What Do Tire Numbers Mean?

If you’ve ever checked your tires at home or had to order new tires from your local parts shop, you’ve probably noticed the combination of numbers and letters on the sidewall of different types of tires. So, what do tire numbers mean? The code indicates the size and type of tire it is, and its particular performance purpose. If you’re in need of new tires and need to determine which ones to get, or if you’re simply wondering what do the numbers on tires mean, let Volume Chevrolet teach you. But, first, check out our guide on decoding tire numbers.

What Do the Numbers on a Tire Mean?

The code on the side of a tire looks like a random jumble of alphanumerics, but is actually a highly precise code detailing exactly what size, load index, speed rating, and type of tire that code is etched into. For example, a tire with the code P215/65R15 95H is a Passenger car tire, that is 215 millimeters wide, has a sidewall height 65% of the tire’s width, is of Radial construction, has a load index of 95, and an H speed rating, meaning the tire has been safely tested up to 130 miles per hour. If you have any more questions after this article, contact us! Let’s break each of these meanings down.

What Do the Numbers on a Tire Mean?: First Digits

In the P215/65R15 95H code, “P” stands for “P-Metric tire.” This means the tire is designed for everyday passenger vehicles, like small crossovers and all types of cars. Another code that could be here is “LT,” which stands for “light truck.” Lighter pickup trucks doing work around Griffin and McDonough would be the kinds of vehicles to use LT-marked tires. The “215” number is the tire width in millimeters, from sidewall to sidewall.

What Do The Numbers on a Tire Mean?: Middle Digits

After the forward slash, the number “65” is followed by “R” and “15” in our example. The “65” is the aspect ratio code, which says the height of the tire’s sidewall, as a percentage of the tire’s width. This example tire’s aspect ratio is 65. The “R” is how the tire was built, meaning Radial. Virtually all modern passenger car tires are Radials. The “15” is the wheel diameter, in inches. This example tire is made to fit a 15-inch wheel.

What Do the Numbers on a Tire Mean?: Last Digits

The end of the code is “95H,” and this stands for the load index of 95, and the H speed rating. Load indexes generally range between 75 and 105 for passenger vehicles, and refer to how much weight the tire can hold up when inflated correctly. The “H” represents the speed rating, which is the maximum speed the tire has been tested at. “H” rated tires are certified to reach and maintain a maximum speed of 130 mph.

Turn to Volume Chevrolet For All Your Maintenance Needs

Now is someone asks “What do the numbers on a tire mean?” you have some answers for them! If you have any service needs for your vehicle near Forsyth, schedule service with our service department!


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