Removing a wheel from a vehicle

What Do Tire Numbers Mean?

If you’ve ever inspected your tires or if you’ve had to buy a new set from your local Regina parts shop or tire store, you have no doubt seen the combination of numbers and letters on the tire sidewall. What do tire numbers mean? They are actually a code that indicates the size and type of tire and its particular performance purpose. If you’re shopping for new tires and need to determine which ones are right for your car, truck, or SUV, or if you’re simply wondering what do the numbers on tires mean, this guide from the parts team at Standard Motors will help.

Decoding What Tire Numbers Mean

The tire code is a series of letters and numbers that inform you or your Saskatoon-area service center the size, load index, speed rating, and type of tire your vehicle requires for maximum performance. Here’s an example:

P215/65R15 95H

While this string of letters and numbers may seem confusing at first glance, each section of code represents a piece of information to correctly identify the type of tire it is.

  • The “P” stands for “P-Metric tire,” meaning that it is used for passenger vehicles. If your tire code starts with “LT,” it means it’s for a “light truck”. If the tire does not have a letter preceding the code, it is a European style tire or Euro-Metric tire, which have different load capacities.
  • Following the “P” is the number “215”, which stands for tire width in millimetres from sidewall to sidewall. So in this example, the width of this tire is 215 millimeters.
  • After the forward slash comes the aspect ratio code, indicated in the example by “65.” A tire’s ratio is the height of the tire’s cross-section to its width. In this example, the tire has an aspect ratio where its height is equal to 65% of the tire’s width. The bigger the aspect ratio, the bigger the sidewalls will be.
  • The “R” indicates the tire’s construction, with “R” representing that it’s a radial tire.
  • “15” indicates the wheel size from one end to the other in inches or centimetres. This lets you know what wheel size this particular tire will fit. The example code tells us that this tire is meant for a 15-inch wheel.

At the end of the code is “95H,” which is the load index and speed rating for the tire. 

  • The load index (“95” in this instance) indicates how much weight the tire can support when it’s properly inflated, and can range from 75-105 for passenger vehicles. 
  • “H” represents the speed rating, which is how fast the tire can safely go based on its load capacity. This rating is ranked from A-Z, and with our example, a tire with an “H” rating can reach a maximum speed of 130 mph or about 209 kilometres.per hour.

Turn to Standard Motors For All Your Tire Service Needs

Unfortunately, tires don’t last forever, so if you are in need of new tires in the Kyle area, Standard Motors is the place to go. We carry a wide range of competitively priced tires from major manufacturers, and you can use our convenient Tire Wizard to shop for tires online. Make sure to explore our current parts specials to take advantage of our current offers. If you have questions about how to check your tire tread, when to rotate your tires, or which tires are right for your vehicle, please feel free to contact our Parts Centre.

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