All tyres wear out. Even good ones. Most consumers purchase tyres quickly without thinking about the different characteristics unique to each type of tyre, and then get stuck with tyres that aren't the best match for their vehicle and driving habits. The tyres you choose today are a critical factor in the quality of your overall driving experience and you'll live with that choice for several years. Whatever type of vehicle you drive, tyres make a big difference in how your vehicle feels, and how it handles. Tyres affect your braking, your comfort, even your fuel economy. Purchasing tyres is a decision that should not be made without doing some homework.
How do I know when to change my tyres?
On all Michelin tyres there is a Bibendum (Michelin Man) situated on the shoulder . This indicates the position of tread wear indicators, which are located in the main grooves of the tread. These indicators take the form of small ridges, 1.6 mm high, which are moulded into the base of the tread grooves. If the rubber on the tread is worn down to the ridges (i.e. To the minimum legal depth of 1.6mm), the tyres must be changed. If you do not change the tyres before they wear to this level you may be compromising your safety and would be breaking the law. This is why Michelin strongly recommends that you do not wait until this level is reached.
To maintain good performance, it is advisable to change your tyres when they are worn to 2.0mm.
Why fit new or the least worn tyres to the rear?
Whether your vehicle is front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, we recommend that new tyres be fitted to the rear axle. This will ensure that vehicle stability is maintained in extreme conditions of braking and cornering, especially on wet or slippery roads.
Numerous tests have shown that it is generally easier to control the front axle than the rear axle.
If the front tyres skid, the driver momentarily loses control of his steering. The action that should be taken to regain control is to lift the foot from the accelerator and to turn the steering wheel into the direction of the skid. This manoeuvre will help vehicle control to be regained.
On the other hand, should control be lost on the rear axle, the situation is much more difficult to control, because this leads to oversteer. In order to regain control of the vehicle, the driver should turn the steering away from the direction of the bend. An experienced driver would also find that gentle deceleration would also help gain control.
This is why Michelin recommends that you limit the risk of this happening by fitting new or the least worn tyres to the rear. This will enable:
- improved grip when cornering
- vehicle stability when braking
- additional vehicle safety
How can I increase tyre life?
Check the inflation pressures once a fortnight, especially before going on a long journey. The correct pressure is an important factor in the long life of tyres. Pressures should always be checked when the tyres are cold. Don't forget to check the spare tyre and ensure that you conform to what is recommended in the vehicle handbook or tyre placard.
The valve should be changed every time a new tyre is fitted, as it deteriorates due to ageing and centrifugal force. The valve plays a very important part in the tyre's airtightness and longevity.
Wheel balancing is necessary to eliminate vibrations. It also avoids premature wearing of the suspension and steering components, rotating parts and tyres.
Check the wheel alignment as well as the vehicle's geometrics (toe in, positive camber, etc.). This will avoid irregular wear and rapid wear of your tyres.
How can I maintain tyre performance?
Rotate the wheels around!
A certain amount of mileage tyre wear, through wheel mis-alignment, can cause problems in vehicle performance (affects different vehicles in different ways). To reduce this, replace the front wheels with the rear wheels every 5,000 to 10,000 km maximum, unless doing so causes the rear tyres to have significantly less tread depth than the fronts.
To optimise results, see below:
Why should I check wheel alignment?
Incorrect alignment can result in rapid, irregular tyre wear and can even affect the handling and safety of the vehicle. Only careful and regular examination of the tyres can reveal incorrect alignment (you are unlikely to notice it whilst driving).