How to look after your tyres

Being the only link between your car and the road, tyres play a vital role in keeping you in control while driving. A flat tyre won’t do you any good so it’s important to check them regularly. Here are a few tips on all aspects of tyre care.

Tyre tips

Avoid bumping against the kerb when parking. That may damage the rubber skin and internal construction of your tyres. In the worst case, they may burst on the motorway.

Check tyre pressure as regularly as possible. Tyre pressure gauges can usually be found at any service station. Check the pressure when the tyres are cold, where possible, and do not reduce it when the tyres are warm.

Your tyres should be balanced every time they’re changed. This will extend their life and protect bearings, suspension and the steering system. Correct axle geometry will also help your tyres wear evenly.

Avoid aggressive driving to extend your tyre’s life.

Measure the tread depth regularly and check your tyres for damage and deformations.

Protect your tyres against contact with oil, grease and fuel.

The choice is yours

Fortunately, there are still some guarantees in life. Volkswagen Choice1 is a flexible finance solution that provides you with the assurance of knowing exactly what the minimum value of your vehicle will be down the track. At the end of your loan, you have the option to trade in, retain or return your vehicle. The choice really is yours.

If tyre pressure is too high, it can lead to less comfortable driving. Tread can wear down unevenly and the life of your tyres can be reduced.

If tyre pressure is too low, it can risk driver and passenger safety as braking and handling are affected. Tyres that are uneven or underinflated can lead to a reduction in the life of tyres and lead to poor fuel consumption.

Tyre labels explained

Understanding what all the letters and numbers mean on your tyres will come in handy. Other than the manufacturer and product name, you’ll also find a range of important information on your tyres such as the type, rim diameter and maximum permitted speed limit.

Tyre width in mm

Passenger car tyres have a width of 125-335mm.

Height/width ratio

This number is the height of the tyre, compared to the width of its cross-section, as a percentage. The smaller the number, the lower the sidewall or ‘profile’.

Tyre structure

These letters dictate which way the filaments inside the body of a tyre run, in relation to the direction of travel.

  • R (radial tyre):
    filaments run at right angles to the direction of travel./li>
  • D (diagonal tyre):
    filaments run diagonally./li>
  • RF (run-flat):
    a special type of tyre designed to resist the effects of deflation when punctured.

Rim diameter in inches

Measured straight across the rim, from edge to edge. 10-20” are standard.

Load index

This indicates the tyre’s maximum load capacity in conjunction with its maximum speed.

Speed index

The maximum permitted speed must be read in conjunction with the load index. At high speeds, the load capacity of the tyres may fall.

Tyre pressure monitoring system

An underinflated tyre can be damaging to your car. If the tyre pressure warning symbol lights up, it means your tyre pressure has reduced considerably or the tyre has structural damage. Drive slowly, avoid heavy steering and braking manoeuvres, and check your tyres when it’s safe to do so.

How deep should my tyre tread be?

Your tyres will have wear indicators moulded into the grooves across the tread. These small bumps can be found consistently around the tyre. The tyre is at its limit when these small bumps are level with the tyres tread. The more tread, the better they’re able to dissipate water and reduce the risk of losing contact with the road surface in wet weather.

How far can I drive on a space saver spare wheel?

It’s recommended that once you have changed the wheel you drive to the nearest Volkswagen Tyre Centre or independent tyre centre to have your damaged tyre replaced or repaired.

Be sure to drive more slowly, avoid heavy steering, hard braking and not to exceed the recommended maximum speed of 80km/h.

Self-sealing tyres


We’re taking the worry out of flat tyres with a self-sealing technology developed by Volkswagen. AirStop tyres are filled with a viscous mass which seals against tyre punctures of up to 5mm in depth and prevents pressure loss in the tyre. Your driving behaviour remains stable and you can drive trouble-free to your nearest Approved Volkswagen Tyre Centre.

Your benefits

  • No pressure loss after puncture.
  • Full protection even in the event of several punctures.
  • Same driving comfort in comparison to standard tyres.
  • Saves space and fuel due to the elimination of a spare wheel.

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