Understanding Your Tire

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Decipher the numbers written on your car tire.

You may have noticed some strange numbers and words on the side of your car tire. If you thought that you’d studied enough math in your life and decided to ignore them, you may want to think again. Those numbers contain some important information about the well-being of your tires. We’ll tell you what they mean.

P – Service Description

If you see a ‘P’ on the sidewall of your tire, it means that this tire is designated for a passenger vehicle. LT means light truck, ST means special trailer, and T stands for temporary or a spare tire. Now, the kind of description you see may also depend on the rules and regulations of the country you’re in and the origin of the tire manufacturer. The above size descriptions usually relate to the United States. If you’re elsewhere, you may see a different marking related to a load index.

215 – TIre Width

The first number you see in the series of numbers on your tire’s sidewall is the width of the tire. This number refers to the width of the tire from sidewall to sidewall over the tire’s tread. The bigger the number, the wider the tire.

65 – Aspect Ratio

These numbers refer to the section height of the tire in reference to its section width. Higher numbers could mean that the tire is built for a comfortable ride or off-road use and lower numbers indicate that the tire is focused on performance, better handling and improved steering.

R – Construction

This letter tells us about the internal construction of the tire. ‘R’ stands for radial, which is the industry standard today. If you see a tire that has ‘B’ on the side, it means that this tire features a bias-ply construction. Some two-wheelers and trucks still use bias ply.

15 – rim Diameter

This number tells you what size of wheels you can mount this tire on. ‘15’ here means that this tire can be mounted on a 15-inch wheel. If you want to use bigger wheels on your car tire, then you’ll need to buy a new set of tires as well.

95 – L0ad Index

This number is extremely important. It refers to the load index or the weight carrying capacity of the tire. But this number only applies to the load-carrying capacity of one tire. To understand the maximum load that you can safely carry in your vehicle, you’ll need to multiply this number with the number of tires your car has.

H – Speed Rating

Pay attention because this information may save your life. The speed rating on your tire tells you the maximum speed the tire can safely handle while driving. Drive faster, and the tire’s traction and stability will be compromised.

You may wonder why you need to understand all this? Remember, your tires are the only things connecting your car to the road. If your tires are compromised, your safety is compromised. So, always check and make sure that you always choose the right tire for your car.