FAQ

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 or higher than that of 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 I mix radials and non-radials?

    Tires of different size designations, constructions, and stages of wear may affect vehicle handling and stability. For best all-around performance, it is recommended that all tires be of the same size, construction (radial,non-radial) and speed rating. If tires of different speed ratings are mounted on a vehicle, the same size, type and speed ratings need to be placed on the same axle, the tires with the lower speed rating will be the determining factor for permissible tire related vehicle speed. Never mix radial and bias-ply tires on the same axle. Get specific information from your Dealer

  • Can I use my summer tires in winter?

    No. These tires are specifically designed for warm weather use. When average daily temperatures are at or below 45* F /7* C, you should make the switch to winter tires.

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

    Winter tires are not assigned tread wear ratings.

    Winter tires are designed for cold weather use only. Usually when average daily temperatures are at or below 45* F / 7* C. While the tire operates just fine in warmer conditions, it will wear out very quickly.

    Therefore, the life of the tread is impacted by the amount of driving performed in warmer conditions since the rubber compounds that give this tire winter grip are not designed to withstand non-winter conditions over the long-term. In short, winter tires used in the summer wear out very rapidly.

  • 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.

    However, if you can provide the original equipment tire size and the tire size you wish to install, we can provide the tire specifications and differences.

    If you need assistance locating a participating tire retailer, refer to the Yellow Pages of your local telephone book or the Dealer Locator on our website.

  • 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.

    P-Metric
    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.

    European Metric
    Essentially, this system was a conversion of the Numeric system from inches to millimeters. Aspect ratio appears in the size designation in most cases where it is other than 82.


    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.


    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.


    Light Truck Numeric

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

     

  • 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.

    Example:
    DOT M5H3 459X 065

    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.

    For Michelin brand tires, DOT markings related to the week and year of production will have an additional symbol for the decade of the 1990s. It will be shown as a triangle following these last three numbers.

    Beginning in year 2000, an additional digit was added to the serial number to allow the year of production to have two digits.

  • 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 1.8 bar (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 molded on the sidewall of the tires or the maximum vehicle axle load limit as shown on the vehicle tire placard, whichever is less. 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 air pressure warning system.

  • 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:

    • Do not mix sizes. All four tires must be branded with the same tire size.
    • Do not mix radial and non-radial tires. All four tires must be either radial or non-radial.
    • Be sure that the outside circumference of all four tires is within one (1) inch of each other.
    • Do not mix tread pattern types such as all-terrain and all-season.
  • What is a Directional tread design?

    Tires with directional tread patterns must be mounted so that the primary 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 late 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 (55km/h), 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 Speed ratings?

    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).

    Speed Symbol L
    Speed (km/h) 120
    Speed (mhp) 75
    Speed Symbol M
    Speed (km/h) 130
    Speed (mhp) 81
    Speed Symbol N
    Speed (km/h) 140
    Speed (mhp) 87
    Speed Symbol P
    Speed (km/h) 150
    Speed (mhp) 94
    Speed Symbol Q
    Speed (km/h) 160
    Speed (mhp) 100
    Speed Symbol R
    Speed (km/h) 170
    Speed (mhp) 106
    Speed Symbol S
    Speed (km/h) 180
    Speed (mhp) 112
    Speed Symbol T
    Speed (km/h) 190
    Speed (mhp) 118
    Speed Symbol U
    Speed (km/h) 200
    Speed (mhp) 124
    Speed Symbol H
    Speed (km/h) 210
    Speed (mhp) 130
    Speed Symbol V
    Speed (km/h) 240
    Speed (mhp) 149
    Speed Symbol W   ZR
    Speed (km/h) 270
    Speed (mhp) 168
    Speed Symbol Y   ZR
    Speed (km/h) 300
    Speed (mhp) 186
    Speed Symbol (Y)   ZR
    Speed (km/h) Above 300
    Speed (mhp) Above 186
    (Consult tire manufacturer)
  • 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 in 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.

    Tire Brand Name
    Mud+Snow
    Severe Snow Service Symbol
    Original Equipment Approval Symbol (Porsch Shown)
    Tire Line Name
    Int'l Compliance (E.C.E. Shown)
    U.S.D.O.T Compliance followed by Tire Identification Number
    North American Load and Pressure Marketing
    Tire Size Designation (Euro Metric Shown)
    Service Description (Load Rating Speed Rating)
    Tire Construction Materials
    UTQG Rating
    Construction Type
    Tubeless
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