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Old May 3rd, 2005, 12:17   #1
batke
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Default Tires - H or T

We are the proud owners of a 2001 Jetta TDI. It's time to replace the tires and we are getting conflicting information. The dealer says we MUST put H rated tires on, which only last for about 70 000 km, but a tire shop suggested T rated tires, that last 140 000 km. They said the down side to the T rated tires is we will loose some of the handling. Has anyone put T rated tires on a Jetta? How bad is it? Any difference in winter or summer? This is my first posting. I couldn't find any info on tires in the FAQ. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 12:23   #2
dieseldorf
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Default Tires - H or T

Quote:
We are the proud owners of a 2001 Jetta TDI. It's time to replace the tires and we are getting conflicting information. The dealer says we MUST put H rated tires on, which only last for about 70 000 km, but a tire shop suggested T rated tires, that last 140 000 km. They said the down side to the T rated tires is we will loose some of the handling.
the dealer is correct, installing a less tire (T) can put your personal safety at risk. The tire shop should have a greater concern about being sued for making inapproriate recommendations.

In addition, a T is not necessarily going to wear better or worse than an H.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 12:52   #3
Ferrari
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Default Re: Tires - H or T

T-rated tires have a softer sidewall than the H-rated ones, but they are no worse or "less safe". If you drive normally, a T rated tire is sufficient, especially if it's a high quality one like the Michelin Hydroedge. If you drive a bit faster and would like a bit better steering feel, an H-rated tire would help.

I don't know what the crap OEM Goodyears are rated at, but they are absolutely horrible in every condition. Replacing them with a quality set of tires, either T-rated or H-rated, will dramatically improve safety.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 13:13   #4
owr084
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Default Re: Tires - H or T

A "T" is rated to 118 mph and an "H" to 130 mph. So how fast do you plan on going? If you plan to hammer your car and push it hard, then go with "H." If you plan to take it easy and are aware of the differences between a "T" and an "H," then go with "H." Just make sure the load index is the same or higher.

I faced the same dilemma on replacing the tires on my Mazda MPV. They put H rated tires on a minivan?!?!? Yeah, I know, zoom-zoom-zoom and all that, but I'm not going to drive it like a Miata. Besides - the van itself is drag limited to 118 anyways, no matter how much HP you have. And, 118 mph is the limit for "t" rated tires. So, I made sure that the load index was the same or higher than the original tires and I went with the "T" rated.

Ferrari is correct about Michelin Hydroedges - those were the ones I bought and they work great.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 13:21   #5
dieseldorf
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Default Re: Tires - H or T

Top speed rating is only one aspect of a tire's speed rating - - there are other considerations.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 13:35   #6
batke
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Default Re: Tires - H or T

I'm pretty sure I won't be exceeding 118 mph! What about the way it handles? Will the difference be significant? Has any of you driven a Jetta with 'T' tires? Any idea what difference it would make in winter? With the Michelin's we have now, winter driving is a breeze. (I never knew buying tires could be so complicated!!!)
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 13:50   #7
dieseldorf
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Default Re: Tires - H or T

it will make the car even lazier to equip it with a rating less than H.

Quote:
<font color="red"> SPEED RATINGS </font>

A tire receives its speed rating by the U.S. Government through meeting minimum standards for reaching and sustaining a specified speed. What does that mean to you? Well, in general, a higher speed rating will result in better car handling.



Two important notes when considering speed rating:



We do not recommend downgrading the speed rating of your tires. This may result in poor handling and unpredictable steering. However, if you want better cornering response, there is no problem installing a higher speed rated tire on your vehicle.

Never mix and match tires with different speed ratings on your vehicle. This will cause serious problems with the handling of your vehicle.


Below is a list of speed ratings along with the corresponding speeds they represent. Remember, the speeds are test speeds, not recommended speeds.

Q Up to 100mph
R Up to 106mph
S Up to 112mph
T Up to 118mph
U Up to 124mph
H Up to 130mph
V Up to 149mph
W Up to 168mph
Y Up to 186mph
Z 149mph and over




Batke, i don't know what else to say. it's your car, it's your family, it's your safety and it's your choice People are afraid of liability today - - this is a classic case study.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 13:52   #8
nois
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Default Re: Tires - H or T

I put the inexpensive Douglas Touring on my Jetta... before two months I had to replace one with a 2" nail in it. I drive in some unhappy locales.
Mine are:
Type: Passenger-Touring
Sidewall Cosmetics: Black wall
Temperature Rating: B
Traction: A
Speed Rating: S (112 mph)
Load Index: 89 (1279 lbs.)
Weather: All-season
M+S: Y


Temperature ratings The letter signifies how well a tire resists heat: A best, B intermediate, C acceptable.

Traction Letters indicate how well a tire will grip the road surface. Each tire is rated AA, A, B, or C. An AA-rated tire offers the maximum grip.

Speed ratings The letter designates the maximum speed in miles per hour under specific service conditions: M 81, N 87, P 93, Q 100, R 106, S 112, T 118, H 130, V 149, W 168, Y 186

Load indexes A number that corresponds to the weight that the tire can accommodate. Some examples are: 74 827 pounds, 81 1019 pounds, 95 - 1521 pounds, 105 2039 pounds, 113 2535 pounds, 120 3086 pounds, 124 3527 pounds, 129 4079 pounds, 133 4541 pounds, 137 5071 pounds, 140 - 5512 pounds, 143 6008 pounds, 146 6614 pounds, 149 7165 pounds
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 13:58   #9
batke
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Default Re: Tires - H or T

Thanks. I appreciate all your input. It's hard when a person get's conflicting information, especially from the people trying to sell you the tires! One dealer even told me that if I was in an accident with the T rated tires that my insurance may be void! Which I later confirmed with my insurance company is not true. I'm just trying to determine what's necessary.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 14:07   #10
MacGyver
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Default Re: Tires - H or T

I have dedicated winter tires so I'm not concerned with winter performance, but I just put T rated tires on my 97 Jetta this spring. They do not have the crisp 'on rails' feeling performance characteristics as the H's.
Am I concerned for my safety? No.
I'll be a father within a month, and I am confident my decision will not compromise my child's safety in any way either.
They are excellent top of the line tires, and I don't auto-x my car, nor do I pretend to on the streets.
I have had them up to 120mph indicated, and suprisingly I lived to tell the tail. Two things on that note: VW speedos are optomistic, and IIRC the T &amp; H top speed ratings are sustained ratings. I don't get frequent opportunities to sustain that kind of velocity
As I mentioned previously, handling is different compared to my previous H tires. This is due in part to the lighter construction, and the 'harder' rubber composition of the T's
The composition difference is also what helps the T's achieve a much longer treadlife rating than the H's.
Does this concern me? With the amount I drive, yes.

Now, if I installed some no name offshore second rate bargain basement priced PoS tires with no speed ratings at all, just to save $5, then yeah, I'd expect my freeway journey to end someday with a blowout &amp; upside down firey crash into the median...and I'd deserve it
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 16:13   #11
scooperhsd
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Default Re: Tires - H or T

Tell me WHAT is different (besides the speed rating) between H rating and S rating ? Since putting on the S rated tires, I've had a better, quieter ride, no discernable change in handling, no change in fuel economy - what am I supposed to be missing compared with H rated ? I've never had my car over 90MPH (never mind approach the S limit), so I repeat - what am I missing ?
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 18:16   #12
Geordi
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Default Re: Tires - H or T

What are you missing? Besides a LOT added to the price tag... Glue. Glue between the plys that can sustain a higher level of heat, for a longer period. Is there a substantial difference in the sidewall strength? Not so much. The main differences in cornering are more related to the lower operating pressure (usually 35psi) of the S rated touring tires, versus the "performance" pressure of 44psi on the H rated. If you have ultrasport H rated like I do, then the pressure is 51psi. Also, look at the physical size ratings on the tires. Stock size is 195/65/15. If you buy 195/70/15 then you are getting a taller tire, the sidewall will be 70% of the tread width and the car will get slightly better mileage (tires spin slower) at the cost of softer cornering. Same result if you buy 185/75/15 which should also fit. Total increase in height from 195/65 to 195/70 is about 1/2 inch of overall diameter. Smaller sidewall ratios (60/55/50) will increase the cornering stability, at the cost of mileage since the tires will be shorter. My next set I am going to look at Falken 205/60 so I get the same overall height, but a slightly wider tire for better braking. I would go with 205/65, but I'm not sure about the turning clearance.

All will be the ultrasport 51psi Falkens tho, and at $70 per tire, who cares if they are H rated! (they are)

--Jim
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 18:40   #13
scooperhsd
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Default Re: Tires - H or T

So, the S rated tires I put on ARE the stock size (205/55 ?R16 on a NB), they use up to 44 PSI (I run 38). No difference. I do admit I was a bit concerned that they are only 89 load rating, and not the 91 load rating. I figure that won't really come into play unless I seriously overload the vehicle.

So far - all anybody is saying is that the H rated tires will provide (some) margin of better handling because they are stiffer because the plys are better glued together - OK. If I did alot of high performance driving, I could maybe see the difference - but right now I'm being money concious and these were the cheapest things in the correct size. These Continental Ultrexs are working just fine for me right now (50K mile or 60K mile treadlife). I KNOW they are not the best tires around - I would like to put on the Goodyear tripletreads next go around. But they were what I could afford at the time. And so far, I've been pretty pleased with them.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 19:06   #14
Bryan42
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Default Re: Tires - H or T

I'd recommend looking at the tire surveys at tirerack.com. They are quite useful in finding tires that fit your style of both vehicle and driving.

Speed ratings are misleading, as they affect much more than top safe speed of the tire. Again, see the descriptions at tirerack.com for good descriptions of what everything affects.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 22:51   #15
tjl
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Fuel Economy: 55/52/47 (mpg)
Default Re: Tires - H or T

Quote:
Tell me WHAT is different (besides the speed rating) between H rating and S rating ? Since putting on the S rated tires, I've had a better, quieter ride, no discernable change in handling, no change in fuel economy - what am I supposed to be missing compared with H rated ? I've never had my car over 90MPH (never mind approach the S limit), so I repeat - what am I missing ?
S = 112mph
T = 118mph
H = 130mph

Usually, the higher speed rated tires are sportier in terms of handling and braking characteristics, although some lower speed rated tires do quite well in these characteristics. Other lower speed rated tires may emphasize long treadwear (80,000 miles or so, compared to 50,000 to 60,000 miles for H rated tires), while still others are offered as just cheap tires ("4 for $100" or whatever).

Some lower speed rated tires have pressure maximums of 35psi. Since VW's recommended pressures are higher than 35psi, it may be wise to ensure that the tires have a pressure maximum at least as high as the VW recommended pressures.

Perhaps as important or more important than the speed rating is the load index. VWs with 195/65R15 tires came with tires with a load index of 91; most tires of this size come with the slightly lower load index of 89.
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