Explaining the Numbers on a Tire

Explaining the Numbers on a Tire

What Do Tire Markings Mean?

Tire repair can be a confusing process, but it’s one of the most critical components when it comes to auto repair. In this article, we will discuss what the tire’s letters and numbers mean.

If you live in the Sterling, Virginia area and need professional tire repair, visit us at Auto Stop Elite today to get the best tires for your car, truck, or SUV.

A Brief Explanation of a Tire’s Sidewall

Though it may seem complicated, it’s easy to grasp what all the letters and numbers on your tires mean with a little clarification. By understanding the following, you can prevent your vehicle from needing frequent tire repair.

Tire Type

The first letter on the tire tells you what kind of tire it is. The letter ‘P’ stands for the tire of a motor vehicle such as buses, SUVs, crossovers, minivans, and smaller pick-up trucks. The combination of ‘LT’ designates tires that are meant for cars with towing trailers. The letters ‘ST’ is for tires intended for trailers, fifth wheels, boat trailers, and utility trailers.

Tire Width

The three-digit number that follows the letters refers to the tire’s width, measured from the outer sidewall to the inner sidewall, in millimeters.

Aspect Ratio

Next, the digits following the forward-slash designate the aspect ratio, which is the ratio of the tire’s height (measured from rim to top) to its width. If the aspect ratio is listed as 75, the height is 75% of the width. A higher aspect ratio refers to a higher sidewall or “profile,” as it is often called.

Construction Type

This letter tells you about the internal structure of the rubber. The letter ‘R’ is the industry standard for radial tires and most tires today. The letter ‘D’ is used for tires built with diagonal folds, often referred to as bias-constructed tires. The letter ‘F’ refers to run-flat tires.

Wheel Diameter

This two-digit number refers to the diameter of the wheel in inches.

Load Index

Load Index is a two- or three-digit number that determines the tire load index, or how much weight a tire can carry.

Speed Rating

The last letter refers to the speed rating, which is the highest speed that the tire is safe to drive for a prolonged period of time. Traveling faster than the designated speed can lead to your vehicle needing frequent tire repair.

Fast Tire Repair in Sterling, Virginia

Understanding tires can be challenging for every car owner, but we hope this article helps alleviate some of the stress and anxiety involved with the process. At Auto Stop Elite, we strive to make the auto maintenance and repair process simple and straightforward for every customer in the Sterling, Virginia area. If your car needs its tires inspected, give us a call or come see us today for the best auto maintenance in town.

Written by Auto Stop Elite