What Do Tire Numbers Mean?

When you check your tires or order new tires from a local Louisville, KY tire shop, chances are you’ve noticed the combination of numbers and letters on their sidewalls. What do tire numbers mean? That code indicates the tire’s size and type, and its particular performance purpose. Wondering which ones to get? Or simply what do the numbers on tires stand for? Follow this guide from Bachman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

Decoding What Tire Numbers Mean

A tire’s code uses a series of letters and numbers to tell you or your New Albany service center the tire size, load index, speed rating, and type of tire your vehicle needs for maximum performance. Take this code for example:

P215/65R15 95H

While it may look like hieroglyphics, each section represents a piece of information to correctly identify tire type:

  • P stands for “P-Metric tire,” meaning that it is used for passenger vehicles. 
  • LT stands for “light truck,” 
  • No letter preceding the code means European style tire, or Euro-Metric tire, which have different load capacities.

Following the “P” is the “215” number, which stands for tire width in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall. In our example, the width of this tire is 215 millimeters.

After the forward slash comes the aspect ratio code, indicated in our example by “65.” A tire’s ratio is the height of the tire’s cross-section to its width. In our example, this tire has an aspect ratio with its height equal to 65% of the tire’s width. Bigger aspect ratio means bigger sidewalls.

“R” indicates the tire’s construction – in this case, representing that it’s a radial.

“15” indicates the wheel size from one end to the other, which tells us what tire can fit on this particular wheel. Here, this 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. It 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.

Rely On Bachman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram For Your Maintenance Needs

In need of new tires or brakes? Ready to come in for your regularly scheduled oil change? Turn to Bachman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram for all of your maintenance and parts needs! Complete this secure schedule service form to make an appointment in Jeffersonville – just enter your VIN and basic contact information, so our service technicians can best service your Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram. Any other questions? Contact us online.

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