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Audi A3 Tire/Wheel Questions



  • leo2006a3leo2006a3 Posts: 1
    I own an 2006 A 3 Prem. pkg. Which tires are best, when it comes to noise reduction ?
    The car has Pirelli P6 Four Season, they are BAD. Leo
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 785
    You have to consider 2 parts:

    1) Do the tires have irregular wear?

    Irregular wear can generate a considerable amount of noise. This is usually caused by mis-alignment - and by mis-alignment I mean alignment settings that aren't good for tire wear - which is common on many European vehicles (especially German vehicles!) In particular, any camber over 1° tends to develop irregular wear.

    If you have such a vehicle, then you need to find an alignment shop who is willing and knowledgable enough to be able to dial out the camber that the vehicle manufacturer put in. They did this for handling purposes and one of the unfortunate side affects is irregular tire wear - which isn't a concern for European motorists.

    While some tires are more prone to irregular wear than others, you can really cut the risk by getting the alignment set for good tire wear, rather than handling.

    2) If the problem is the tread pattern, then you need to be aware that road surface texture plays a role in tire noise. Since road surfaces vary widely through the US, you should consult with a local tire dealer. He will know what works in your area - and it will be different from place to place.

    So your first step is to find an alignment shop who will work with you to get the camber under a degree. Your second step is to talk to a local tire dealer. Sometimes these are the same person.
  • The OEM ContiProContacts on my 09 A3 lasted exactly 40k without issue. Snow traction was lacking, but each has given their all without any uneven wearing or annoying noises. I'm now eyeing up a set of ExtremeContact DWS's to get me through to next summer. I then plan on pickup a set of nice summer tires and rims and hitting the track. Two sets of tires seem to last almost 3 times longer :-p

    Tirerack has survey results posted for each tire, and tire noise is one of the many ratings. I prefer a quiet ride, but wet traction and comfort are at the top of my list, at least for an all-season.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,284
    Mounted the Continental Extreme Contact DW's to my A3 just about a week ago (300 miles). Best tire I've ever used so far in regards to ride comfort and road noise (and I'm running upgraded 18" 235/40's now. The traction and performance seems first rate too, but I won't know until I really test that out after breaking them in.
  • What 18" wheels are you running? I just picked up some TT 18" rims and I will check out the Conti ExtremeContacts.

    Is there a recommended alignment setup to reduce the tire wear? Factory settings seem to chew right through them, especially Nexen all-seasons - they were brand new on the car when I bought it and I can't recommend them.

    Regarding winter tires, anyone run a taller, more narrow tire on their stock 17"s?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Narrower? Yes. Taller? No, or at least not that I've ever heard; what would be the point?
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 785
    My experience with alignment is that many European cars spec too much camber. While that is good for handling, it's a detriment to tire wear. Anything over a degree of camber should be dialed out.

    And toe is a multiplier for tire wear problems. The toe needs to be as close to the target value as possible.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,284
    I'm running OZ Racing's ultra lightweight Allegerita 18" wheels in Anthracite finish.

    Really one of the better upgrades I've done that made a noticeable difference and improvement with the way the car drove thank to the loss of 10lbs of unsprung weight per corner.

    I'm all about having good handling, so I wouldn't want to change my camber or toe settings for more tire mileage, just find a tire that can handle the A3's demands.

    I'd imagine you'd want to run taller tires in the winter to give you more ground clearance, though where I live, there is no such thing as Winter.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The reduction in handling due to a taller tire far outweigh any perceived benefits of say a half of an inch more ground clearance (especially so because, around here at least, for every 30 days of cold relatively clear roads, we might get one or two (on average) which features snow deep enough to make ground clearance an issue). Said another way, if ground clearance is an issue, you're better off driving a Jeep or waiting until the plows come by.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,284
    I had a guy tell me that taller tires can handle better, and pointed to Nascar and Indy, and Drag Race Cars as an example of very tall tires used for performance purposes.

    What is the correct response to that argument?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    It all depends. Consider the following wheel/tire combinations (all of which have an outer diameter within a tenth of an inch of 25.0"):

    15" wheels and 195/65 R15 tires
    17" wheels and 205/50 R17 tires
    19" wheels and 215/35 R19 tires

    If one was to put the above tires on any one car, a first generation Mazda3 for instance, it is pretty good bet the "Taller" fifteen inch setup at the top will be able to handle at least as well as the "Shorter" nineteen inch setup at the bottom, in spite of the nearly one inch narrower section width of the tread. So, from that perspective, the guy you were talking to was correct.

    The thing is, the "Middle" seventeen inch setup will be able to run rings around the both of them. Why? The short answer is that the rotational mass or "Angular Kinetic Energy" (think gyroscope) becomes so great beyond roughly sixteen to seventeen inches of wheel size that the wheels become very able to resist changing their rotational plane, which in turn degrades handling.

    To be sure the above answer is greatly simplified and disregards any number of other factors, but I think you get the idea. :)
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 785
    edited September 2011
    Total unadulterarted mulemuffins.

    Drag racing/ handling? Not even in the same universe.

    Look at sports car racers where the rules don't prohibit innovation - Yup, 35/40 series tires.
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