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Reading a tyre


You can find out all the basics about a tyre simply by reading the information on the side (or sidewall).


Read a tire 2

Tyre Type

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

Tyre Width

Width of the tyre measured in millimetres from sidewall to sidewall. This tyre is 215 millimetres wide.

Aspect Ratio

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


This tells you how the tyre 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 tyre, and run radially across the tyre from bead to bead. A "B" indicates the tyre is of bias construction, meaning that the body ply cords run diagonally across the tyre 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 tyre can support when properly inflated. You will also find the maximum load in pounds and in kilograms elsewhere on the tyre sidewall.

Speed Rating

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


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


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

Reading a tyre