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Old 24-11-2019   #1
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2013 Fiat 500 Abarth - Tire Speed Rating?

Hi all,

Question about speed ratings on tires for the 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth:

I'm looking to get replacement all-season tires (205/40R17 XL) and was told by a sales rep at a tire center that I can't use a tire with a V speed rating because my car is a W speed rating.

I can't find any literature on tire speed ratings in my Owner's Manual (after a cursory search). I'm not sure if he was B.S.ing me because he just didn't want to order the tires or if this is a very serious tire manufacturer / auto manufacturer liability & safety limitation.

I understand the rationale behind speed ratings and braking distance and all - but as this is a town commuter car, I don't foresee ever going 150mph - ever. I'm not the original owner and have no idea what the original factory tires were.

Can someone point me to Fiat literature that states the tire speed ratings for their various car models?

Thanks so much!

T
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Last edited by tmhayden; 24-11-2019 at 20:41.
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Old 24-11-2019   #2
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Re: 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth - Tire Speed Rating?

Looking at the Mitchelin UK site then for a 2013 Abarth 145bhp Tjet they recommend the following:-

205/40 R17 84 W
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Re: 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth - Tire Speed Rating?

Thanks! I saw the same on Michelin US - but I didnít know if Fiat is pushing for a W speed rating or itís the tire manufacturers.

Does anyone have a US manuf they can recommend? So far I see Kumho has 84W in my size, but not sure how hard-wearing Kumho is in all-weather tires.
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Re: 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth - Tire Speed Rating?

Quote Originally Posted by tmhayden View Post
Thanks! I saw the same on Michelin US - but I didnít know if Fiat is pushing for a W speed rating or itís the tire manufacturers.



Does anyone have a US manuf they can recommend? So far I see Kumho has 84W in my size, but not sure how hard-wearing Kumho is in all-weather tires.


What is a tire speed rating? Is that how fast you can go for the tire falls off the car???
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Quote Originally Posted by Rocco Reviews View Post
What is a tire speed rating? Is that how fast you can go for the tire falls off the car???
The maximum permitted speed stated by the tyre manufacturer whether the car is capable of going that fast or not, there are other factors to include too like load etc.
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Re: 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth - Tire Speed Rating?

It's not about weather you ever go at TOP speed , it's about what the top speed of the car is theoretically capable of traveling. If manufacturer states a particular speed rating for tyres then you can't choose to go lower speed rating.
You can choose to go higher , if possible.
Yes it is about liability.
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Quote Originally Posted by jackwhoo View Post
It's not about weather you ever go at TOP speed , it's about what the top speed of the car is theoretically capable of traveling. If manufacturer states a particular speed rating for tyres then you can't choose to go lower speed rating.
You can choose to go higher , if possible.
Yes it is about liability.
It is actually. The rating means that the tyre is capable of travel at the rated speed for a given time. Hence youíre allowed to go down a rating or two with winter tyres, but your top speed is then limited.
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Quote Originally Posted by 306maxi View Post
It is actually. The rating means that the tyre is capable of travel at the rated speed for a given time. Hence youíre allowed to go down a rating or two with winter tyres, but your top speed is then limited.
I hadn't considered winter tyres , sorry.

What I wrote only applies to normal , summer tyres, and is only what I understand to be the case in the UK.
It may also apply to original poster but,
You must check whatever local, state, national or other laws apply to you.
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Re: 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth - Tire Speed Rating?

In the UK insurance companies would take a dim view of fitting tyres with a speed rating below the max speed of your car
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Quote Originally Posted by jackwhoo View Post
I hadn't considered winter tyres , sorry.

What I wrote only applies to normal , summer tyres, and is only what I understand to be the case in the UK.
It may also apply to original poster but,
You must check whatever local, state, national or other laws apply to you.
For summer tyres, tyres with a speed rating lower than that specified by the manufacturer should never be used.



It is different in the case of winter tyres. The speed rating for snow tyres and rules for its selection are defined by EU legislation (Directive 92/23/EEC). According to these regulations, winter tyres may have their speed rating lower than recommended by the manufacturer, but not lower than index Q (Q = 160 km/h).

That is in UK and test of europe
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Last edited by jackwhoo; 1 Week Ago at 19:38.
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Quote Originally Posted by chris3234 View Post
In the UK insurance companies would take a dim view of fitting tyres with a speed rating below the max speed of your car
As would the police in UK and rest of europe
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Last edited by jackwhoo; 1 Week Ago at 20:38.
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Re: 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth - Tire Speed Rating?

I didn't get into the speed rating of temporary space saver spare wheels
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Quote Originally Posted by chris3234 View Post
In the UK insurance companies would take a dim view of fitting tyres with a speed rating below the max speed of your car
They can take whatever view they want, it wonít stand up in a court of law if they choose to be idiots about it. If you look up what the speed rating means then they will realise why any sort of refusal to pay out on a claim that happened in a situation where the speed of the vehicle didnít exceed the rated speed for the tyre is not going to ever fly in court.

Just because they can write something into a contract doesnít make the contract enforceable.

Source: worked for a car company for 3 years and have a healthy knowledge of homologation and regulation vis a vis cars.
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Re: 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth - Tire Speed Rating?

Quote Originally Posted by 306maxi View Post
They can take whatever view they want, it won’t stand up in a court of law if they choose to be idiots about it. If you look up what the speed rating means then they will realise why any sort of refusal to pay out on a claim that happened in a situation where the speed of the vehicle didn’t exceed the rated speed for the tyre is not going to ever fly in court.


To pass an MOT in the UK, the tyres only need to have a speed rating that's good for 70mph, whatever the maximum speed of the vehicle.

Tyre fitters may take a different view; it's their professional liability that's at stake and they do have the right to refuse to fit a tyre that they believe may not be suitable for the car.

Some take this to ridiculous extremes. My local tyre dealer once refused to put a T rated tyre on a base model old style Ka, just because the existing tyres happened to be H rated.

The Ka has a 60HP engine and is (theoretically) just about capable of 90mph downhill. T rated tyres are good for 118mph.
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Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post


To pass an MOT in the UK, the tyres only need to have a speed rating that's good for 70mph, whatever the maximum speed of the vehicle.

Tyre fitters may take a different view; it's their professional liability that's at stake and they do have the right to refuse to fit a tyre that they believe may not be suitable for the car.

Some take this to ridiculous extremes. My local tyre dealer once refused to put a T rated tyre on a base model old style Ka, just because the existing tyres happened to be H rated.

The Ka has a 60HP engine and is (theoretically) just about capable of 90mph downhill. T rated tyres are good for 118mph.
Exactly. The great thing is that if you take loose rims in they have no idea what youíre fitting the tyres to, plus they canít mash your sill or over torque your nuts/bolts.

Iím all for fitting tyres that are the correct rating, but I just wanted to point out that an insurance company canít say diddly about a speed rating.

My BMW is currently on H rated tyres winter tyres that are good for 130mph, but shock horror the car is capable of 138mph!

On the cars I worked with, if you fitted winter tyres, or tyres of a different size then you selected that option in the TPMS menu and the car would warn you of the relevant speed limit for the tyres fitted.
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