Tyres - maintenance
Tyres greatly affect the car's driving characteristics. The type of tyre, dimensions, tyre pressure and speed rating are important for how the car performs.
All tyres older than 6 years old should be checked by an expert even if they seem undamaged. Tyres age and decompose, even if they are hardly ever or never used. The function can therefore be affected. This applies to all tyres that are stored for future use. Examples of external signs which indicate that the tyre is unsuitable for use are cracks or discoloration.
Tyres are perishable. After a few years they begin to harden at the same time as the friction capacity/characteristics gradually deteriorate. For this reason, aim to get as fresh tyres as possible when you replace them. This is especially important with regard to winter tyres. The last four digits in the sequence mean the week and year of manufacture. This is the tyre's DOT marking (Department of Transportation), and this is stated with four digits, for example 1510. The tyre in the figure was manufactured in week 15 of 2010.
Summer and winter wheels
When summer and winter wheels are changed the wheels should be marked with which side of the car they were mounted on, for example L for left and R for right.
Wear and maintenance
Correct tyre pressure results in more even wear. Driving style, tyre pressure, climate and road condition affect how quickly your tyres age and wear.
To avoid differences in tread depth and to prevent wear patterns arising, the front and rear wheels can be switched with each other. A suitable distance for the first change is approx. 5000 km and then at 10000 km intervals.
Volvo recommends that an authorised Volvo workshop is contacted for checking if you are uncertain about tread depth. If significant differences in wear (> 1 mm difference in tread depth) between tyres have already occurred, then the least worn tyres must always be fitted on the rear. Understeer is normally easier to correct than oversteer, and leads to the car continuing forwards in a straight line rather than having the rear end skidding to one side, resulting in possible complete loss of control over the car. This is why it is important for the rear wheels never to lose grip before the front wheels.
Wheels with tyres fitted must be stored lying down or hanging up - never standing up.