What Do the Numbers on Tires Mean?

Tires are essential elements of the car that require care and maintenance since they are the only part of your car in direct contact with the ground, so they are prone to wear quickly. The problem comes at the time of purchase: how do you know that you are buying a quality tire? The key is to understand the meaning of the figures that are right on their sides.

What do the numbers on the tires mean?

Next, you will know simply what the numbers of the tires mean so that when you buy them, you do it consciously:

Type of service

Before the numbering, you will see a series of letters that are initials and refer to the type of vehicle that the tire in question must use. The most common letter “P” (passenger) means it meets the standards for passenger vehicles (nomenclature for a tire made in the United States). Then there are LT – A tires intended for light, medium, and heavy trucks. 

Without letter designation : 

They are known as the euro-metric tire is the one found in European cars and have the same dimension as the P but can vary in load capacity. C: heavy-duty delivery truck tire. Furthermore, they specify a load range according to their service B, C, and D.

Tire width

But what do the numbers on the tires mean? First, you will see three numbers that indicate the cross-width of the tire. This width is measured from the inside sidewall to the outside (at its widest point). For example, if the number is 225, it indicates that the width is 225 millimeters.

Aspect ratio

The numbers that follow (two digits) indicate the aspect ratio or, what is the same, the tire’s profile. If, for example, you see the number 45, this means that the distance from the sidewall to the outside of the tread is 45% of the width of the section.

R + number

The following two-digit number indicates the tire’s diameter, so 15 means the wheel (or rim) is 15 inches in diameter, for example. The “R” stands for “radial,” that is, the layers run radially on the tire.

W, V, or H + number

The abbreviations W, V, or H are speed classifiers. For example, a tire with the initials H indicates that it can drive at a maximum speed of 130 mph or 210 km / h. The number in front of it indicates the tire’s load index. 

In addition to being important, this information is mandatory for manufacturers due to government regulations applied by countries. 

As most of this data has been standardized over time, similar numbers are found across manufacturers’ brands. By knowing what the tire numbers mean, you will be buying the order from the manufacturer, that is, the most suitable for your vehicle.

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