Mechanic says look for the tiny Michelin Man on your tires to use a clever secret trick

HJBC/ShutterStock @_andwhyisthat_/TikTok (Licensed)

‘He’s just happy to help’: Mechanic says look for the tiny Michelin Man on your tires to use a clever, secret trick

‘That’s why they are marked up so much.’


Braden Bjella


As a car owner, it can be difficult to tell when you need to change your tires.

Expert advice on this topic ranges considerably; for example, NerdWallet says that a set of tires can last anywhere from 36,000 to 75,000 miles, with the main caveat that tires should be replaced regardless of mileage after 10 years.

The reason for this variation is what the tires themselves have been through during their time on the car. Factors like climate, driving habits, and car maintenance can all affect how long a car and its tires will last.

While some advise performing a trick with a penny to see whether your car has adequate tread, TikTok user David (@_andwhyisthat_) notes that, if you have Michelin tires, there’s an easier way to tell when your tires have been worn down.

How to tell when to replace your Michelin tires

In the clip, David shows a Michelin tire. Upon closer examination, there’s a “little Michelin man” near the tread of the tire. One of his hands is extended upwards, pointing to the tread.

“What he’s pointing at is the wear bars,” David states.

David continues by saying there are other areas of the tire where the Michelin man is visible near the tread, also pointing to the wear bars. He then explains exactly what a “wear bar” is.

“These are wear bars on a tire,” he says, pointing to a small nub in the groove of the tire tread. “They’re just little raised spots between the tread, and what those are telling you is that if you hit those, if you wear it down and you’re on the wear bar…you’re at 2/32nds of tread left. You need new tires.”

Michelin confirms this information

What David says in his video has been confirmed by Michelin itself.

On the company’s British website, it writes, “Tyre wear indicators are marks spaced evenly along the tyre tread, so you’re able to identify how much of the tyre tread depth has worn down. On Michelin’s tyres for passenger cars, a Michelin Man figure is embossed onto the tyre to make it easy to see where the tyre tread depth indicators are. This way, you can quickly identify if the tread is too worn down when checking your tyres.”

Michelin’s American website also has a page about what one should do if their tire reaches these bars, as uneven wear on the tire could be a sign of a greater problem with the vehicle.

@_andwhyisthat_ @Michelin ♬ original sound – David

In the comments section, users were thankful for the advice, even if it didn’t help them personally.

As one user put it, “I don’t even drive but this is interesting.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Michelin via email and David via TikTok direct message.

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