How to Read Tire Sizes

The sidewall markings on your tires can tell you more about them than you might think. Since they will come in handy the next time you will need new tires, let's go over what these markings really mean.

The First Letter
The first letter indicates the class of the tire. A "P" means that it is a passenger tire vehicle, while an "LT" means that the tire is intended for a light truck.

The first letter is followed by a number that indicates the width of the tire from one sidewall to the other. It is measured in millimeters.

Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the height of the tire's sidewall in relation to its width. It is presented as a percentage of the tire's width.

Speed Rating
You will see a letter after the aspect ratio. This is the speed rating of the tire. A "Z" is the highest speed rating, which means your tire should be able to handle driving at higher speeds.

Radial Tires
If there is an "R" after the speed rating, it means that the tire is a radial tire. These have layers of fabric underneath the tire's rubber. These are the most common type of automotive tires on the market.

Wheel Diameter
The wheel diameter indicates the size of the wheel in inches that the tire will fit.

Load Index
The load index will tell you the maximum load carrying capacity of the tire.

Speed Rating
Finally, your tire will have an additional speed rating, especially if it had a "Z" rating before. This will tell you the top speed in miles per hour that a tire can withstand. For example, a "W" will indicate that a tire can handle speeds of up to 168 miles per hour.

If you have any questions about how to read tire sizes or if you need help getting your tires changed, contact Lincoln & Mazda of Olympia Group today.



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