An owner parked his car with Volkswagen tyres – tyre knowledge

How much do you know about your tyres? Find tips and tricks here

How much do you know about your tyres? Find tips and tricks here

Your tyres are your only contact with the road and, on average, drive once around the world: With the right pressure, you’ll even save money in the process. An array of information on tyres is available here.

Your tyres are your only contact with the road and, on average, drive once around the world: With the right pressure, you’ll even save money in the process. An array of information on tyres is available here.

Safety, comfort, petrol consumption – it all depends on your tyres

A Volkswagen Genuine tyre with the EU tyre label – tyre knowledge

The EU tyre label tells you, in simple symbols, which properties a particular tyre has

It has been mandatory for all brand-new tyres since July 1st 2012, and has been in effect since November 1st.

Illustration of fuel efficiency – Volkswagen tyres
Example for possible fuel consumption of a vehicle at 1000 km with an average consumption of 6.6 l/100 km.

Fuel efficiency

The lower the resistance your tyres have to overcome when they’re in action, the lower the amount of energy your Volkswagen needs – and you produce less CO2. Between classes A and G, at 100 km/h this is up to 0.7 l.

Wet grip

The more efficient the wet grip of your tyres, the shorter the braking distance on wet surfaces. At 80 km/h, this increases by 3 to 7 m from one class to the next. Even if you applied the brakes fully, you would sit collide with an obstacle at a speed of up to 30 km/h.

Illustration of the wet grip efficiency and the corresponding braking distances – Volkswagen tyres
Braking distance at 80 km/h to a standstill.
Illustration of the meaning of the numbers of black sound waves – Volkswagen tyres

The external rolling noise

Quiet tyres are more pleasant for you and the environment. As little at 10 dB extra is perceived as twice as loud. How loud or quiet a tyre is can be identified by the number of black sound waves.

  • Three sound waves:
    The external rolling noise complies with the EU limit values applicable from 2016.
  • Two sound waves:
    The external rolling noise already complies with the EU limit values applicable from 2016 or is up to 3 dB under them.
  • One sound wave:
    The external rolling noise already complies with the EU limit values applicable from 2016 or is more than 3 dB under them.

Tyre labelling – explained in seven steps

What do the numbers on my tyres mean? Alongside the manufacturer and product name, you’ll find a range of important information on your tyres, such as tyre type, rim diameter and maximum permitted speed limit.

01
Tyre width in millimetres

It is measured from sidewall to sidewall of your tyre. Passenger vehicle tyres are between 125 and 335 mm wide.

Illustration of the tyre labelling: tyre width in millimetres
02
Height-width ratio

How tall is the tyre in comparison to the width of its cross-section in percent? The smaller the number, the lower the tyre sidewall.

Illustration of the tyre labelling: height-width ratio
03
Tyre design type

The tyre carcass is made of fine cord fibres.

  • R (radial tyre):
    The cords run at a right angle to the direction of travel.
  • D (diagonal tyre):
    The cords run diagonally. R and D tyres must not be combined.
  • RF (Run-Flat tyres):
    Self-supporting tyres with emergency running properties.
Illustration of the tyre labelling: tyre design type
04
Rim diameter in inches

The distance from rim edge to rim edge is measured. In general, this it 10 to 20".

Illustration of the tyre labelling: rim diameter in inches
05
Load index

Indicates the maximum tyre load in combination with its maximum speed. For example, 670 kg are permitted for a value of 94.

Illustration of the tyre labelling: load index
06
Speed index

The permitted maximum speed limit can be seen in combination with the load index. The load capacity of the tyres may sink at high speeds.

Illustration of the tyre labelling: speed index
07
Date of manufacture (DOT)

You’ll find the so-called DOT number on at least one of the tyre sidewalls. DOT stands for “Department of Transportation”, i.e. the date of manufacture. Here, the last four digits are relevant. The first two digits indicate the week of production in calendar weeks and the last two indicate the production year.

Illustration of the tyre labelling: date of manufacture (DOT)

The right minimum tread depth

Tyre tread

How do you measure the tread depth? In the rough tread grooves of your tyres you’ll find small 1.6 mm tall projections – they represent the mandatory minimum tread depth. By looking at these in comparison with your tyres, you’ll see how worn your tyres are. You can also put a 1 euro coin in the grooves – the gold edge is 4 mm wide. Our minimum tread depth recommendation for winter tyres.

Illustration of a Volkswagen tyre and the right minimum tread depth and how to measure it

How deep should my tyre tread be?

The deeper the tread of  your tyres, the more effective they are at draining off water and protecting you from aquaplaning. Even if the tread depth is just less than 4 mm, your tyre will have considerably less grip on a wet road. The reason: The profile no longer drains water properly and your tyres lose contact with the road. Don’t take the risk – make sure you get new tyres fitted when the tread is too shallow. We recommend a 3 mm tread with summer tyres and 4 mm with winter tyres.

Winter tyres on a snowy surface

Braking distance at 50 km/h until a complete stop.

  • 8 mm tread depth
    New tyres.
  • 4 mm tread depth
    Recommended safety.
  • 1.6 mm tread depth
    Heavily worn tyres.
Illustration of the braking distance at 50 km/h on a snowy surface with winter tyres with different tread depths

There are many layers hidden inside your car tyre

Every tyre is made up of a contact surface and a tyre substructure

Illustration of the different layers of a VW car tyre – Volkswagen tyre knowledge

Contact surface and tyre substructure (carcass)

  1. Tread – for an effective grip on the road and for taking up and draining water
  2. Jointless bandage – enables high speeds
  3. Steel cord belts layers – optimise driving stability and rolling resistance
  4. Textile cord insert – maintains the shape of the tyre, even at high interior pressure
  5. Inner liner – renders the tyre airtight
  6. Side wall – protects against lateral damages
  7. Apex – supports driving stability and steering behaviour and comfort response
  8. Steel core – ensures a firm fit to the rim
  9. Tyre bead reinforcement – supports driving stability and precise steering behaviour

Cutting-edge technology for efficiency and safety

Top quality for performance and comfort

Quality, driving comfort and design are the top priorities when it comes to our Volkswagen Genuine Complete Wheels. Follow the entire production process here: from the initial design to the final quality control.

Our complete wheels go through a wide range of stages before finally becoming your companion out on the road:

  • Development
  • Production process
  • Test procedure
  • Assembly
  • Quality control

Tyre damages

Damages to the tyre put both your safety and the safety of fellow road users at risk – and therefore they should be repaired. Learn about the most common types of tyre damage, possible causes and consequences.

Illustration of the tyre damage: abrasion points

Abrasion points

  • Characteristics:
    Abrasion points on the tyre sidewall.
  • Possible causes:
    Driving into a kerb, for example, thereby causing damage to the tyre carcass.
  • Consequences:
    The carcass may break or moisture may seep into the vehicle interior, leading to corrosion of the metal mesh, which causes the entire tyre to become unstable.

Damages to the carcass are not immediately visible from the outside, making them particularly dangerous. A tyre expert can recognise the pattern of damages – so get in touch with your professional workshop straight away.

Tip: Do your rims bear clear traces of an impact? Then your tyres might also be affected..

Cracks, ruptures and porous areas

  • Characteristics:
    Signs of ageing such as cracks, ruptures or porous areas.
  • Possible causes:
    Damages caused by improper storage, for example by way of UV rays from the sun, or by way of high water pressure and aggressive cleaning agents during cleaning.

Tyres of this sort should not be re-mounted for the new season. If you are unsure about anything concerning these points, consult a tyre expert in your professional workshop. In general, we recommend changing your tyres after six years

Tip: Volkswagen offers the Wheel and Tyre Storage Service: professional storage for your tyres, more space for you.

Illustration of the tyre damage: cracks, ruptures and porous areas
Illustration of the tyre damage: embedded foreign objects

Embedded foreign objects

  • Characteristics:
    Embedded fragments, nails or sharp stones in the contact surface area.
  • Consequences:
    Often a dangerous, gradual loss of pressure: moisture can finds its way to the tyre interior and cause the steel cord belt to rust, which may lead to a detachment of the tread or belt.

A tyre expert can assess the damages – so get in touch with your professional workshop straight away.

Abnormal tyre wear

If the damages to your car’s tyre are unevenly distributed across the entire contact surface, you should check them: Find out here about the potential irregular damage patterns that require action. 

Illustration of an abnormal tyre wear: emergence of sawtooth

Emergence of sawtooth

  • Characteristics:
    Irregular wear on the tyre shoulder in the form of a sawtooth, increasingly loud noise at the tyre/road interface.
  • Possible causes:
    Defective shock absorbers, misaligned axle geometry, driving too fast or too cautiously.
  • Consequences:
    The car becomes unusable more quickly, frequent tyre changes and the associated costs.

If you come across a sawtooth pattern on your tyre, determine the cause with the help of your professional workshop, and then how to proceed.

Wear primarily on the shoulder of the tyre

  • Characteristics:
    Considerably less worn tread in the centre of the contact surface than at the two shoulders.
  • Possible causes:
    Too low an air pressure, as it is mainly the shoulder areas of the tyres which come into contact with the road surface when rolling (when wear is even) or consistently fast driving in curves in the road at too low a tyre pressure (severe wear at the outer shoulder).
  • Consequences:
    The car becomes unusable more quickly and the associated costs, in extreme cases the carcass may be damaged or a sudden loss of a tyre may occur, as damages to the carcass persist even if the tyre is once again driven with the right pressure.

Check the tyre pressure on a regualr basis and if in doubt, consult your workshop.

Illustration of an abnormal tyre wear: wear primarily on the shoulder of the tyre
Illustration of an abnormal tyre wear: wear primarily in the centre of the contact surface

Wear primarily in the centre of the contact surface

  • Characteristics:
    Consistently even wear in the centre of the contact surface.
  • Possible causes:
    Too much pressure, meaning that the centre of the tyre, which protrudes more due to the pressure, comes into contact with the road surface more than other parts or exceeding the approved maximum speed limit for the tyre.
  • Consequences:
    More frequent tyre changes and the associated costs.

It is recommended to inquire in your workshop – and regularly check the correct tyre pressure.

Isolated wear caused by braking or inactivity

  • Characteristics:
    Pattern of wear distributed across the whole tyre or at specific points.
  • Possible causes:
    Hard or full braking on a blocked tyre (isolated points of wear caused by braking), generally only occurs on cars with no ABS, long periods of tyre or vehicle inactivity in conjunction with too low an air pressure (isolated wear caused by inactivity).

Should you have any questions concerning the usability of the tyre, please consult a professional workshop.

Illustration of an abnormal tyre wear: isolated wear caused by braking or inactivity
Illustration of an abnormal tyre wear: severe wear at one shoulder

Severe wear at one shoulder

  • Characteristics:
    Severe wear at just one shoulder of either one or all wheels.
  • Possible causes:
    Incorrectly installed or worn running gear, overloading or an unapproved wheel/tyre combination.

If you notice the emergence of this pattern, consult your workshop.

Lower consumption – greater driving comfort

You’ll find the answers to all your questions about tyre pressure here.

Tyre pressure too low or Tyre Pressure Loss Indicator faulty

The tyre pressure in a wheel has considerably decreased or a tyre has structural damages. Drive more slowly, avoid any heavy steering and braking manoeuvres and check your tyres as quickly as possible. Everything is OK but the lamps are still on? Visit your nearest authorised Volkswagen Retailer to have the system checked.  

Yellow VW warning lamp: tyre pressure too low or Tyre Pressure Loss Indicator faulty

The tyre pressure monitoring system

Lower consumption and greater driving comfort

Too low a tyre pressure quickly leads to tyre damage – the reason for 40% of all accidents resulting in personal injury. Since November 2014, we have been equipping all passenger car and SUV models with a tyre pressure monitoring system.

Illustration of the tyre pressure monitoring system in a VW car – direct system

Direct system

How it works:

  • A tyre pressure sensor is built into every wheel.
  • It transmits information to a control unit.
  • The on-board computer displays the tyre pressure.
  • If the pressure falls, the system warns the driver.

Important:
During the seasonal change, when your Volkswagen goes back to summer or winter tyres, the sensors have to be partially replaced, but in any case they have to be calibrated.

Models with a direct system as standard:

  • Touareg
  • Arteon

Models with a direct system upon request:

  • Tiguan
  • Passat
  • Touran NF

Indirect system

How it works:

  • The system does not measure the pressure; instead, it measures the rpm of the wheels.
  • Depending on the tyre pressure, a wheel covers a particular distance with every revolution.
  • This is used to calculate the revolutions per minute of the wheel.
  • The system calculates the pressure using the rpm.
  • If the rpm increases, the pressure sinks and the system warns the driver.

Important: During the seasonal change to summer or winter tyres, you do not need new sensors. This makes the system cheaper, but it still complies with EU regulation.

Models with an indirect system:

  • up!
  • Polo
  • Golf
  • T-Cross
  • T-Roc
  • Touran
  • Tiguan
  • Passat
  • Sharan
Illustration of the tyre pressure monitoring system in a VW car – indirect system

How to increase tyre service life

A tyre’s maximum service life is six years – that’s assuming that they’re not damaged, the tread hasn’t been worn down earlier. The DOT number on your tyres will provide information about their age. Here are a few tips for a long tyre service life.

Illustration of the inside of an AirStop® tyre with sealing technology, that protects the tyre from pressure loss in case of damage

AirStop®

Fewer flat tyres, more mobility. Find out more about self-sealing tyres with sealing technology here.

Volkswagen Group Ireland Limited (“VWGI”) believes the specifications and pricing on this website to be accurate and correct at the date of publication. Specifications, pricing, standard equipment, options, fabrics and colours are subject to change without notice by VWGI. Please note that some possible configurations may no longer be available in production or stock. Contact your retailer for the latest information. Some vehicles are pictured with options that may be available at extra cost or may not be available on some models. Ask your retailer about availability of options and verify that the vehicle you ordered includes the equipment you ordered. Prices exclude the maximum delivery charge of €775, model shown is for illustrative purposes only.

Your browser is outdated!

Please get a decent browser here or there