|Quote, originally posted by Bike55105 »|
|It still seems crazy to me that a VW dealer would throw on 98 rated tires when the OEM tire was a 102.|
This may not be entirely crazy depending on the original load that the original 102 tires were to bear.
I can't speak for the 225-60-16 size since my '00 never had them, but to use my '00 as an example, the original tires were also 102/100T (the 100 being the load when mounted in a dual situation, which is not applicable to the Eurovan). The max load of 1874lbs (reflected in the 102) was achieved at a max pressure of 55 psi (Michelin's current specs for the Agilis lists it as that). As you lower pressure, the load-carrying ability is reduced. VW's recommended pressures were (for my van) IIRC 42 front, 36 rear for a light load or something like 45 front and 39 rear (I forget the exact values but it was something like that...a few PSIs higher) for a full load. VW, while fitting 102 tires to the van, didn't require the full capacity of the tire to be used.
Therefore you can get away with a lower-rated tire but most likely cannot follow the same pressures to do so. The question is (and this is where I can't really find any info on the 'net), how much less load was VW intending the tire to support (relative to the max load) at the lower-than-max PSIs? What I'm getting at is you can get away with a lesser-rated tire if you run the tire at a higher pressure than originally stated by VW (provided that you don't exceed the new tire's max pressure either). However calculating that new pressure is what remains to be a question.
Note however that most of the above is not applicable to P-metric (as opposed to Metric or Euro-Metric tires that follow the 'SL' or 'XL' load rating scale in which case the max pressure is not at the max pressure stated on the tire, but rather at 35psi for SL tires and 41 psi for XL tires.
Modified by gti_matt at 10:18 AM 10-11-2007