Skip to main content

Tire Maintenance and Safety

Air Pressure

Proper inflation is the single most important factor in tire care. The inflation pressure imprinted on the sidewall of the tire is the maximum operating pressure determined by the tire manufacturer. It is not necessarily the correct inflation for your vehicle's tires.

You should always use the inflation recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. This information can be found in the owner's manual and often on a label located in the vehicle's doorjamb, inside the fuel hatch, or on the glove compartment door.

Tips

  • We recommend checking air pressure once a month and before long trips.
  • Always check the pressure when the tires are "cold" -- at least three hours after the vehicle has been stopped and before it has been driven 1.6 kilometer. It's best to inflate your tires in the morning.
  • Don't forget to check the spare tire.
  • Replace valves when you buy new tires.
  • Buy good quality valve caps that can contain the inflation air, should the core of the valve fail for any reason.
  • Purchase a good pressure gauge. Public gauges at the gas station are often abused and unreliable.

Rotation

Regular rotation extends the life of your tires, saving you time and money in the long run. Each tire and wheel is removed from your vehicle and moved to a different position. This ensures that all of the tires wear evenly and last longer. If no period is specified in your owner's manual, the tires should be rotated every 6,000-12,000 kilometers.

Alignment

Alignment generally refers to the adjustment of a vehicle's front and rear suspension parts. Proper alignment ensures that your vehicle handles correctly and will help increase the life and performance of your tires. The alignment of your vehicle can be knocked out of adjustment from daily impacts such as potholes and railroad crossings, or by more severe accidents. You should have the alignment checked if:

  • You know you have hit something.
  • You see a wear pattern developing on the shoulders of the tires.

Balancing

Balancing means compensating for both the weight of the tire and wheel after the tire is mounted. A wheel is out of balance when one area is heavier or lighter than the rest. This can cause irregular treadwear and vibration, and increase the stress on the front-end parts, which may cause them to wear prematurely.

You should have your wheels balanced whenever a tire is replaced, when a balance weight is moved or removed, and whenever you purchase new tires. Of course, at the first sign of vibration or irregular treadwear, your car should be thoroughly checked for wheel balance and alignment, and for worn or broken mechanical parts.

Vibration

A vibration while driving indicates a problem that needs attention. The tires, steering system and suspension system should be checked immediately to help determine the possible cause of the vibration. If the vibration is not corrected, it could cause excessive tire and suspension wear - it could even be dangerous.

Treadwear Indicators

All tires have treadwear indicator bars at 2/32" of remaining tread. When the tread is worn down to 2/32" or where you can see the treadwear indicator bars on any section of you tire, the tire is worn out and should be replaced. Take your vehicle to your local Uniroyal tire retailer for an inspection and have them measure the remaining tread with a tread depth gauge.

Driving Habits

Here are some tips to help increase the life of your tires:

  • Don't speed. Excessive heat is generated when driving at high speeds. This heat increases the rate of tire wear and reduces the tire's durability.
  • Avoid fast turns on curves and around corners, and avoid fast starts and panic stops.
  • Don't ride on the edge of the pavement or drive over curbs, potholes, or other obstructions.

Tire Service Life Recommendation

The following recommendation applies to passenger car tires and light truck tires. Tires are composed of various types of material and rubber compounds that have performance properties essential to the proper functioning of the tire itself. These component properties evolve over time. For each tire, this evolution depends upon many factors such as weather, storage conditions, and conditions of use (load, speed, inflation pressure, maintenance etc.) to which the tire is subjected throughout its life. This service-related evolution varies widely so that accurately predicting the serviceable life of any specific tire in advance is not possible.

That is why, in addition to regular inspections and inflation pressure maintenance by consumers, it is recommended to have passenger car tires and light truck tires, including spare tires, inspected regularly by a qualified tire specialist, such as a tire dealer, who will assess the tire's suitability for continued service. Tires which have been in use for 5 years or more should be inspected by a specialist at least once per year.

Consumers are strongly encouraged to be aware not only of their tires' visual condition and inflation pressure but also of any change in dynamic performance such as increased air loss, noise or vibration, which could be an indication that the tires need to be removed from service to prevent tire failure.

It is impossible to predict when tires should be replaced based on their calendar age alone . However the older a tire the greater the chance that it will need to be replaced due to the service-related evolution or other conditions found upon inspection or detected during use.

While most tires will need replacement before they achieve 10 years, it is recommended that any tires in service 10 years or more from the date of manufacture, including spare tires, be replaced with new tires as a simple precaution even if such tires appear serviceable and have not reached the legal wear limit.

For tires that were on an original equipment vehicle (i.e., acquired by the consumer on a new vehicle), follow the vehicle manufacturer's tire replacement recommendations, when specified (but not to exceed 10 years).

The date when a tire was manufactured is located on the sidewall of each tire. Consumers should locate the Department of Transportation or DOT code on the tire which begins with DOT and ends with the week and year of manufacture. For example, a DOT code ending with "2204" indicates a tire made in the 22nd week (May) of 2004.

When Purchasing Two New Tires

For continued optimized vehicle performance, it is recommended that all tires be replaced at the same time with the identical MSPN.  

Deeper tread tires on the rear axle provide better handling, wet grip, and evacuate water, thereby helping to avoid oversteer and loss of vehicle stability on wet surfaces. Deeper tread tires on the front axle can improve wet straight line braking and stopping distance. If only two tires are being replaced, Michelin generally recommends they be installed on the rear axle in the absence of a tire service professional's recommendation or consumer's preference to the contrary.

Replacing a single tire on a vehicle can have an adverse effect on suspension systems, gear ratios, transmissions, and tire treadwear. If a single tire replacement is unavoidable, it is recommended that the single new tire be paired with the deepest tread tire from the vehicle (including the full size spare) and both be placed as a pair according to the recommendations in the paragraph immediately above.