About Our Volkswagen Tires:


Tires are critical to the overall safety, reliability and performance of your Volkswagen. It is important to properly maintain your VW tires, keep them inflated to specifications, correctly balanced, and replace them when the time comes. It is best practice to replace all four tires at the same time.

With a few exceptions, all Volkswagen models originally came with bias ply tires. We do not offer bias ply tires because they do not offer the quality or safety features that radial tires offer. Radial tires are better equipped for long distance, high speed driving, and wet weather conditions.


How to Read Your Tire:


Tires are critical to the overall safety, reliability and performance of your Volkswagen. It is important to properly maintain your VW tires, keep them inflated to specifications, correctly balanced, and replace them when the time comes. It is best practice to replace all four tires at the same time.

With a few exceptions, all Volkswagen models originally came with bias ply tires. We do not offer bias ply tires because they do not offer the quality or safety features that radial tires offer. Radial tires are better equipped for long distance, high speed driving, and wet weather conditions.

Tire Section Width:

Tire section width refers to the width of the tire from sidewall to sidewall. Width is measured in millimeters, and is the first three numbers on the tire size marking. In our example "165/80R15" the 165 designated our tire is 165mm wide.

VW Tire Section

Aspect Ratio (Tire Profile Height):

Tire Aspect Ratio is measured in percent and refers to the ratio of height to width of the tire. Aspect Ratio is read as the two digits after the slash in a tire size marking. In our example "165/80R15" we find /80 is our aspect ratio. This tells us our tire height is 80% of 165mm. Quick math shows us our tire profile is 132mm high.

VW Tire Profile

Construction:

The "R" in our "165/80R15" tire designates radial construction. Radial construction means the tire body cords run across the section width of the tire, and are aligned 90 degrees from direction of travel. Radial are built with alternating layers of belts and caps stacked in the tires thread section. In other words, a radial tire offers thinner sidewalls and thicker threads.

Radial Construction grants a flexible sidewall for cornering impact obsorbtion while keeping a larger thread footprint on the ground. VW tires were originally manufactured with Bias-Ply construction however this style of tire is not recommended for any Volkswagen today,

VW Tire Construction

Wheel Diameter:

Rim Diameter refers to the inside diameter of the wheel in inches. Most stock VW's had 14" or 15" rims depending on the year and model.

VW Rim Diameter

Please Note: There could be several factors that cause a tire to rub the inside fender well. The wheel could have the wrong offset, too big a tire, or tire being too low.

Even fenders and ride height could cause tire rub. These are all factors to consider before purchasing tires.



Volkswagen Tire Options:


VW Stock Tire 165/80R15

The 165/80R15 is the modern day replacement for the factory size 165SR15 tire. For most all Beetles, Ghias and Type 3s this is the stock replacement tire. The obsolete 165SR15 tire did not list aspect ratio, but did list a speed rating of "S" (112mph). The modern day 165/80R15 tires list a slightly higher speed rating of "T" (118mph) as well as a load index of "87" (1,202 lb per tire).

The 165/80R15 tire will fit the stock VW 15x4.5" wheel. It will also fit all of our aftermarket 15" wheels in widths from 4" to 6.5".

** This tire is closest to stock VW tire size. Considered most "standard fit" tire.

VW Tire 145R15

The 145R15 is a lower than stock profile tire. It is both smaller in diameter (it is shorter) and width (it is narrower) than stock. If you are lowering the front of your vehicle you will most commonly need a smaller than stock tire. This is a necessity if you are installing drop spindles or lowering struts. Stock tires will not clear if you are lowering your vehicle! The 145R15 tire will fit the stock VW 15x4.5" wheel. It will also fit all of our aftermarket 15" wheels in widths from 4" to 5.5". Due to the very narrow tread width we recommend only using the 145R15 tire on the front of your car.

145R15 Tires do not state Aspect Ratio on the tire size marking. This tire is specifically made for classic VW's. Currently there is only 1 manufacturer, and we believe that manufacturer (Nankang) felt it was not necessary to list the aspect ratio since there were no other options in a 145 width. Our guess is the aspect ratio is slightly higher than 80% (about 4.5 - 5 inch profile height).

VW Tire 135R15

The 135R15 is a lower than stock profile tire. It is both smaller in diameter (it is shorter) and width (it is narrower) than stock. It is smaller still than a 145R15 tire as well. If you are lowering the front of your vehicle you will most commonly need a smaller than stock tire. This is a necessity if you are installing drop spindles or lowering struts. Stock tires will not clear if you are lowering your vehicle! The 135R15 tire will fit the stock VW 15x4.5" wheel. It will also fit all of our aftermarket 15" wheels in widths from 4" to 5.5". Due to the very narrow tread width we recommend only using the 135R15 tire on the front of your car.

135R15 Tires do not state Aspect Ratio on the tire size marking. This tire is specifically made for classic VW's. Currently there is only 1 manufacturer, and we believe that manufacturer (Nankang) felt it was not necessary to list the aspect ratio since there were no other options in a 135 width. Our guess is the aspect ratio is slightly higher than 80% (about 4.5 - 5 inch profile height).