VW Polo manuals

Volkswagen Polo Service & Repair Manual: Tires, Aging

Even tires that look in good shape, new or hardly use and have sufficient tread depth and that are older than 6 years, can age caused by moisture and winter conditions.
Tire test show that through continual development, new rubber mixtures, modern raw materials and optimizing the tire profile and profile geometry, better tires are being produced.
The highly engineered vehicles plus constant growing customer expectations, demand economical tires that offer the highest degree of safety, driving dynamic and comfort.
Tires age as a result of physical and chemical processes whereby the function can be impaired. Tires which are stored for longer periods of time become harder and brittle faster than tires which are constantly in use on a vehicle.
Older tires may develop hairline cracks from aging.
When tires are in constant use, the kneading activates softeners in the rubber, preventing hardening and the development of cracks.
Therefore, one should note not just the tread depth but also the age of spare tires, stored tires and tires which are not permanently in use.
Tire age can be determined from the DOT code which contains, among other things, the tire's production date.
Example of a DOT number through 12/31/1999
   
DOT ...... 5 0 9 <  
          stands for 199_
        Production year last digit
    Calendar week
 
In this example, the production date is the 50th week of 1999.
Example of a DOT number from 01/01/2000
   
DOT ...... 0 1 0 0  
        Production year last two digits
    Calendar week
 
In this example, the production date is the 01st week of 2000.
Recommendation
Using summer and winter tires that are more than 6 years old is not recommended. The aging process reduces the original characteristics. The gripping capabilities of winter tires are especially reduced.
When new tires are fitted, the spare tire may also be used if it is in flawless condition and is not more than 6 years old. The age of the tire has a great influence on the high-speed capability of the tire. The combination of a spare tire which is several years old with new tires is possible, but it can influence the car's handling.
Tires are constantly being further developed, this can lead, for example, to slight changes in the rubber compound, even if the tires are of the same make, size and tread.
All vehicles are factory-fitted with four identical tires and wheels.
Vehicles with FWD:
For driving safety reasons, tires of the same make and with the same tread should be mounted on one axle.
AWD vehicles:
Vehicles with AWD always must be equipped with four wheels that have tires of the same size, construction, tread pattern and make.
Tires, Replacing
Tires must be changed when:
the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm is reached,
there is visible damage from mechanical damage,
   
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