What Do Tire Numbers Mean?

February 28th, 2019 by

Close up car tire photo on the black backgroundIf you’ve ever checked your tires or if you’ve had to order new ones from your local Gardner parts shop, you’ve more than likely seen the combination of numbers and letters on the sidewall of them. So, you’re probably wondering, “What do tire numbers mean?” This code indicates the size and type of tire it is, and its particular performance purpose. If you’re in need of new tires and need to determine which ones to get, or if you’re simply wondering what do the numbers on tires mean, let Olathe Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram teach you!

Decoding What Tire Numbers Mean

A tire’s code uses a series of letters and numbers in order to inform you or your Olathe service center the 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 seem like gibberish, 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 tires read “LT,” this stands for “light truck,” and the tire is intended for light-weight pickup trucks. 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 “215” number, which stands for tire width in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall. So 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, so in our example, this 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.

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

Turn to Olathe Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram to Learn More About Tire Numbers and Codes!

There you have it! We hope we answered your question, “What do the numbers on tires mean?” So if you want more tire tips or new tires, you’ll want to turn to Olathe Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram for all of your maintenance and parts needs. At our Olathe service department, we’ll replace your serpentine belt; we’ll replace your mufflers; we’ll inspect strange car fluids; and we’ll even change your car’s oil. Schedule service online by completing this secure schedule service form. Once you navigate to this form, we’ll need you to enter in your VIN and basic contact information, so that our service technicians can best service your Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, or RAM vehicle.


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