Chapter 5 - Wheels and tires

pg. 85 Wheels and tires

Wheels and tires

The handling and riding comfort of the vehicle is dependent on the inflation pressure and the type of tires fitted. Read the following pages carefully.

Page No. Subject
pg. 86 General information, Wear indicator, Tire economy, Flat spots
pg. 87 Snow chains, Winter tires
pg. 88 Inflation pressure
pg. 89 Uniform tire quality grading

pg. 86 Wheels and tires

General information

Your vehicle is equipped with tires according to the tire information label located on the rear facing side of the right front door.

The following is an example of a tire designation code 195/60R15:
195 = tire width in mm.
60 = tire profile. This is the relationship (in percent) between the section height and the width of the tire.
R = radial tires.
15 = diameter in inches.

The tires have good road holding characteristics and offer good handling on dry and wet surfaces. It should be noted however that the tires have been developed to give these features on snow/ice-free surfaces. Certain models are equipped with "all-season" tires, which provide a somewhat higher degree of winter roadholding on slippery surfaces than tires without the "all-season" rating. However, for optimum road holding on icy or snow covered roads - we recommend suitable winter tires on all four wheels. When replacing tires, be sure that the new tires are the same size designation, type (radial) and preferably from the same manufacturer, on all four wheels. Otherwise there is a risk of altering the car's road-holding and handling characteristics .

NOTE: When storing wheel/tire assemblies (e.g. winter tires and wheels), either stand the assemblies upright or suspend them off the ground. Laying wheel/tire assemblies on their sides for prolonged periods can cause wheel and/or tire damage.

Wear indicator

The tires have a so-called "wear indicator" in the form of a number of narrow strips running across or parallel to the tread. When approx. 1/16" (1.6 mm) is left on the tread, these strips show up and indicate that the tire should be replaced.
Tires with less than 1/16" (1.6 mm) tread have a very poor grip in rain or snow.
When replacing worn tires, it is recommended that the tire be identical in type (radial) and size as the one being replaced. Using a tire of the same make (manufacturer) will prevent alteration of the driving characteristics of the vehicle.

To improve tire economy:

  • Maintain correct tire pressure.
  • Drive smoothly: avoid fast starts, hard braking and tire screeching.
  • Tire wear increases with speed.
  • Correct front wheel alignment is very important.
  • Unbalanced wheels impair tire economy and driving comfort.
  • If the wheels are rotated, they should be kept on the same side of the car so that they revolve in the same direction as prior to rotation.
  • Hitting curbs or potholes can damage the tires and/or wheels permanently.

    Flat spots

    All tires become warm during use. After cooling, when the vehicle is parked, the tires have a tendency to distort slightly, forming flat spots. These flat spots can cause vibrations similar to the vibrations caused by unbalanced wheels. They do, however, disappear when the tire warms up. The degree to which the flat spots form depends on the type of cord used in the tire. Remember that, in cold weather, it takes longer for the tire to warm up and consequently longer for the flat spot to disappear.

    CAUTION: The car must not be driven with wheels of different dimensions. The use of different size wheels can seriously damage your car's transmission. *

    * This also applies to models equipped with All Wheel Drive (AWD).

    pg. 87 Wheels and tires (cont.)

    Snow chains

    Snow tire chains can be used on your Volvo with the following restrictions:

  • Snow chains should be installed on front wheels only (this applies to cars with front wheel drive and to cars equipped with All Wheel Drive) . Use only Volvo approved snow chains.
  • Snow chains may be mounted on tire dimension 185/65R15 and 195/60R15. Tire dimension 205/55R15 and 205/50R16 require a special type of snow chain. Consult your Volvo retailer. Snow chains may not be used on 205/55R16 tires. *
    If accessory, aftermarket or "custom" tires and wheels are installed and are of a size different than the original tires and wheels, chains in some cases CANNOT be used. Snow chains cannot be used on those turbo-charged models fitted with all-season tires 205/55 R16. Models equipped with 205/55 R15 or 205/50 R16 need specially designed snow chains. Sufficient clearances between chains and brakes, suspension and body components must be maintained.
  • Some strap-on type chains will interfere with brake components and therefore CANNOT be used.

    Consult your Volvo retailer for additional snow chain information.


  • Check local regulations regarding the use of snow chains before installing.
  • Always follow the chains manufacturer's installation instructions carefully. Install chains as tightly as possible and re-tighten periodically.
  • Never exceed the chain manufacture's specified maximum speed limit. (Under no circumstances should that limit be higher than 30 mph (45 km/h).
  • Avoid bumps, holes or sharp turns when driving with snow chains.
  • The handling of the vehicle can be adversely affected when driving with chains. Avoid fast or sharp turns as well as locked wheel braking.

  • Snow tires, studded tires *

    Tires for winter use:
    Owners who live in or regularly commute through areas with sustained periods of snow or icy driving conditions are strongly advised to fit suitable winter tires to help retain the highest degree of traction.
    It is important to install winter tires on all four wheels to help retain traction during cornering, braking and accelerating. Failure to do so could reduce traction to an unsafe level or adversely affect handling. Do not mix tires of different design as this could also negatively affect overall tire road grip. Volvo recommends 185/65 R15 winter tires on 15" wheels on all S/V 70 models including models equipped with 16" or 17" wheels.

    Winter tires wear more quickly on dry roads in warm weather. They should be removed when the winter driving season has ended.

    Studded tires should be run-in 300-600 miles (500-1000 km) during which the car should be driven as smoothly as possible to give the studs the opportunity to seat properly in the tires. The car tires should have the same rotational direction throughout theirentire lifetime. In other words, if you wish to rotate the wheels, make sure that the same wheels are always on the same side of the car.

    NOTE: Please consult state or local regulations restricting the use of studded winter tires before installing such tires.

    * Special snow chains are available for AWD models equipped with 205/55R16 tires. Please consult your Volvo retailer.

    ** Where permitted

    pg. 88 Wheels and tires (cont.)

    Checking and correcting tire pressure

  • Check the tire pressure when refueling.
  • The tire pressure should be corrected only when the tires are cold.
  • With warm tires, correct only when the pressure is too low. The tire temperature rises after driving just a few miles.

    Vehicle Loading

    The tires on your Volvo will perform to specifications at all normal loads when inflated as recommended on the tire information label* located on the inside of the fuel filler flap. This label lists both the tire and vehicle design limits.
    Do not load your car beyond the load limits indicated.

    * Please note that the tire information label indicates pressures for both comfort and fuel economy.

    Tire pressure label

    pg. 89 Wheels and tires (cont.)

    Uniform tire quality grading


    The treadwear grade is a comparative rating based on the wear rate of the tire when tested under controlled conditions on a specified government test course. For example, a tire graded at 150 would wear one and one half (1 1/2) times as well on the government course as a tire graded 100. The relative performance of tires depends upon the actual conditions of their use, however, and many depart significantly from the norm due to variation in driving habits, service practices and differences in road characteristics and climate.

    The traction grades, from highest to lowest, are AA, A, B, and C, as measured under controlled conditions on specified government test surfaces of asphalt and concrete. A tire marked C may have poor traction performance.

    WARNING! The traction grade assigned to this tire is based on braking (straight-ahead) traction tests and does not include cornering (turning) traction.

    The temperature grades are AA (the highest), A, B, and C, representing the tire's resistance to the generation of heat and its ability to dissipate heat when tested under controlled conditions on a specified indoor laboratory test wheel. Sustained high temperature can cause the material of the tire to degenerate and reduce tire life, and excessive temperature can lead to sudden tire failure. The grade C corresponds to a level of performance which all passenger car tires must meet under the Federal Motor Safety Standard No. 109. Grades B and A represent higher levels of performance on the laboratory test wheel than the minimum required by law.

    WARNING! The temperature grade for this tire is established for a tire that is properly inflated and not overloaded. Excessive speed, underinflation, or excessive loading, either separately or in combination, can cause heat buildup and possible tire failure.

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