What Do Tire Numbers Mean?

Closeup of Tire Numbers with Wheel Rim

 

When you reset the TPMS light on your vehicle, you may notice a set of numbers and letters on your tires. What are these numbers and what do they mean? Each tire for your vehicle has a set of numbers that indicate its size, type and performance purpose. These numbers help you determine which tires you currently have and what to replace them with when you visit a tire shop. If you want to decipher the tire number meanings on your vehicle, then read along with Marietta Toyota below. While you are here, read our other service tips for more DIY car care!



Deciphering Tire Numbers

The code on a tire uses a series of letters and numbers to inform you or your Smyrna service center of the size, load index, speed rating, and type of tire your vehicle needs for optimum performance. Let’s take a look at an example below.

Example: P215/65R15 95H

While this may look more like a serial number, each section of this code represents a piece of information to correctly identify the type of tire this is. 

Decoding “P”

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.

Decoding “215”

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.

Decoding “65”

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.

Decoding “R”

The “R” indicates the tire’s construction, with “R” representing that it’s a radial.

Decoding “15”

“15” indicates the wheel size from one end to the other, which informs us of what tire can fit on this particular wheel. This code tells us that this tire is meant for a 15-inch wheel.

Decoding “95H”

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.

Checking Your Tire Pressure 

Whether you have passenger tires or light-weight pickup tires, keeping your tires in good health will improve their lifetime and help you drive safer in Atlanta. One of the easiest ways to ensure your tires remain healthy is by maintaining its tire pressure. Most new vehicles have the tire pressure listed on a sticker within the driver’s door jam or in your owner’s manual. Most passenger tires require a tire pressure between 32 and 35 PSI when the tire is cold (for example, when the vehicle has been resting for a while). 

You can either use a manual tire pressure gauge or your vehicle’s TPMS system to check the individual tire pressures. If you notice one is too low or too high, add or release air until it’s at optimal tire pressure. Most Kennesaw gas stations have air pressure pumps you can use, or you can have your tires filled, inspected, and aligned at our service center!

Get New Tires or Have Your Tires Checked at Marietta Toyota

Whether you need some extra air in your tires or you need a new set completely, come by our Marietta location and count on our team at Marietta Toyota for all your tire needs. Schedule a service appointment online at your convenience, then browse our service specials for discounts on Toyota services and parts. If you’re looking for a specific type of tire or you have questions, feel free to contact our team for more information!

 

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