VW Tiguan Manuals

Volkswagen Tiguan Owners Manual: Tire labeling

Fig. 175 International tire labeling.

Read and follow the introductory information and safety information firstIntroduction to the subject 

Knowing about tire specifications makes it easier to choose the correct replacement tires. Radial tires have specifications marked on the sidewall.

Tire labeling (example) Meaning
Brand, Logo Manufacturer
Tire name Individual tire designation of the manufacturer.
P255/55 R 18 Dimensions:
P Tire application: Passenger car
255 Nominal sidewall-to-sidewall width of tire in millimeters.
55 Ratio of height to width (aspect ratio)
R Tire belt design letter code for radial.
18 Rim diameter (in inches)
95 H Load rating code ⇒ Load rating code  and speed rating code ⇒ Speed rating code letter .
XL Indicates reinforced tire (heavy-duty)
M+S or M/S or Indicates Mud and Snow capability (also M/S) ⇒ Winter tires .
SSR or DSST, Eufonia, RFT, ROF, RSC, ZP Manufacturer-dependent labeling for run-flat tires.
RADIAL TUBELESS Tubeless radial tire.
E4 ... Labeling according to international regulations (E) including number of the approving country. The multi-digit approval number is listed next.
DOT BT RA TY5 1709 Tire identification number (TINa) – in some cases only on one side of the tire – and the manufacturing date:
DOT The tire complies with the requirements of the United States Department of Transportation, responsible for issuing safety standards.
BT Identification letter of the manufacturing site.
RA Manufacturer information regarding tire dimensions.
TY5 Tire characteristics provided by the manufacturer.
1709 Manufacturing date: 17th week in 2009.
TWI Marks the position of the tread wear indicator ⇒ Tread depth and tread wear indicators .
Made in Germany Country of manufacture.
MAX LOAD 615 KG (1356 LBS) United States maximum load rating per wheel.
MAX INFLATION 350 KPA (51 PSI) United States maximum permissible inflation pressure.
SIDEWALL 1 PLY RAYON Tire ply composition and materials used:

1 layer of rayon.

Tire tread composition and materials used:

In this example there are 4 layers under the tread: 1 layer of rayon, 2 layers of steel belt and 1 layer of nylon.
Consumer information regarding comparison to specified base tires (standardized test procedure)⇒ UTQG classification :
TREADWEAR 280 Relative service life expectancy of the tire referenced to a US-specific standard test.
TRACTION AA Traction rating under wet conditions (AA, A, B or C).
TEMPERATURE A Temperature stability of the tire at increased test bench speeds (A, B or C).
Additional numbers found on the tire could either be tire manufacturer internal labels or country-specific labels (e.g. for Brazil and China).

Unidirectional tires

Unidirectional tires are designed to rotate only in one direction. Unidirectional tires have arrows on the sidewalls that show the direction of rotation. Make sure you mount the tire so that it rotates in the proper direction. The tire's performance with regard to hydroplaning, traction, noise, and wear is worse if it is not mounted in the proper direction of rotation.

If you have to mount a tire opposite to its proper direction of rotation, you must drive more carefully, since the tire is no longer being used as designed. This is particularly important on wet roads. You must replace or remount the tire as soon as possible in order to restore the correct direction of rotation.

Load rating code

The load index indicates the maximum permissible load per individual tire in pounds (kilograms).

1356 lbs (615 kg)
1433 lbs (650 kg)
1521 lbs (690 kg)
1609 lbs (730 kg)
1653 lbs (750 kg)
1709 lbs (775 kg)
1763 lbs (800 kg)
1819 Ibs (825 kg)
1874 lbs (850 kg)
1929 lbs (875 kg)
1984 lbs (900 kg)
2337 lbs (1060 kg)

Speed rating code letter

The speed rating code letter indicates the maximum permissible road speed of the tires.

up to 93 mph (150 km/h)
up to 99 mph (160 km/h)
up to 105 mph (170 km/h)
up to 111 mph (180 km/h)
up to 118 mph (190 km/h)
up to 124 mph (200 km/h)
up to 130 mph (210 km/h)
up to 149 mph (240 km/h)
over 149 mph (240 km/h)
up to 167 mph (270 km/h)
up to 186 mph (300 km/h)

Some tire manufacturers label tires with a maximum permissible road speed above 149 mph (240 km/h) with the letter combination ZR.


Using incorrect or unmatched tires and/or wheels or improper tire and wheel combinations can lead to loss of control, collision and serious personal injury.
  • Always use tires, wheels and wheel bolts that meet the specifications of the original factory-installed tires or other combinations that have been specifically approved by the vehicle manufacturer.
  • All 4 wheels must be fitted with radial tires of the same type, the same size (tread circumference), and the same tread pattern. Driving with different tires reduces vehicle handling and can lead to a loss of control.
  • Never drive faster than the maximum speed for which the tires installed on your vehicle are rated because tires that are driven faster than their rated speed can fail suddenly.
  • Overloading tires can cause heat buildup, sudden tire failure, including a blowout and sudden deflation and loss of control.
  • Temperature grades apply to tires that are properly inflated and not over- or underinflated.

a) TIN represents the serial number of the tire.

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