Speed rated tires on a Volvo


#1

My 2008 Volvo S-80 came with Continental tires with a V speed rated, as if I traveled on the Autoban doing
150 mph…problem is they need replacing at 30K. A pal has a 2009 V-70 that requires the same kind of tire
for a replacement…he can only put on Pirelli or Continentals. Town Fair Tire wouldn’t sell him any other tire. why is that?


#2

Premium cars come with premium tires. Supposedly the owner’s aren’t supposed to mind the high cost of tires. Try Tirerack.com for options and prices.

Speed ratings are about what the car is capable of in terms of top speeds, not what the driver does, or whether or not you can get on the autobaun.


#3

Thanks for the insight…I’m the exception to the idea that since I drive a premium car I shouldn’t mind high cost of frequent tire replacement. The premium car is my reward for being thrifty for the first 50 years of driving used Pintos with recaps…


#4

Find a tire shop that’ll let you put on H rated tires, I did that with my ES300 (Discount Tire). Tirerack.com shows plenty of tires for your S80, check it out.


#5

You can replace the tires with any brand you choose, but I strongly recommend you stay with the V rated tires. The steering, suspension, and stability control on your car were designed to work with a V-rated tire. A lower rated tire will probably have softer sidewalls and carcass, resulting in a change for the worse if you choose a lesser-construction tire. You may notice road wander, lack or responsiveness on cornering or hard braking, “mushy” steering in general.

A shop may refuse to sell a lower quality tire for liability reasons. If they put on a tire that does not meet Volvo’s specifications and there’s a handling issue or wreck that the driver may blame on the tires, the shop would be on the hook.

Also, it’s been my experience that tires like this rarely last more than 40K regardless of how gently the car is driven.


#6

The Continental ExtremeContact DWS are V-Rated and have a 50k warranty. They are excellent tires all around including winter for an all-season. They also relatively reasonable in price. I highly recommend the tires.

I have over 25k on my set and they are not even half worn, so 50k seem plausible.


#7

Many tire models are available both as V and H rated, the tires share basic design. Not an issue.


#8

Sure, you can put on whatever speed rating you desire, however, you may want to call your insurance company. If you get into an accident, and your tires do not meet the speed rating specified by the manufacturer, they have the ability to just say no, and the cost of the accident, be it a sign post, or a life, is on you. This can have rippling effects, as then you can get charged with driving without insurance, which (I think) is stupid in all states, but not illegal in all of them.


#9

What? I’ve never heard this before. Are you sure, chase?


#10

When have we become such a nation of wimps? It is your car , put whatever you want on it. And let the insurance company prove that exceeding the speed capability of the tire caused an accident.


#11

Happened to a guy I knew, through a friend of a friend type of thing, so not from personal knowledge, no. A simple 1-800 phone call can save the questions, though.

I’ve never had a need nor desire to not meet (and exceed where I can) the manufacturer’s recommendations for any of my vehicles. It simply isn’t worth it. Here’s my thought process, if anyone cares: I have roughly 32 square inches of rubber keeping my wife on the road. Saving $200 once every two, three or four years is simply not worth her having not complete control of the vehicle, under any circumstance, in any situation. Period.

But that’s me.


#12

My tire dealer said that he is comfortable dropping one speed rating level, and does it with his cars. This means you could drop from a V rating to an H rating. You might watch for sales at your local tire dealer. I got H-rated tires for my Accord a couple of years ago on a 4-for-3 sale. The next step down (OEM equivalent) from the same manufacturer was more expensive than the tires I bought.


#13

Thanks for the info. Like Ben Franklin said: “watch out for your pennies, and the dollars will look out for themselves”


#14

If you have insurance, you have insurance. The state doesn’t care if your carrier won’t pay off.


#15

Typically V-Rated tires have stronger sidewall construction. Not only does this lead to typically better handling but also more load carrying capacity.

A very important factor is the load carrying capacity beyond speed rating. Over running tires can be very dangerous. Most damage is inflicted by owners though who mess tires up since they do not check tire air pressure. Hence the reason we have TMPS (tire pressure monitoring) across the board now it seems.


#16

Speed rating and load rating are two different things. No need to confuse the two. Plenty of H rated tires will have exactly the same load rating.


#17

Changing speed rating will cause the car to handle differently. In most cases it’s NOT a problem…And you just get use to the different handling characteristics. And 90% of the time you won’t even notice it unless you’re doing over 70.


#18

And you can find H rated tires with the identical tread design to the brand’s V rated version. I found several Contis and Pirellis that have the same model in H and V, different only in the speed rating. Minor handling differences, I imagine, but I bet less that one would get betweeen different brands of V rated tires.