Tire Code – What Does It Mean? in Bremerton, WA

Tire Code – What Does It Mean?

Mike Columbus's Blog | Tire Code – What Does It Mean?

When you are in the market for new tires, it is important to know which tire out there is right for your vehicle.  This information is written in code- tire code, and it is located on the sidewall of each tire. The markings on your tire sidewall contain a mix of letters and numbers, aka tire code. Knowing how to read the code will help you determine which tire you need. Here is a summary of the code.       

  • Tire Class – The first character in a P-Metric code is a letter and it represents the tire class:
    • “P” Passenger
    • “LT” Light Truck
    • No letter means it is a European standard passenger tire
  • Section Width – After the tire class, there is the 3-digit section width number. This is the measurement of the tire width from sidewall to sidewall in millimeters.
  • Aspect Ratio – You will find the aspect ratio by looking for the two-digit number after the slash. This number refers to the sidewall height as a percentage of the section width.
  • Tire Construction – This letter code is next and it describes the tire’s composition.
    • “R” stands for radial construction. The tire’s plies run at 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread.
    • “D” stands for diagonal bias construction. The plies are situated at angles lower than 90 degrees.
  • Wheel Diameter – It determines the diameter of the wheel mount.
  • Load Index – This number is next and it indicates how much weight your tire can carry at different inflation pressures.
  • Speed rating – This is a letter indicating the maximum speed that a tire can safely reach and maintain that speed
  • DOT – The DOT designation indicates that the tire meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Transportation's safety requirements for on-road use.
  • Plant Code – After the DOT, The Plant Code characters identify the tire’s manufacturer and site of creation.
  • Tire Size - After the plant code, the tire size is a two-character a code determined by the manufacturer.
  • Brand Characteristics – This is determined by the manufacturer as well, and like the plant code, tire size, and brand characteristics, it is intended for the manufacturer's internal use.
  • Manufacture Week – The manufactured week identifies which week of the year in which the tire was made.
  • Manufacture Year - The manufactured year identifies the year the tire was produced.

Although you may not need to know what each and every character in the tire code means, having a good understanding of the code can help you determine quickly which tires to consider for all your driving needs.

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