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What the numbers and symbols on your tire means

What the numbers and symbols on your tire means

Wondering what the numbers and symbols on your tire means? We have the answer for you.


(P) Service Description

If there is a “P” on the sidewall of your tire, it means it’s a “passenger car.” This refers to the U.S. (P-metric) method of tire sizing. For those with buses or trucks, theirs will be “LT” it stands for Light Truck, and those with “ST” it means it is for Special Trailer and the tire with a “T” stands for Temporary, which is primarily used for small spare tires. If a tire does not have a “P” or another letter in front of the numbers, it is considered a “Euro-metric” tire. A Euro-metric tire conforms to the European tire specifications, and often carries a different load index than a comparably sized P-metric tire. 

The (215,225..) Means tire width

A tire’s section or cross-section width is the measurement of the tire’s width from its inner sidewall to its outer sidewall at the widest point, according to The Tire Rack. It is measured in millimeters up and over the tire’s tread. Generally speaking, the larger this number is, the wider the tire will be.

The aspect ratio is (60)

This number is the tire’s aspect ratio, or its section height compared to its section width. In this example, the section (or sidewall) height is 60 percent of the section width. This number can indicate the purpose of a tire. Lower numbers, like 55 or less, mean a short sidewall for improved steering response and better overall handling. The lower numbers are usually used on performance cars (sport cars).

The (R) Radial (internal construction)

Radial tyres are marked with the letter R. Radial tyres are constructed with the cord plies positioned at a 90 degree angle to the direction of travel to give the tyre additional strength. Almost every new tyre manufactured today is a radial tyre.

The (16) is the Rim

The next two digits represent the size of the wheel or rim that the tyre can be fitted to. It is also the diameter of the tyre from bead to bead.  So a tyre marked 16 will fit on a 16-inch wheel rim.

The (94) is the load index

The load index Indicates the maximum load that the tire can support when properly inflated. You’ll also find the maximum load on the tire sidewall, in both pounds and kilograms. This is one of the most important numbers on your tire. Ninety-five indicates a maximum weight of 1,521 pounds. Remember that this is per tire, which means you have to multiply by four to get the total capacity for a complete set of tires. If the vehicle has its original tires, you can just refer to the doorjamb, which lists the maximum cargo capacity with passengers.

(T) speed rating

T tells you the maximum speed capability of a tire. Often speed ratings are matched to the top speed capability of the vehicle. An “H” speed rating signifies that this tire can be run safely at speeds of up to 130 mph or 210km/h for extended periods. If you go beyond this speed limit on tires with this rating, it may burst. In addition, when replacing tires on high performance vehicles, speed ratings “must be equal to or greater than what is specified by the vehicle manufacturer if the speed capability of the vehicle is to be maintained.”

Here is a complete list of the various tire speed ratings, and their associated letters:
S = 112 mph
T = 118 mph
U = 124 mph
H = 130 mph
V = 149 mph
*Z = Over 149 mph
*W = 168 mph
*Y = 186 mph
*(Y) = Over 186 mph T = 118 mph

Traction Rating
A traction rating can also be found on the sidewall of all modern tires. It can be represented as AA, A, B or C. This is a rating of a tire’s traction when tested for straight-line braking on a wet surface. For this rating, AA signifies the best traction performance and C indicates the worst.

Temperature Rating
Temperature grades indicate the ability of the tire to withstand and dissipate destructive heat. A tire with a higher temperature grade is able to operate at higher speeds. This is ratings, from best to worst,: A, B and C.

Treadwear Rating
Treadwear grades are based on standardized government tests to help predict the expected treadwear of a tire. For example, a tire with a treadwear grade of 300 should last three times longer than the one with 200 & 100

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