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Why Are Michelin Tires So Expensive? Are They Worth It?

why are michelin tires so expensive

Any brand that boasts a reputation for high quality is usually expensive. When we talk about car tires, one of the costliest manufacturers in the market is Michelin.

You will notice its price difference from other brands once you go to a tire center to compare. Hence, you couldn’t help but think: why are Michelin tires so expensive? And does the hefty price tag translate to reliability?

How Do Michelin Tires Compare To Competitors?

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1. Quality

Being one of the expensive tire brands, there must be something different about Michelin. The number one distinction of this brand is its high quality.

For starters, there are many firsthand accounts of this manufacturer’s dedication to delivering highly reliable products with a very low chance of defective units.

In fact, it is a common opinion among tire expects that Michelin tires have a lower defect rate compared to its competitors.

To note, there are many tire brands that become popular because of their affordability. Unfortunately, being popular due to cheap prices is not always good news, as it is more likely that the product’s performance has been compromised.

At the IW Best Plants conference in 2013, Michelin North America’s former president, Pete Selleck, offered a glimpse of the tire manufacturing company’s intricate quality-control system.

Selleck spilled that in Michelin’s factories, employees ensured the specified dimensions for the tires are strictly followed.

In an instance when a tire randomly sampled for quality control fell short of the requirements, the factory that produced that tire would have 24 hours to fix the product.

Reddit also has plenty of threads with people giving praises to Michelin tires, swearing that they are worth the money of any car enthusiast who wants to get the best driving experience.

One thread compared Michelin with other tire brands such as Falken and Kumho. While there are many posts admitting that Michelin tires are very costly, numerous people couldn’t just risk buying a more affordable brand for the sake of saving more.

At the end of the day, the seemingly cheaper tire brand would wear faster; hence, you will need to buy another tire after only a few years.

How much are Michelin tires going to be in 5 to 10 years? That will depend on whether the current quality of the brand is maintained, or if its competitors are able to find a way to improve their products.

2. Customer And Industry Reviews

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You can say that Michelin tires are renowned in the industry, as evidenced by the high ratings and rankings it’s been receiving from different consumer review websites.

For the public to easily determine the performance of a particular tire brand compared to others, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed a grading system that rates car tires based on three different criteria: traction, temperature resistance, and treadwear.

This grading system is known as the Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG).

  • According to nhtsa.gov, the NHTSA listed treadwear as an important criterion to gauge the longevity of car tires. Treadwear can be computed by comparing a sample with a control tire, which is given a rating of 100 for longevity.

If a sample gets a rating of 300, that means the sample can last 3 times longer than the control tire. It should be noted that ordinary passenger tires have treadwear ratings ranging from 300 to 500.

  • Another measurement of performance used by consumers is traction, which can be given an A to C rating, AA being the best and C being the lowest rating. When we say that a car has good traction, that means that the car tires have a good grip, particularly when the road is wet.
  • The last criterion used in UTQG is temperature. A tire with a good grade must have impressive temperature resistance. Similar to the rating for traction, the temperature resistance score follows the scale of A to C, A still being the highest and C being the lowest.

Seeing the high ratings being received by this brand should be enough to justify how much Michelin tires cost today. For example, the Michelin Cross Climate+ has an A rating for both temperature and traction, and a 600 score for treadwear.

3. Longevity

Another justification for Michelin tires being expensive is their expected long lifespan. Michelin tires are found to have longer mileage than an average tire, ranging from 45,000 to 85,000 miles.

It should be noted that even a superior tire brand has its limits. There are many aspects that effectively decrease the car tires’ lifespan.

Michelin tires, which are the hallmark of highly durable car wheels, can still wear out sooner than expected if you keep subjecting them to below-optimal conditions.

If the car is used to pass along rocky or gravelly roads most of the time, these products can have much shorter longevity than their competitors in cars that are driven only on smooth pavements.

In this case, you should be smart in choosing the right type of tires for your vehicle.

If you use your Michelin model for a long driving adventure, it is best to choose the LTX A/T 2 all-terrain design with an estimated lifespan of 85,000 miles. This kind of tire should have significantly improved longevity compared to ordinary light-duty ones.

It is a wise decision to purchase an expensive tire as long as there is no issue with its durability. You will only get frustrated if you buy budget-friendly tires that will only last a few years.

As for the Michelin brand, its price may be sky-high, but it boasts superb longevity, which makes Michelin tires good investment.

4. Warranty

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After everything that has been discussed, you probably already have an answer to this question: are Michelin tires worth it? Definitely yes. However, great performance and durability do not give us a complete picture of their value.

There are still a lot more factors that make Michelin tires worth the price. The chance that you will get a defective Michelin tire from a store is close to zero, but even if that possibility pans out, you will still be impressed by the brand’s warranty policy.

Michelin boasts an impressive buyer’s program, in which the customer would no longer have to show proof that the tire is defective.

Even if the tire is functioning just as expected, consumers whose expectations were not met after buying the product can get their money back.

The Michelin brand sets itself apart from the competitors with this kind of warranty deal. One might think that this kind of policy would lead the manufacturer to bankruptcy.

However, Michelin tires actually got the edge over other tire brands, since car enthusiasts have long sought better consumer rights protection when it comes to buying vehicle parts and accessories.

Another impressive feature of Michelin tires is the mileage warranty. As an example, Michelin has special tires for trucks that are covered by this treadwear warranty.

For example, the Michelin Defender T+H has a mileage warranty of up to 80,000 miles. In the event that the tire tread is measured to be less than 2/32-inches already, Michelin will give the buyer a store credit to purchase new tires.

5. Satisfaction Guarantee

As mentioned earlier, Michelin has extended further its rules for product warranty. The satisfaction of the user matters, even when a product passes the standard for quality.

You can simply say that you are longer satisfied after buying the tires. Then, return them within 30 days after purchase, as long as you still have the official receipt to show to the store.

Conclusion

Why are Michelin tires so expensive? The answer is a combination of quality assurance and consumer protection. The Michelin brand was able to establish its good reputation over the years by focusing on the satisfaction of consumers.

While its expensive price may be the only downside of buying this brand, you can get a lot more of your money’s worth because of the tire’s great performance on the road and longevity.

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