An owner parked his car with Volkswagen tyres – tyre knowledge
An owner parked his car with Volkswagen tyres – tyre knowledge
An owner parked his car with Volkswagen tyres – tyre knowledge
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.

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.

1
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
Illustration of the tyre labelling: tyre width in millimetres
2
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
Illustration of the tyre labelling: height-width ratio
3
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
Illustration of the tyre labelling: tyre design type
4
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
Illustration of the tyre labelling: rim diameter in inches
5
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
Illustration of the tyre labelling: load index
6
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
Illustration of the tyre labelling: speed index
7
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)
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