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Reading a tire



Tire Type

Defines the proper use of the tire. P (or no letter at all) means this is a passenger car tire. LT means it is for a light truck.

Tire Width

Width of the tire measured in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall. This tire is 215 millimeters wide.

Aspect Ratio

Ratio of the height of the tire's cross-section to its width. 65 means that the height is equal to 65% of the tire's width.


This tells you how the tire was put together. The "R" stands for radial, which means that the body ply cords. These cords are layers of fabric that make up the body of the tire, and run radially across the tire from bead to bead. A "B" indicates the tire is of bias construction, meaning that the body ply cords run diagonally across the tire from bead to bead, with the ply layers alternating in direction to reinforce one another.

Wheel Diameter

The width of the wheel from one end to the other. The diameter of this wheel is 15 inches.

Load Index

Indicates the maximum load in pounds that a tire can support when properly inflated. You will also find the maximum load in pounds and in kilograms elsewhere on the tire sidewall.

Speed Rating

Shows the maximum service speed for a tire. H means that the tire has a maximum service speed of 130 mph. Please note that this rating relates only to tire speed capability, and is NOT a recommendation to exceed legally posted speed limits; always drive within the legal speed limits.


Means the tire is compliant with all applicable safety standards established by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Adjacent to this is a tire identification or serial number; a combination of numbers and letters with up to 12 digits.


Stands for Uniform Tire Quality Grading, a quality rating system developed by the US Department of Transportation (DOT). For more information on UTQG, see 'Tire Grades'.