How to Interpret Tire Markings

Staying Informed During Tire Sales

The tire markings on the side of your tires can reveal to you many of the tire’s characteristics, which can help you decide which tires you want. Knowing what those characteristics translate to when driving can be helpful for drivers who don’t even know they could improve their driving experience. If you are in need of new tires, you can come to Big Apple Automotive in Bear Valley, California. We offer tire sales to meet your needs, but first, let us help you understand what you need in a tire and how you can get that.

There are many different categories of markings, so understanding what they mean is based on the order they are labeled. When looking at the tire’s side,, usually there is the brand name of the tire and the model or type of tire on opposite ends of the tire. Following the circular structure of the tire, there will be more cryptic tire markings in between the brand and model.

Tire Sizes

The letter “P” indicates that it is a passenger car tire, which most personal automobiles will use. An “LT” will mean a light tire truck. If neither of these are evident, it is a European metric labeled tire. This information is pretty obvious and not too helpful, but it is good for organizing the relevant information and helping you to recognize what numbers mean what.

After the “P’ or otherwise, you will see a number that indicates the width of the tires in millimeters. The width will be separated by a “/,” and the next number will indicate the aspect ratio of the height to width. Usually, this number will be two decimals, such as “65,” which means that the height is 65% of the width. Using this ratio and the width, you can find the height of the tire.

There is an “R,” usually which indicates it is a radial or circular tire. After the “R” is the diameter of the wheel in inches. This number is the most important for fitting your tire to the wheel, whereas the sidewalls’ size can vary depending on your preference.

Maximum Tire Limits

There will be a load index indicated by quite obvious wording like “MAX LOAD,” which is how heavy the combined weight of the car and objects inside the tires can carry in pounds. There is also a maximum tire pressure which can be seen as “MAX PRESS,” which is measured in PSI. Then there will be a similar speed rating which is the maximum speed the tires should be pushed to in miles per hour given the wheels are in good condition. These are not the recommended environment for your tires, and they are the extreme limits. You should set your tire pressure and drive according to the owner’s manual.

When you are looking for tire sales in Bear Valley, California, come to Big Apple Automotive. We can help you find the right tires for your car.

Contact Us online today at any of our 3 convenient Victor Valley locations!

Written by Big Apple Automotive