Volkswagen GTI Tire & Wheel Problems



  • pgo1pgo1 Member Posts: 9
    Will VW dealers be willing to swap the stock 18" wheels on the 2011 GTI for 17" wheels? I will likely be leasing, so selling the 18s myself is not an option. Is VW offering 17" wheels as an option. 18s seem extreme as the stock tire, especially in the North East.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Yes, 17" wheels are an option, but not necessarily a cheap option. Some dealers might do a swap, some might not; can't hurt to ask.
  • nano11nano11 Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone gone up one notch in aspect ratio on their 18 inch wheels: from 40 to 45? Lot's of discussion about 17 v. 18 wheels, but not about making the tire a bit fatter.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Moving from an aspect ratio of 40 to 45 will NOT make the tires "fatter", what it will do is make them "taller" thus introducing speedometer error. Said another way, by moving from 225/40 R18 to 225/45 R18 the width doesn't change one wit, but the outer diameter moves from 25.09" to 25.97", a fairly significant jump.

    If you want to make your tires "fatter" what you'll need to do is choose a tire that is both wider and has the same outside diameter such as 255/35 R18. The problem here is that the tires may be too "fat" to work without significant rubbing inside your wheel wells; that and these tires also require a wheel that is at least 8.5" wide, wider (I believe) than the OEM wheels on the GTI.
  • nano11nano11 Member Posts: 2
    You are correct: I should have said "taller" rather than "fatter." Objective would be to increase aspect ratio to make the 18's ride a bit smoother, deal with potholes, etc., without buying new set of wheels. Understood that change in diameter makes difference in speedo accuracy, but that is not a big deal.
  • livingwith_gtilivingwith_gti Member Posts: 1

    Yes I did it yesterday. 225/40/R18 92 H to 225/45/R18 91 W. Obvious it had a lil bit bulky face for the detriot alloy but only GTI experts notice that I guess. Driving -- It was pouring down all day yesterday and I drove around 275+ miles. Observations -- Def the ride was less jarring than 224/40. How much less is 40-60% I would say. The jiggling and throwing inside the car was reduced a lot. Please note it was not smooth like a Altima though but had a significant improvement. Next I-485 south with flexed metal roads --- def improvement. Before I was being beaten up driving this highway. But yesterday it was improved, by how much 3-45% I would say. I had Sumitomo tires and they are a good bite on this down pouring rainy roads yesterday. Improved confidence. From cornering not much difference, though for me there is a 10-15% LESS punch in extreme corners. Also I see that I miss a little bit of turbo punch feel though the speed and gear shifts are same and absolutely no difference. To consolidate, I am seeing an improved ride quality with a small miss on the punch. And the car now feels weightless at corners and absolutely no missing traction or control. Overall I am being satisfied with the 275+ miles of extreme rain day driving. I am monitoring this for another 2 weeks before deciding to change the rims from 18s to 17s and got for a 225/45/R17 Michelins.

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,400

    All makes sense as that larger aspect ratio gives you more sidewall and more "cushion" so to speak.

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