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Tires are few of the most misunderstood components of a vehicle. Over there is confusion neighboring when they are worn out, exactly pressure, rotation schedules and also formats, and more. However nothing is as confusing to the median driver 보다 all those numbers on the sidewall of her tires. We’re below to demystify these numbers and also explain them in level English.

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Tire sizes Translated


Tire Size

See all those numbers on the next of your tire? Confusing, right? We’re here to break those under for girlfriend so you deserve to shop for tires with just a bit an ext knowledge.

When you look on the sidewall of a tire, friend will an alert two significant things: the brand name and also size. The last will have actually a couple of formats but is basic to find. That will read something to the result of P235/55R18, 235/55R18, or 235-55R18. Of course, every those numbers readjust with the size of the tire — the only consistent component will it is in the “R.”

Each team of number represents one dimension. The failure is as follows.


The “235” grouping shows the width of the tires from sidewall to sidewall in millimeters. So, in this example, the tire is 235 millimeter — 9.25 inches — broad from sidewall to sidewall.


Aspect Ratio

The “55” grouping is the facet ratio and is by much one of the many misunderstood dimensions. This is the elevation of the sidewall native wheel come tread family member to the width. Manufacturer’s represent this measurement in a percentage, therefore in our example, the sidewall is 129.25 millimeter — 5.08 inches — tall (235 x 0.55).


Wheel size

The final number group, the “18,” is the size of wheel the tire fits. In our instance size, the tire will certainly fit a 18-inch wheel.

Some manufacturers construct off-road tires utilizing inches rather of millimeters, for this reason you may see sizes prefer “33×17.” This simply means the full height of the tire is 33 inches and it fits a 17-inch wheel.

Can I adjust Tire Sizes?

Sometimes, there is a an excellent deal top top a tire the is slightly smaller sized or larger than what her vehicle’s manufacturer recommends, so why not just readjust the tire size? This is a to discuss topic, but with modern-day vehicles having actually such tight tolerances, it is always best mechanically to only install the recommended tires size.

Changing the dimension on a modern vehicle can reason a dip in fuel economy, abnormal handling, rubbing, alignment issues, and unnecessary anxiety on the powertrain.

If you have actually an older automobile — we’re talking beforehand 1980s or older — changing the tire dimension is no as big of a deal. Generally, the worst problem you will cause by changing the size is an inaccurate speedometer. The said, the just dimensions you can readjust are the width and aspect proportion — never ever the wheel size, unless you purchase replacement wheel — and you should always strive to store the total height that the tire the same as the OEM. So, if you widen the tire, you might need come decrease the element ratio, and vice versa.

Under a Load


Load Index

Did you know tires also have a load limit? Yes, that tiny donut that vulcanized rubber filled with air have the right to only hold so lot weight prior to it goes “boom.” Fortunately, tire manufacturers placed this details right top top the tire, yet you wouldn’t know it to be there there is no a little insider info, which we will certainly pass on to you now.

Right next to the tires size, you will certainly see 2 numbers adhered to by a letter. Ignore the letter for currently — we’ll gain to that later on — and also focus ~ above the two-digit number. The is the tire’s load index. On most cars, tires will variety from the high-80s come the mid-90s, when light-truck tires will loss somewhere native the mid-90s come 120.

To number out what the number on your tire’s sidewall means, you need the load index chart. Fortunate because that you, we’ve posted a review of that below.

Load IndexMaximum load (lbs)

This fill index is per tire, for this reason if you have 4 tires v a 93 fill index, they can hold 5,732 pounds. If your automobile weighs 4,000 pounds and also the tires have actually a 93 fill index, you can include up come 1,732 pounds that people and stuff there is no risking a blowout.

While this load index is hardly ever of any concern come the average auto owner, it plays a huge function when towing and also hauling v a van or SUV.

Tire rate Rating


Speed Rating

The speed rating is the letter that adheres to the pack rating, but you may also see it following the “R” on some tires. This shows the maximum rate the manufacturer draft the tires to handle. Like the pack index, you need a chart to figure out what speed each letter converts to. Well, watch at that — we have actually one below.

Speed RatingMaximum speed (mph)

DOT Number or tire Identification Number


DOT Code

The room of transport number, i beg your pardon some likewise call the tires identification number, is the longest cable of numbers and letters you’ll check out on the tire. This 12-digit identifier reflects what factory the manufacturer constructed the tire, and the week and year it built the tire in. This date code will certainly be the last four digits in the code. The first two digits stand for the manufacture week and also the second two stand for the produce year. In the example above, the period Number has a date code the 4515, which method the manufacturer constructed it top top the 45th week of 2015.

Typically, the just number you want to pay attention to is the two-digit year password at the end as this speak you around how old the tires is. You may think friend only need to worry about this once buying a used tire or considering replacing your old shoes, yet you additionally need come look in ~ this once buying brand-new tires.


Date Code

Wait, shouldn’t my new tires it is in made within the past year? Yes, this is generally true, however if your vehicle has a rarely tire size, lock may have actually sat top top the shelves because that years before you came by come rescue them. Unfortunately, rubber periods while sit on the shelf, and this could cause issues down the road.

Even when buying brand-new tires, always ask to check out the specific tires the shop will certainly mount on your vehicle and also check that date code. If the tires are over 2 year old, ask for a collection with a newer day code. Remember, over there is no must be a stickler here and ask the tire shop to walk tearing v the entire tire room to find younger rubber — only resort come this if they room too old.

What class Did you Get?

Just choose some foods and restaurants, tires get a government grade. These have the right to be almost everywhere on the tire, yet you deserve to spot castle easily because preceding every grade is the word “Treadwear,” “Traction,” or “Temperature.”

Treadwear Grade


Treadwear Grade

Treadwear is the simplest to decipher together it is a three-digit number that indicates exactly how long tread top top the tire will last family member to various other tires. In theory and also in similar conditions, a tire v a 300treadwear rating will last three times as lengthy as one through a 100 rating, and so on. This one is sneaky since the government does not require manufacturers come accurately state the treadwear, so long as they execute not exceed the main rating. So, a manufacturer have the right to underrate among its cheaper tires if the outperforms a premium tires to develop perceived worth for the pricier tire.

Traction Grade


Traction Grade

The traction rating represents exactly how well the tires performs top top wet asphalt and also concrete. We’ll spare you the scientific research behind it, but it requires a semi van dragging a tire across wet surfaces and measuring the G-forces. For the mean consumer, all the matters is the ratings from ideal traction to worst space AA, A, B, C.

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Temperature Grade


Temperature Grade

Finally, the temperature rating. No, this rating doesn’t display that certain tires won’t work-related in the Sunshine State. What it indicates is the tire’s capability to dissipate warmth while operating at high speed. Tires come in among three temperature ratings, and they room as follows:

Temperature GradeSpeed (mph)
AOver 115
B100 – 115
C85 – 100

If you’re in the market for new tires or aren’t sure if you require them however it’s been a while since you got brand-new ones, concerned the Garber Buick organization department serving Saginaw, Michigan. We’ll inspect your old tires and give friend our moral opinion. Plus, you know you’ll obtain the right tires for your auto as we hiring only the most professional technicians and also service advisors.