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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's one that's keeping me busy and where the interweb hasn't given me clear answers yet.

Mine is equipped with 225-50-17 Contis sportcontact 2. It's about time to think hard about changing them, preferably when tyre shops start with their 'summer tyres out - winter tyres in' discounts.

The speed rating of my current tyres is W, meaning good up till 270km/h. My winters are V rated, good for up to 240km/h. But can't compare as they are 16 inch only and a different thread and compound.

So for my summer tyres, do I have to take W again, or will V rated be OK? I've taken mine to it's top speed once, 265km/h on the clock, and it's not likely I'll do so again. So in terms of speed I would be OK. V rated is cheaper too and gives me more types/brands to choose from. What else do I loose when stepping down to V? Of what would I gain (or loose) when stepping up to Y?

I do want to stick to load rating 94. 98(XL) would be too hard and stiff for my taste as my TT is a comfortable good looking cruiser rather than a faster than lightning around the corner racer.

Any thoughts?
 

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If you don't have the CORRECT rated tyres it's quite possible your insurers won't pay out.

They'll be completely safe, but they're not the correct rating for the car.
 

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The speed rating has to be at least as big as the top speed of the car written in the manual (else, as already mentionned, insurance will not pay out in case of serious trouble). So Y for the TTRS and W/Z(R)/Y for the 2.0 engines.
 

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Sorry Guys, you are wrong.

How can an insurance company state that you have to have tyres on your car capable of doing the the top speed of your car when the top speed limit in the UK is 70 mph.

Virtually all tyres are capable of 70 mph plus, all they have to be is legal as far as the tread is concerned.

I checked this out with insurance companies years ago, but if you are going to push your car a bit then it makes sense
to have the correct speed rating tyre fitted.
 

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OK, well, the OP needs to check with their insurer because Admiral require what is stipulated by the manufacturer, nothing less. It may well vary with insurer, but the OP should certainly check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies so far. The official top speed of mine is 240 km/h. That matches with V rated tyres: 240km/h.

But that's by the by. Even in law and procedure happy Germany, lower ratings are allowed, provided the car warns when the tyre limit is reached, or you'd have to have a sticker glued to the dash with the max speed.

My wife's Civic had a topspeed of 210km/h and it's equipped with Y rated tyres: 300km/h. Has Honda gone mad? :?

Anyhow, I'm not worried about the insurer, after all 240 = 240 and I'm not insured at those speeds anyway (so says the fine print). My question is more towards technical differences. What's to expect? Noise? Handling? Wear?
 

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The insurance companies can't do anything in my opinion,as Audi supply V rated tyres if you take the Winter option.
I myself run W rated Winter tyres,and Y rated Summer.
The rating is not just for top speed,It also takes into account forces under acceleration.
Shop around, and I'm sure you will be able to get W rated at virtually the same price as V rated.
Just stick to good well tested makes of tyre.
 

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jaybyme said:
The insurance companies can't do anything in my opinion,as Audi supply V rated tyres if you take the Winter option.
I myself run W rated Winter tyres,and Y rated Summer.
The rating is not just for top speed,It also takes into account forces under acceleration.
Shop around, and I'm sure you will be able to get W rated at virtually the same price as V rated.
Just stick to good well tested makes of tyre.
On my car there are separate inflation settings for the different tyre sizes (including winter tyres). Those sizes also have ratings. Admiral told me that if the tyres don't match what's on that sticker, I'm not covered.
 

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electech said:
Sorry Guys, you are wrong.

How can an insurance company state that you have to have tyres on your car capable of doing the the top speed of your car when the top speed limit in the UK is 70 mph.
Because your insurance is not only valid in the UK, but also other European countries where speeds above 70 mph are allowed. I asked the question to my insurance company a while ago, and that's the reply I got from them. The only exception is winter tyres as was already written which usually do not exist in all speed ratings.

It also probably depends on the insurance company policy though.
 

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Speed ratings. :roll:

All tyres are rated with a speed letter. This indicates the maximum speed that the tyre can sustain for a ten minute endurance without coming to pieces and destroying itself, your car, the car next to you and anyone else within a suitable radius at the time.
Read more: http://www.carbibles.com/tyre_bible.html#ixzz22fJ2nzxL

Marketing exercise.
 

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If you fit a standard type tyre (i.e. a summer tyre or an all-weather tyre) then the rating has to be sufficient to cope with the maximum speed of your car - regardless of what the national speed limit is. If you fit a lower rating tyre you're uninsured because tyres are the very first thing that the insurance company will look at if you have a crash. It's crazy but they're the rules. A tyre fitter won't fit a lower rated tyre to your car.

In the case of winter tyres the rules are different. My old SLK (which had a top speed of 152mph) had to have W rated tyres for summer use. For winter use Mercedes recommended H rated tyres. That's OK provided (to be legally covered) you have a sticker in your car that the car is limited to 125mph or you set the speed limiter on the car (if it has one) to 125mph - either is OK.

Tyres rated for high speed have harder rubber (in addition to stronger casing, etc) to reduce heat build up. The problem with this is that, in winter, they offer less grip - you need soft rubber to get a grip in cold, slippery conditions. That's why winter tyres usually have lower speed ratings - it's not just that you're not going to be doing 150mph in snow!

I was a bit disappointed when I bought my new TT TDi a few months ago that the Pirelli P-Zero Rossos (about which the less said the better) were Z rated, when V would be fine. I reckon these tyres a not going to be that great in snow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@Pale Rider

While it is generally accepted that winter tyres may have a lower speed rating, there is no law stopping me from having winter tyres fitted all year around. :?

Anyhow, your remark regarding harder compound is interesting.... I was expecting Y tyre compound to be softer than W or V so it would provide more grip. The stronger construction goes without saying, higher speed = higher centrifugal force.

My TT runs on winter tyres during winter time, so I don't need to worry about winter performance of summer tyres.

My issue is that there isn't a lot of choice out there in my size. V rating gives a few more options. Upgrading to 18 inch is out of the question as I'm not going to invest 10% of the current value of the car in wheels and tyres. I'd rather buy a new Nikon instead.
 

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TT-driver said:
@Pale Rider

While it is generally accepted that winter tyres may have a lower speed rating, there is no law stopping me from having winter tyres fitted all year around. :?
No. Provided you have that sticker - that's the law in the UK anyway. It would be quite difficult to start having laws that defined when you are allowed to have winter tyres on - especially in Britain where the weather is very unpredictable.

Whether you can put V rated tyres on your car depends on what top speed Audi quoted for it in 2006 - you'd have to check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, top speed = 240km/h = V rating. But not so in Germany where rules are different again, as I found out yesterday.

Anyhow I'm more interested in technical differences between these speed ratings. What do I gain? What do I loose? UK law and German law don't apply to me as mine does its miles in the Netherlands.
 

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what rules are different.
No matter what you have on your car,you will have third party cover in Germany,but there could be a chance of being taken to court by the insurance company, if the y could prove the accident was caused by you not having the correct tyres fitted.
Never going to happen with speed ratings imop.
What difference will you notice between a V;W Y rated tyre on the road,most probably nothing.
For example.track day tyres quite often have lower speed and weight indexes,but are obviously made to with stand more punishment than a road tyre,it's just your not going to find a track were you can drive at constant very high speeds.
The car and tyre manufactures have to cover themselves,it has to be able to do the top speed of the car safely.
There's always the cheap Chinese tyre option,some have the M+S marking even though they are crap Summer tyres,
so ,on paper at least the can also be counted as a Winter tyre.
No, please stay away from cheap tyres !
 

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My understanding about the German regulations was you turned up at the tyre place with your Fahrzeugbrief that says what you can have on the car and that was all they were allowed to sell you. So if the paperwork says 255/35R19 Y 94XL that's what you had to have. They supposedly legally cannot sell you anything else, they cannot even fit anything else to that car.

As my UK car didn't have a Fahrzeugbrief no-one would sell me tyres until I showed them the sticker inside the door and then they would only sell me what was on the sticker. No 20" wheels for me!

Perhaps I just encountered a bunch of total jobsworths when I lived in Germany, but that's certainly how it seemed.
 

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you are right,that's how it works at most tyre shops in Germany,but it's not the law.only recommendations, or company policy.
What about if your tuning the car and fitting a different size, you would have to get the tyres fitted somewhere,then get the size added to your papers.
There's no law saying you can't fit two different makes of tyre on the same axle for example,or that you can't repair a small nail hole.but most tyre shops won't do that either.
 

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Yes, I think you can take your modded car to a TUeV station and they'll add the mod to the Fahrzeugbrief, but good luck getting them to add lower load rating tyres to the list.

As for it not being the law, the most common response I received while exasperatedly trying to get anything sorted out was "Nein, ist Pflicht", so they clearly thought it was the law.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I ordered my winter tyres and wheels at reifen.com, a German tyre company that delivers internationally. Their on-line ordering software is 100% German though. So I had to come up with some valid data that would normally be printed on the Farhzeugbrief. Managed to produce them and the ordering process completed successfully. Even before the tyres were delivered I received the 'Gutachten' showing it was legal to put them on my TT. They do take into account the max weight on front and read axle in order to determine the minimum load rating.
 

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It's just the German system.
If you go and buy any part for you car,the first thing they ask for is the Fahrzeugbrief.
They put the number into the computer and get the list of recommended tyre sizes or parts.
Tyre laws are an EU law,not a UK or German.
 
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