What Does the Lettering on Your Tires Mean?

Cracking the Code:

Automotive technology is always progressing and developing so that, as a driver, it’s easy to feel out of touch with your vehicle. At Oakwood Car Care & Tire Center in Huntington Station, New York, we can help you get to know your vehicle better, even if you think it’s speaking a completely different language! In this post, we’ll decipher the hieroglyphics on the walls of your tires so you can better understand the parts that keep you connected to the road!

The markings on your tires can be broken down into 11 parts:

  1. The first element indicates the type of vehicle the tire is suited for: P for passenger, LT for light truck. European metric tires do not have this first element.
  2. The second element is the width of the tire from one side wall to the other. This is measured in millimeters.
  3. The third element is the aspect ratio, a number created by comparing the height of the side wall to the width of the tire.
  4. The fourth element indicates the speed rating: Z is the highest speed rating, T indicates the tire is safe up to 118mph and S indicates the tire is safe up to 112 mph.
  5. The fifth element is a clue to the way the tire was constructed: R for Radial Construction is the most common.
  6. The sixth element indicates the diameter of the wheel in inches.
  7. The seventh element shows the Load Index which determines the max capacity the tires can bear.
  8. The eighth element is the speed rating: The ratings range from A to Z with Z being tires equipped for the highest speed.
  9. The ninth and tenth elements come from the U.S. Department of Transportation and confirm the tire has met all safety requirements and provides a Uniform Tire Quality Grading rating.
  10. The final element is the Maximum Inflation Pressure and Load number which is indicated by a PSI rating.

All of this information may still feel overwhelming, and at Oakwood Car Care & Tire Center we are here to help you decipher all of these specifications and find a tire that suits your vehicle. Discuss your needs with any of our ASE certified technicians and receive a $100 gift card with every 4-tire purchase! We know you have many options for vehicle repair and maintenance in Huntington Station, New York, so we take the time to make sure you feel valued as a customer and leave our shop with the peace of mind that all services are covered by a 24-month/24,000 mile warranty. For more information, to book an appointment, or to discuss the hieroglyphics on your wheel walls, call us today!

Written by Oakwood Car Care

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