Michelin CrossClimate+ rebuts need for 4mm replacement
Fleets running Michelin’s CrossClimate+ tyres can benefit from safe handling all the way down to 2mm, negating the hassle and cost involved with early tyre changes, new research indicates.
Carried out by Auto Bild magazine in Germany, the tests pitted Michelin’s CrossClimate+ summer tyre with winter capabilities against all-season fitments from five competitors at three separate tread depths of 8mm (new), 4mm and 2mm.
The cars were driven on a test track in controlled conditions on wet, dry and snowy surfaces – measuring their performance in each of the 11 handling disciplines – with Auto Bild saying at the end of the tests that it was “able to rebut the general request to change tyres at half tread depth by referring to the compelling performance of the Michelin tyre”.
In the snow traction test, Auto Bild found the Michelin tyres delivered “constant grip” while in the winter slalom they lost “almost no performance with decreasing tread”.
And when it came to winter handling, “only the Michelin delivers safe handling with two millimetres of tread”.
The research contradicts the given wisdom in the fleet industry that car operators should change tyres with 3mm or even 4mm of tread remaining – way in advance of the legal minimum of 1.6mm.
Jonathan Layton, Michelin’s head of fleet in the UK and Ireland, says: “This test is a clear demonstration that changing tyres early does not guarantee greater safety, and no current studies have established a direct link between accident levels and tyre tread depth.”