What Do Tire Numbers Mean?

Closeup of Tire Numbers with Wheel Rim
If you’ve ever put fresh air in your tires, you may have noticed a strange series of letters and numbers printed on the sidewalls. This may have led you to wonder, “What do tire numbers mean?” Tire number meanings vary from vehicle to vehicle, since the code indicates what the tire can handle. What do the numbers on tires mean for you? You’ll want to be sure that you match the correct tire type to your vehicle, so understanding what tire codes mean is a great skill to have. Explore our tips below to answer, “What do tire numbers mean?” once and for all!



Determining Tire Number Meanings

The code on your tire includes a series of letters and numbers to provide information about its size and capabilities for your commute from Morton to Springfield. When a technician looks at your tire code, they can discern the size, load index, speed rating, and type of tire in an instant. In order to help you understand tire codes, we’ll explain an example code below!

What Do the Numbers On Tires Mean? Example: P215/65R15 95H

Decoding “P”

At first, you’ll see the letter “P,” which stands for “P-Metric tire.” This indicates that the tire is meant for passenger vehicles. If the tire said “LT,” it means it’s a tire for a lightweight pickup truck. If you don’t see any letter at all, you have a European style or Euro-Metric tire, which will have different load capacities.

Decoding “215”

Next in line is the number “215.” This means that the tire is 215 millimeters wide from sidewall to sidewall.

Decoding “65”

Following the slash, the “65” represents the aspect ratio code. The ratio of a tire is the height of the tire’s cross-section to its width. So in our example, the tire has an aspect ratio where the height is equal to 65% of the width.

Decoding “R”

Next in our code is the letter “R.” This letter shows that the tire is radial!

Decoding “15”

Near the end of our code, you’ll spot the number “15.” Here, “15” indicates that the tire is meant for a 15-inch wheel.

Decoding “95H”

Finally, at the end of the code is “95H.” This letter and number combination shows us the load index and speed rating for the tire. Here, “95” represents the amount of weight the tire can hold when properly inflated. This can range from 75-105 for passenger vehicles. “H” is indicative of the speed ratings, which tell you how fast the tire can safely travel based on its load capacity. Speed rankings range from A-Z, with an “H” tire being rated for travel up to 130 MPH.

Turn to Sam Leman Toyota Bloomington for All Your Maintenance Needs

Now that you can answer the question, “What do the numbers on tires mean?” you can care for your vehicle with better precision. Sam Leman Toyota Bloomington is your go-to source for tire care near Normal. Along with offering the tire number meaning, we can teach you how many miles tires last and even how to reset your TPMS light!


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