caution until you can safely pull off the road and stop, and inspect your tyres. If a tyre is damaged, deflate it and replace it with your spare. If you do not see any tyre damage and cannot identify the source of the vibration, take the vehicle to a tyre dealer for a thorough inspection.
When should I check my air pressure?
Air pressure in tyres, including the spare, should be checked at least monthly and always before extended driving. Tyres 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 or two kilometres). Do not reduce pressure when tyres are hot; use an accurate air-pressure gauge to check pressure and maintain it at the level recommended on the vehicle tyre vehicle placard or in the vehicle owner’s manual. Under-inflation produces extreme flexing of the tyre and builds up heat to the point that tyre failure may occur. Over- or under-inflation may adversely affect vehicle handling. Cold tyre pressures should never be higher than the limit moulded on the sidewall.
Where should I mount the tyres if I only purchase two?
Michelin recommends replacing all four tyres at the same time, however if replacing only two new tyres, be sure that the new tyres are the same size and tyre type as the current tyres and that the dealer always installs the new tyres on the rear axle of the vehicle. Click here for more information about how to choose the right car tyre.
Why Put the Two New Tyres on the Rear Axle?
- The New tyres will provide better wet grip than your half-worn tyres.
It will help to reduce the potential for the vehicle to fish-tail and lose stability in wet conditions
Where do I install new tyres if I only buy two?
Michelin recommends replacing all four tyres at the same time, however if replacing only two new tyres, be sure that the new tyres are the same size & tyre type as the current tyres and that the dealer always installs the new tyres on the rear axle of the vehicle. Click here for more safe riding tips.
Why Put the 2 New Tyres on the Rear Axle?
- The New tyres will provide better wet grip than your half-worn tyres.
It will help reduce the potential for the vehicle to fishtail and lose stability in wet conditions.
Who do I contact about a career with Michelin?
Please register your interest in working with us by sending all employment related matters to firstname.lastname@example.org
What are your company details?
Michelin Australia Pty Ltd
ABN: 84 006 761 628
51-57 Fennell Street, Port Melbourne
Victoria 3207 Australia
I would like to do some research about Michelin, who do I contact?
Thank you for your interest in Michelin. We ask that you forward your research proposal in writing to the following address.
51-57 Fennell Street, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207 Australia
Fax:1300 72 48 48
I want to become an authorised Michelin tyre dealer. What’s the process?
Thank you for your interest in becoming one of our prestige dealers. In order to receive information on becoming an authorised Michelin tyre dealer, please call our Michelin Hotline at 1300 72 78 78.
Where can I purchase Michelin Man Premium Products?
Not all Michelin merchandise is available for purchase in Australia. However, Michelin merchandise can be purchased online through the Michelin Boutique.
Can I drive on a flat tyre that does not have run-flat technology?
No. Michelin does not recommend driving on tyres without Run Flat technology. Michelin Run-Flat tyres have reinforced sidewalls designed to support the load of the vehicle in case of a pressure drop and allow continued driving for up to 50 miles (depending on road and driving conditions) at a maximum speed of 50 mph. Standard tyres do not have this technology.
What are road hazard injuries?
Road hazard damage is damage that occurs when a tyre fails as a result of a puncture, bruise or break incurred during the course of normal driving on a maintained road. Nails, glass and potholes are the most common examples of road hazards.
Avoid running over objects (e.g. potholes, rocks, kerbs, metal and glass, etc.) which may cause internal tyre damage. Internal damage, not visible without demounting the tyre, may be caused when a tyre runs over an object. Continued use of a tyre that has suffered internal damage (which may not be externally visible) can lead to dangerous tyre failure. Determination of suspected internal damage requires demounting the tyre from its rim and examination by a trained tyre personnel.
What are the causes of centre tread wear?
When the centre tread wears faster than the adjacent tread surfaces, possible causes include over inflation for load carried, rim width too narrow, misapplication, smooth wear after spin-out, improper tyre rotation practices, aggressive acceleration or under-inflation for certain tyre types, such as performance tyres.
If the tread depth is at or below 1.58 mm (2/32") in any groove or if cord material or under tread is exposed, the tyre must be replaced. If sufficient tread remains, verify the proper rim width and vehicle fitment as well as verifying/adjusting inflation pressures, then rotate the tyres for maximum wear.
What can cause my tyre to show One-Sided Shoulder Wear?
When the shoulder of the tread on one side of a tyre wears faster than the adjacent tread surface, this can result from a variety of conditions, such as front and/or rear misalignment (example, toe or camber), loose or worn suspension components, hard cornering, improper tyre-rotation practices, misapplication, high crown roads or non-uniform mounting.
If the tread depth is at or below 1.58 mm (2/32") in any groove or if either cord or under tread is exposed, the tyre must be replaced. If sufficient tread remains, verify that the tyre has been properly mounted, then rotate the tyres for maximum wear.
What can cause my tyre to wear in more than one spot around the circumference?
When tread is worn in one or more spots around the tyre circumference, this can indicate brake lock/skid, improper balance, localised underlying separation, loose/worn suspension components, improper bead seating/mounting, progression from initial tread cut/chip/road hazard injury or chemical contamination. Surface texture may have initially shown abrasion marks from the tyre sliding on the road, but the surface may have since worn smooth.
When the tyres with a flat spot are used in a dual application. you may consider rotating one tyre 180 degrees in relation to the flat spot on the other tyre.
If the tread depth is at or below 1.58 mm (2/32") in any groove or if either cord or under tread is exposed, the tyre must be replaced.
When the cause of the flat spot is not apparent, your tyre dealer should contact our Consumer Care Department.
What can cause my tyre tread face to show one rib higher than the other?
Feathering is a condition when the edge of each tread rib develops a slightly rounded edge on one side and a sharp edge on the other. The most common causes of feathering are incorrect toe-in setting or deteriorated bushings in the front suspension. The toe setting should be as close to 0 as possible for the optimum wear.
The tyres should be inflated to the pressure as indicated on the sticker on the inside of the driver’s door. The vehicle manufacturer has determined this pressure is optimal for load, ride, handling, rolling resistance and tread-wear performance.
What can cause the sidewall of my tyres to start turning a brownish colour?
The brownish colour on the sidewall of your tyres is not a defect. The source of this discolouration can be varied. One possibility is that the tyres contain an anti-ozone agent in their rubber compounds to slow down the ill effects of exposure to ozone in the air. This anti-ozone ingredient will migrate to the surface of the rubber and leave the appearance of a brownish dust. This is completely normal and technically is no cause for concern. In time, depending on usage, it will disappear.
Other possibilities for discolouration can be simply dust that is picked up from normal driving or brake dust which is generated by the abrasion of the brake pads against the brake rotor. This latter condition is more prevalent when the brakes are new or have recently been relined. In all cases, we recommend that you continue to clean your tyres with mild soap and water.
What causes a tyre to wear out?
Tread-wear or life expectancy is determined by many factors:
Driving habits and style of driving, geographical location, type of vehicle, type of tyre, how the vehicle is maintained and how tyres are maintained, etc.
As a result, mileage expectancy is impossible to determine.
Our Limited Warranty covers defects in workmanship and material for the life of the tread or six years from the original date of purchase, whichever occurs first. We offer no mileage warranty on the tyres that were originally equipped on your vehicle.
We suggest that you have the tyres/vehicle inspected by a participating tyre retailer in your area to determine if there is perhaps a mechanical or maintenance issue that could be contributing to a rapid or irregular wear pattern.
Your satisfaction is important to us. Please have the dealer contact us with the tyre inspection as we are willing to offer you assistance with your concern
What causes sidewall Indentations on my tyre?
The condition, sometimes referred to as sidewall undulations, is a common characteristic of radial tyre construction and is purely a visual characteristic that will not affect the performance of the tyre. These indentations are more noticeable in larger/wider radial-ply tyre sizes and become more visible with higher inflation pressures. The joining of the ply material in the sidewall area may cause a slight indentation or wavy appearance on the sidewall surface of the tyre when it is inflated. However, if bulges rather than indentations appear on the sidewall of the tyre, or if there is any question concerning any sidewall indentations, please contact a tyre dealer for a tyre inspection.
What could be the cause of my tyres making a loud noise?
Noise is most commonly due to an uneven or irregular wear pattern that has developed on the tyres.
We suggest that you have the tyres inspected by a participating tyre retailer in your area. To find the dealers near you, refer to the Yellow Pages of your telephone book or utilise the Dealer Locator on our website.
What should I do if I notice a vibration?
Vibration is an indication that your car has a problem that needs attention. The tyres, steering system and suspension system should be checked to help determine the possible cause and correction of the vibration. If left unattended, the vibration could cause excessive tyre and suspension wear. It could even be dangerous. Authorised Dealers offer expert diagnosis and repair