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Audi A3 Tire/Wheel Questions

andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,424
What the expected lifetime in mileage is for the all season tires vs. the performance tires on the A3? It's a no cost option to get the sport package with all seasons.... instead of performance tires. Are we talking 30 K vs. 40K miles, or more of a difference?
'15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T


  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Based upon the mileage I got from my two previous BMWs, one with All-Season rubber, and the other with Performance rubber (Michelin Pilot Primacy, same as on the A3 SP), my bet is that the All-Season rubber would be good for an easy 50-60K miles while the Performance tires would only be good for 20-25K miles.

    Even with the difference in the life of the tires, and even though Performance tires would mean a set of winter tires for me, I'd still opt for the Performance tires.

    Best Regards,
  • dl7265dl7265 Member Posts: 1,381
    Ive twice gotten 30K out of two performance tires with a 140 treadwear. One being Bridgestones and the other Yoko's. Discount tire ,who did the rotations said that about the most they had ever seen.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 187,525
    You aren't having enough fun!! ;)

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  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    I rotated mine on my 530i SP and even though I didn't even have 20K on that set, they were "Down to the minimums" when the BMW inspector looked at it at lease end. Oh! Yeah I was "having fun". ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Amen bruddah!

    I can't rotate my staggered unidirectionals, so 13K is about where the rubber stops. It's worth every stinkin' penny, says I.
  • aphrodite74aphrodite74 Member Posts: 3
    I'm on my second A3.
    The first one 2006 - 6 speed red/black cloth,
    I loved the car, but after 8,000 miles I thought I heard wheel bearing growl. At 13,000 miles I paid for a alignment, at 16,000 miles the tires were replaced, I split the cost of them with the dealer. The tires had been rotated at 5,000which is when they got really bad then at 8,000, again at 13,000.
    The tires sounded as though there were four snow tires on the car and vibration that reverberated throughout.
    The dealer recomended Michelin Pilots the second go-round. After 4000 miles the tire noise was back, at 6000 miles they were at 50%, the dealer recomends replacing them with a set of Continentals, as the service mgrs just back from Audi school, this issue having been a topic of discussion.
    The dealer would pro rate my second set towards the third set. There was only 22,000 miles on the car. I never had any other problems with this car.

    The dealer had no resolve to the problem.

    So I traded it on a used 2007 A3 6 speed S-line with the open sky system,with 10,600 miles, I noticed irregular wear on the front tires, on the lot, the car is in the dealer now, waiting on the verdict.

    My courtesy loaner is an 2008 A3, automatic, that has 1700 miles on it and I heard the same familar tire sound, they have the same feathering/scolloping wear.

    Am I nuts????? Am I the only one that has or notices this problem?????

    This is an expensive car anyway, toss in a set or two of tires once a year. That's crazy.

    If this is a common issue SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    See my response to your other post.
  • callmecrazycallmecrazy Member Posts: 2
    I can not believe I finally came across someone with the identical problem as mine. I thought I was crazy. The little A3 is an awesome car but it needs new tires every 5,000-7,000 miles. You certainly could get 25-30,000 miles out of them if you can handle excesive vibration and ear shattering humming. Its like driving your car with Mickey Thompson super swampers. My A3 currently has 34,000 miles on it and I replaced my OEM Pirrelli P6's at 29,000 miles. The first 5,000 on the car were alot of fun and I really enjoyed them. Not much longer after I began to hear a strange humming noise in the car and I just ruled it out as road noise. As the miles rolled on it continued to get worse and worse. At approx 12-15,000 miles I could not take it anymore and took it into the dealership. The techs told me my tires were "cupping" really bad and I should call Pirrelli to have a rep come out to pro rate them since they found nothing wrong with the car. Let me tell you, dealing with Audi and Pirrelli was no easy task. It just turned out to be a blame game. So the easiest thing to do was to ride the tires out as long as I could. I got about 29,000 miles on them before I replaced them. It was replace them or drive the car into a ditch somewhere. I replaced them with Goodyear Assurance tread. I picked them specifically for a good blend of performance and road noise. When I drove away from the tire station I was sure all my troubles were behind me and I would be able to hear the stereo again. I was so happy. 5,500 miles later I am ready to drive my car into the window of the nearest Audi dealership and demand they give me a $1,000.00 a year allowance toward tires or a good pair of ear plugs.

    There is obviously an issue with the suspension system and I hope that Audi figures it out soon or better yet at least responds to my e-mails sent to Audi Customer Care. I do believe that they are getting enough complaints about this issue now since the car is in its third year. Who wants to spend $700.00 every 7,500miles or so on tires.............anyone?
  • Tali77Tali77 Member Posts: 2
    You are not the only one!! In November 2008, with 13,500 miles, I had two front tires that worn down to the cable. I noticed that when I would accelerate my tires were slipping. I am a woman, so tire issues on a new and low mileage, expensive car did not just jump out to me. When I went in for my service, they called me about the tires and how dangerous they were. No one said anything about how that should not be happening. Thank goodness, an old boyfriend got hold of them and said something is wrong here. He did not press hard enought to get them to pay for any of the price of the two new tires, but made them note it in my file. And he made them note that my tires had been rotated at 5K check up and then I had a service issue in between where no one mentioned my wearing front tires. Back tires are not a problem. This is a lease car. This issue should be dealt with by Audi. The car is fabulous, but come on..................
  • Tali77Tali77 Member Posts: 2
    go to and get the contact information.
    Report the tire issue if you have not done so already.
  • youngmayoungma Member Posts: 2
    I called the Audi headquarter and went crazy telling about this very same issue that many of us have. One of the guy from NTB told me that Nissan 350Z had similar issue that eventually got Nissan to call for recall.

    We got to act to claim our right.. (what am I?)

    So please call the audi from
  • youngmayoungma Member Posts: 2
    Did you (or anybody) find any solution to this tire problem?
  • larbar2larbar2 Member Posts: 3
    I've had the same issues with my 2006, after a few thousand miles and now with 24k it's became insane, I want to drive it thru an Audi dealer's window too! I'm ready to get rid of a perfectly good car because of unbearable road noise, I've been in $10k chevy's that are more quiet. I tried dealing with Audi directly last year and got nowhere, and 2 dealers. Maybe time to go to the BBB. Not to mention the car has burned/leaked nearly a quart every 2K/3mo.
  • woffywoffy Member Posts: 6
    I've got 30,000 plus miles on my 2007 A3, premium with DSG. Tires are Continental and original. No tire noise and by the thread wear, good for another 10 to 15 K.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,424
    Pirelli's just suck, plain and simple, read the reviews on websites like tirerack and America's/Discount Tires.
    '15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • larbar2larbar2 Member Posts: 3
    But they are doing nothing to rectify it or assist longterm VW Audi customers that are ready to jump ship because of this issue.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,424
    True, Audi should be ashamed for choosing such lame All-Seasons for some of their A3's. I opted for the sports package which got me nice high performance summer tires from Dunlop (most have Continental I think).

    But tires are such a small part of a car purchase, and replaceable, and a wear a tear item..... however, having to get them more often than every 20K miles either means your racing a lot or you have a problem in my book.
    '15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • a44mea44me Member Posts: 2
    Important news: Millennium Protection Group filed for bankruptcy!
    I was told about needing new tires every 5k miles so I signed up for, at the insistence of the Audi sales person, their "tires for life" program offered by Millennium Protection Group. I was going to take my car in today for it's rotation and balance when Audi service called me to tell me they were filing for bankruptcy and I would have to pay for it.

    Has anybody else heard this? I cannot seem to get a hold of Millennium on the phone and I have emailed them too. :mad: Now Audi, who sold this to me, won't help me out and are shoving me off on Millennium. Any ideas??
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,424
    You should know that any add-ons not sold by Audi of America are usually terrible deals.

    Just say no to all the extra fees and costs they try to sell you at the dealer level. If it isn't backed by Audi of America, then it probably isn't worth buying at an Audi dealer.

    Haven't you read CR that tells you all those add on warranties and programs are a complete and utter waste of money? Why pay now to some company that may or may not pay you back later?
    '15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Member Posts: 356
    Just wanted to document this so that others can find it.

    The Mrs got a left-over 2008 Audi A3 this past summer and in the fall, we went through the routine of putting dedicated snow tires on it.

    Two interesting items came to light:

    Car came with its OEM default 17" wheels, but for snows, smaller is better and we had a set of existing 16" Audi rims from our prior 2000 A4.

    To put them on the car, there were two basic questions:
    1) would they fit?
    2) how to refit for the Audi TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System)?

    For the first, my online research had found that the UK version of the A3 comes standard with 16" wheels, so I suspected that the 16's would fit. In asking our local (USA) dealer, they claimed that 16's would NOT fit. So I had my local independent (and knowledgable) speed shop/garage try. They fit just fine.

    Next up was the TPMS, as we would need to add a set of sensors onto these "old" rims. Long story short: Audi and VW don't use the same idential TPMS system ... and the A3 doesn't use the Audi TPMS, but instead, uses the VW TPMS.

    So in conclusion, if you're looking to put snows on a 2008 A3, expect that 16" rims will fit and that for the TPMS, you'll need to pick up the VW version, not the Audi version.

  • reggie6reggie6 Member Posts: 26
    Interesting about the snow tires. How did you find the performance of the car in the snow, and do you have front wheel drive or quattro?

    I love the car, also a Summer 2008 model 2.0 T fwd manual trans. My only complaint is tire noise on any kind of rough pavement. Dealer says its normal for this car, I don't like it but overall the car is great.
  • bkugbkug Member Posts: 1
    You should go after Audi. They sold the warranty to you so they are on the hook no matter what they try to tell you. I have been contacted by several people who want to pursue a claim against the dealership.
  • a44mea44me Member Posts: 2
    In respoinse to Important news: Millennium Protection Group filed for bankruptcy!

    You are not crazy. They have filed for bankruptcy and I am also very mad. Audi, who also sold this to me, won't help at all. Now I am out $$ for a program that I purchase in 2006!!!

    Does anybody know if a class action lawsuit has been filed against Millennium yet? I would be interested in participating. I know in fact they have filed for bankruptcy because I got a letter from the lawyer handling their case.
  • audiman6audiman6 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 A3 2.0T with DSG transmission. The original Pirelli tires started making noise from cupping at about 20,000 miles. By the time I got to 30,000 miles it was driving me crazy. I solved the problem by getting all four tires shaved to eliminate the cupping. That completely eliminated the noise and I just replaced these original tires at 51,500 miles. They never started to make noise again. It cost me $25 per tire to get them shaved at Major Tire in Stratford, CT. They are at 80 Century Drive, Stratford, CT 06615. Telephone is 203-367-7223 or 203-543-0334. It is run by Dave Mihalov and his son. Their primary business is retreading small post office truck tires, but he was more than happy to do this. If you are in the area, I would recommend them highly. I did have to dig the stones out of the tread of each tire while there so his blade wouldn't get damaged. I replaced the tires with Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus 225/45ZR17 all season because they have a high treadwear garantee (45,000 miles) and are rated very high in wet & dry traction. I think they are much better than the original Pirellis. If you are not in the Connecticut area I would suggest you contact a tire retreader to find out if they will shave your tires, or talk to racers who regularly shave their tires due to the racing rules. Hope this helps.
  • adbenfordadbenford Member Posts: 1
    Im in the same boat, I purchased the Millenium package in Jan 2009. If anyone has any information about class action lawsuits, etc please let me know.
    [email protected]
  • larbar2larbar2 Member Posts: 3
    After suffering for 25 out of 30K miles with what sounds like snow tires. I have replaced my cupped and beaten out Pirreli's with OEM Bridgestone's. I really wish they could figure this thing out, I was told to rotate every 4K, fine if that fixes it, and Audi was not going out of their way to rotate my tires when I brought it in for scheduled maintenance, I had to request it and they said they were doing me a favor!
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,424
    My dealer said rotations were not covered in the free maintenance program, and only the first one is (at 5K). They say it's $20 extra per rotation, so that is a good deal for a dealership.
    '15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • brianfantanabrianfantana Member Posts: 2
    First off, I really like this car a lot. My only beef was with excessive tire noise. Excessive like an 18 wheeler driving next to me at all times.

    The first trip to the dealer resulted in them blaming the factory Pirelli P6's saying that it just happens around 20k miles. It seems a lot of people get this reaction. They did offer to pay for one of the new tires offered (Continentals) at a charge to me of approx $600. I declined. I wasn't impressed with their factory tire, why would I take their suggestion now? I got a full set elsewhere for $450. This did not help. It only got louder and louder.

    I brought it back to the dealer yesterday and the tech questioned the quality of the new tires. After I then questioned the quality of the factory tire (P6), he replied "fair enough." Turns out it was the left rear wheel bearing. I thought for sure it was the suspension or weight dispersement due to the sound but that was it. Too bad that wasn't the diagnosis the first time around. I could have saved $450. The P6's still had plenty of life too, they said they were feathered.

    At least I can hear myself think now.
  • PhaetonboiPhaetonboi Member Posts: 4
    my 08' A3 had the same issue here in Atlanta. I was for certain it was the bad roads, till I actually looked at the treads. Bubbling, Cupping, Feathering, you name it. The outer tread and wall were perfect, but the middle was seriously gone. My wonderful whisper rocket after 24k sounded like an 18 wheeler going down the runway at Hartsfield-Jackson.

    Got a great deal last month on Tire Rack-Michelin Pilots under a 100 a piece! Awesome sound deadening, excellent traction.

    Change out the stock Pirelli's and you will be enjoying our A3 in a whole different way.
  • mlpsfmlpsf Member Posts: 1
    Did you have any issues after the bearings where fixed? I'm looking at buying a 2007 A3 and the dealer just replaced the bearings on that car.
  • aattardaattard Member Posts: 7
    Hi Shipo.
    I am having a similar problem. My A3 S-line came with Perrelli tires. They were noisy from the start. But I persevered, hoping they would quite down with time. At the 15K service they rotated the tires as part of the service. They were even noiser now. I love this car with a passion, but I hates these tires. Do you or anyone on the forum, recommend a quite, but a high performance all-season tire. These tires only have 20 k on them, I cannot stand them anymore. Thanks in advance.

  • aattardaattard Member Posts: 7
    Woffy, which continentals do have on you car? Thanks.

  • aattardaattard Member Posts: 7

    do you still have the phone No. you called ? Thanks.

  • aattardaattard Member Posts: 7

    Which Bridgestone were they. I am looking at bridgestones to replace the OEM perrellis on my 2008 A3 S-line. Thanks.

  • reggie6reggie6 Member Posts: 26
    Wow, I must have been lucky to get the Continentals ( ContiProcontact) as OEM on my A3. While they are noisy on certain surfaces, especially old concrete it gets loud in the cabin for the most part they are ok. I asked the dealer about the noise and he said its normal. Could someone explain why there is so much tire "noise" with this car....?
  • brianfantanabrianfantana Member Posts: 2
    Well it's been four months and everything is fine. Buy it! I love mine.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,424
    I absolutely have loved the Sumitomo HTR Z III's on my A3. For under $100, they can't be beat.
    '15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • a3fan2a3fan2 Member Posts: 1
    I also have a 2006 A3 Quattro. My first set of OEM Pirellis wore out at 17,500 miles and were very noisy. My second set were Kumho Ecstas which lasted about 25,000 miles so my 3rd set were also Kuhmos since I was fairly happy with road noise and life. I got about 27,000 out of those. My fourth set were Falken 912 at the recommendation of Tires Plus (and they couldn't get Kuhmos in when I needed them.) These tires are at 23,000 miles and my very savvy and reliable mechanic, who used to be an Audi service guy for 22 years, said he thinks I have about 10,000 more miles to get out of them. The road noise is very quiet. At about 10,000 miles I did have an episode where they also sounded like 18 wheelers (to the point that 2 friends asked what was wrong with my car) but found out I had a bad wheel bearing on the right rear. Once that was fixed, I was good again. I do love this car but the tire issue is very annoying. I've found that if I rotate tires at every oil change (every 5,000 miles), I get much better mileage out of them. The 2006 A3 has had alot of minor issues such as the wheel bearing and I had to replace the right front boot at about 50,000 miles. When I first got the car I also found I had a bad sensor in the gas tank neck which caused my car to not start every time I got gas. It took Audi about 3 months to fix that and it was only fixed because I found the problem and repair online on one of the forums. I have now ordered a 2011 A3 which is coming in July and I asked them to put something other than Pirellis on it but the salesman said they don't put those on anymore because of all the complaints. We'll see!! I personally will stick with the Kuhmos or Falkens and the price is much better too!
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USMember Posts: 898
    Do not be surprised if you are disappointed on the tires that come on your new Audi. In Europe, tires are all about wet traction, and wear is only a minor consideration. Plus, fuel economy is usually promoted at the sacrifice of wear.

    Not to mention speed rating. V and higher speed rated tires are designed for grip and not for wear.

    - AND - Unless you are willing to pay extra, you will not be able to select the tires that come on the vehicle. So if you want something other than what it comes with, be prepared to "pony up".
  • foobar2foobar2 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 2007 Audi A3 2.0T in January of 2010 and by the time I had gotten it up to 23K miles, I noticed that I wasn't cornering very well and that the interior cabin sounded *really* loud at speeds above 40 miles an hour (especially on the concrete freeways).

    I shopped around and read a lot on this forum and a couple others and went with 4 new Dunlop SP Sport Signature 225/45ZR17 94W's:

    I live in Northern Virginia, so I'm only in the snow maybe 10 times a year, and only on wet roads maybe 20% of the time, so the Dunlops seemed like good all-around tires for the place I live.

    The tires with installation ran me about $525 and the labor another $80, so I got out of there around $600 poorer, but my A3 was immediately smoother, quieter, and cornered better, so I'm happy. :)
  • leo2006a3leo2006a3 Member 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 USMember Posts: 898
    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.
  • trucalibertrucaliber Member Posts: 1
    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 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,424
    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.
    '15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • ajv_a3ajv_a3 Member Posts: 1
    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 Member Posts: 9,148
    Narrower? Yes. Taller? No, or at least not that I've ever heard; what would be the point?
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USMember Posts: 898
    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 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,424
    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.
    '15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    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 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,424
    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?
    '15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
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