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Volkswagen GTI Tire & Wheel Problems



  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
    8200 miles is at least 2200 miles past where I would have rotated the tires. No alignment is "perfect" and you do need to rotate the tires to "spread out the wear" and extend the life of the tires.

    On most of my vehicles I've rotated every 6000 miles, although on one current one that tended to develop cupping on the original tires, I rotate at 5000 miles.


    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

  • Purchased at 2007 GTI Fahrenheit in late August. 18 tires have become increasingly noisey even under the most basic driving conditions. Also the ride is very rough. Any suggestions to remedy? Should I purchase 17 inch wheels and tires?

    Thanks for your ideas.
  • Take a look at the tread in the inside of the tire. Is it fanning or feathering? This is what happened to the 17" ers on my '08 GTI. They made a terrrible noise, had to be replaced at 8k miles, no help from dealer or Bridgestone. :mad:
  • ahmedahmed Posts: 9
    I gave up trying to loosen the lug bolts on my GTI today. The 10-inch VW wrench supplied is way too small even when I put my foot on it. Feels like they're torqued to 250 ft lbs. So I took it to the tire shop that rotated the wheels and they laughed when I told them it's a VW, said this is a chronic problem with all the German cars. They assure me they use a torque wrench to set at manufacturer specs, but the German bolts seize up shortly after they're put on, and require either an air gun or breaker bar. I find this infuriating. An innocent up in the mountains in winter who gets a flat is in for a rude shock. Apparently the Germans prefer not to address this, consistent with the exotic logic that provokes them to do so many silly things with otherwise good cars. If you've experienced this, please reply or post.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    A problem with all German cars? Hmmm, that's funny, I've had seven cars from Germany (and worked on a whole lot more) over the years and never once have I had your problem, not even on my VWs. Go figure.
  • ahmedahmed Posts: 9
    Well, I've owned four different brands of German cars in the 70s and 80s and never had this problem with them either. But I have to believe that the big tire store I've patronized for 20 years has more recent knowledge than I, and has no reason to invent this. If there's some easy way to prevent the bolts from siezing and my having to haul a breaker bar I'd appreciate knowing it.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The reason why your lug bolts were in so hard is because some lummox used an impact wrench to mount the wheels, contrary to the directives of pretty much every maker in the world, the Germans included. FWIW, the lug bolts of ALL of my German cars were supposed to be torqued to no more than 95 lb-ft of toque, well within the range to allow easy removal with a hand wrench.
  • ahmedahmed Posts: 9
    While I appreciate your taking time to respond, I think I did say that my long-time tire dealer assured me that the impact wrenches are set to 50 ft lbs and they use torque wrenches from there to bring them to spec. Now, that may have been happy talk, in which case when they do the job tomorrow morning I'll be watching and will use my factory lug wrench before they put the caps on, to see whether I can loosen the lugs or else find an answer to the problem.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Two comments:

    1) Impact wrenches, by the nature of the beast, "hammer" whatever they are torquing in place, and when using them on a wheel, especially an alloy wheel, they are guaranteed to screw things up royally. Lug bolts need to be smoothly hand torqued in place, period, full stop, the end. Said another way, any tire shop that uses an impact wrench on tires is a tire shop that will not get my business, ever.

    2) If they're only using fifty pounds of torque on lug bolts, then the cars they service are in serious jeopardy of finding themselves running down the road on three or fewer wheels.

    I'm thinking that you might want to call around and find a shop that hand torques the wheels they mount.

    Best regards,
  • extech2extech2 Posts: 120
    The day after we got our 07 GTI I removed all lugnuts one-by-one and re-installed them with a slight amount of grease on the threads. I did use a half inch breaker bar but after the installation I checked if they would come out with the tool in the trunk. I do this on every car we owned and never had a problem. Tire stores are notorious for over tightening lug nuts. Whenever the cars get new tires or get a service I like to repeat this procedure.
  • I appreciate your response very much. Thank you. Any recommendation on new tires to consider? We'll be using 225/40/18s. Quiet is first priority.

    Thanks again.

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I think the only three tires that meet your criteria currently on the market in the 224/40 R18 size are as follows (in order of my personal bias/preference):

    Yokohama Advan S.4. -- $180
    Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position -- $167
    Michelin Pilot Sport A/S -- $206

    The above said, I'd move the Michelin entry to the top of the list if I needed to drive in winter conditions (I do and those are the tires currently on my car).

    Best regards,
  • ahmedahmed Posts: 9
    When the tire store required a 2.5 hours wait to back off the studs and put on my new wheels, I went to a junkyard and bought a 3-ft pipe that snugged onto my wrench, then went home and easily removed those wheels, brushed the grit off the stud bolts, wrote some graphite into the threads with a no. 2 pencil, put on the new smaller wheels with narrow snow tires, and torqued them down to the max with the factory wrench expecting I'd just put 90 ft lbs or so on them on 12/12.
    Yesterday, on 12/17, I heard a rumbling, pulled over, and found the lugs were coming off. I put the car up on the jack (in freezing cold), used my 3-ft wrench extension, and torqued the lugs to more than before.
    I'll check them again and hope those stud bolts will stay in, but seems to me there's something wrong with VW supplying a wrench that won't take off a lug when there's a flat or need to change, and won't torque the wheel tight enough. I live in the northeast and travel to the mountains in winter, so can't afford flighty tools and instructions.
  • The 2010 GTI, both four door and two door, offers the optional Detroit 18 inch wheels with a so-called "summer tire" option. This is compared to the same wheels with the all-weather performance tires. The summer tires option costs more than the all-weather performance tires. I'm interested in the summer tires option (the car would not be in snow or freezing weather often if at all), but none of the dealers quite now what tires that option comes with. Has anyone purchased the summer tire option or does anyone know what brand and model "summer tire" that option comes with?
  • ahmedahmed Posts: 9
    If you won't be in wintry weather it seems to me it hardly matters whether "summer" or all-season tires unless the "summer" tires ride more quietly on dry pavement. If you're not in the desert, though, you might want an all-season tread in times of heavy rain.
    Here in the north, I found it necessary to downsize the drive wheels and put on soft-rubber snow tires, which are seeming to work well in snow.
    Someone else should know more than me about what a summer tire is.
  • I'm debating if I should get 18" wheels. I don't know much about tires and I'm looking for advice or your personal experiences. I have the following questions.

    1) Are all 18" tires low profile?

    2) Are 17" tires more pothole friendly?

    3) What is the fastest land mammal? :P (Airplane II)

    Thanks much
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    1q) Are all 18" tires low profile?

    1a) No, but in the size that properly fits the GTI, yes, they're low profile.

    2q) Are 17" tires more pothole friendly?

    2a) Assuming the identical outer diameter of rubber, yes.

    I'll leave question 3 for others to answer. :P
  • ahmedahmed Posts: 9
    I received this message but am not sure how it refers to my posts, so let me say that my 2.0 GTI came with 17-in. wheels that are too wide for snow or ice, so I bought an extra pair of 16-in. wheels and fitted them with soft-rubber snow tires for winter and they work well with the disc brakes and have gotten me through all kinds of snow, ice, crud, mud in the Northeast mountains this winter. I'll switch back to my 17-in. wheels in the next few weeks after threat of cold weather.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Uhhh, you have me at a loss, I rather thought I was responding to a post by nightmancometh. ;)

    Best regards,
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    Cheetah? That's what my 4 year old's answer was.
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