Your tyres are one of the most vital parts of your Volkswagen. Here you’ll find all the information you need to understand yours better.
EU tyre labels
Helping you make an informed choice
Since 1 July 2012, all brand new tyres are required to have an European Union (EU) tyre label. Discover the information they give you.
EU tyre labels
EU tyre labels give a grade for fuel efficiency, grip in the wet, and loudness when rolling.
Tyres with a higher fuel efficiency grade encounter less resistance from the road, usually by featuring a specially designed tread pattern or tweaks to the type of rubber compound they use. An A-graded tyre can save you up to 0.7 litres of fuel every 100 kilometres, compared to a G-graded one.
The grading system for how well tyres stop in wet conditions ranges from A to F. At 80 kmph A-graded tyres can bring you to a complete stop in less than 3 metres. An F-graded tyre may take more than 18 metres to do the same.
External rolling noise
How loud your tyres are when rolling is indicated by how many soundwaves are next to the speaker icon, one being the lowest and three loudest.
- 3 soundwaves: The external rolling noise is compliant with the EU-set limit
- 2 soundwaves: The noise as many as 3 decibels under the limit
- 1 sound wave: The noise is 3 or more decibels under the limit
The numbers on the side of your tyres tell you a lot about them. Discover what they mean.
In our example, we’re using a tyre with the following numbers:
225 / 45 R 17 94 W – Explained
225 – tyre width
The first three digits tell you the width of the tyre in millimetres. In this case, the tyre is 225mm wide.
45 – the height to width ratio
Sometimes called the aspect ratio, this number is the profile height of the tyre’s sidewall expressed as a percentage. Here the tyre’s sidewall is 45% of its width, which is around 101mm.
R – tyre design type
The R tells you that this is a radial tyre, the most common design found in modern tyres. Radial tyres are constructed with the cord piles positioned at a 90-degree angle to the direction of travel to give the tyre extra strength. There are two other design types.
D (diagonal tyre) – The cords run diagonally. D tyres must never be used alongside R tyres.
RF (Run-Flat tyres) – These tyres are built with a reinforced sidewall that allows you to travel at reduced speed in the event of a puncture.
94 – load index
The load index tells you how much weight your tyres can carry. The load index runs from 65 to 124 with a higher number denoting a greater weight capacity. A load index of 94 means you can carry up to 670kg per tyre. This capacity may decrease at high speeds.
W – speed index
Graded in ascending order from L to Y, the speed index tells you the maximum speed your tyres can tolerate. W means the maximum speed is 168mph.
Date of manufacture
At least one of your tyres’ sidewalls will have an additional four-digit number printed on it. Known as the DOT (Department of Transport) number, the first two digits tell you which calendar week the tyre was made in and the last two the year.
What makes a tyre?
Every tyre is made up of a contact surface and substructure. They feature the following parts:
- Tread – the grooves on the outside of the tyre that grip it to the road.
- Jointless bandage – a feature that prevents your tyres from deforming at higher speeds.
- Steel cord belt layers – these maximise driving stability and rolling resistance.
- Textile cord insert – when the pressure of the tyre’s interior is high, the cord insert maintains its shape.
- Inner liner – keeps the tyre airtight.
- Sidewall – made from rubber, the sidewall helps prevent external damage and increases stability.
- Apex – the apex gives an extra layer of stability and improves steering.
- Steel core – this keeps the tyre sitting firmly on the wheel rim.
- Tyre bead reinforcement – made from strong, heat-resistant fibres, the bead reinforcement enhances stability and provides extra steering precision.