Tires always contain a great deal of information to identify themselves, but if you don’t know what you’re looking at, it can be a bit like reading hieroglyphics. While a lot of this information isn’t important to the typical driver, some of it can tell you whether a tire is appropriate for the season, whether it will fit on your car as a replacement and whether the tire will perform as you’d like.
When you look at a tire, the first thing you’ll notice is the name of the manufacturer and a descriptor for the tire’s model. But just what does the rest of it mean?
How to read your tires
Take this tire number as an example: P235/75R15
Leading off a series of numbers, you will often see a prominent letter or pair of letters. P here means the tire is appropriate for a passenger car. T means temporary (or spare), C is for commercial tires, and LT is for light trucks.
After this, you’ll likely see three numbers (235) which indicate the tires width in millimeters. After the slash comes a two digit number (75) representing the tire’s “profile,” which is the sidewall height relative to the sidewall width as an aspect ratio. 75 means the sidewall is 75% as tall as it its wide. The industry calls this profile number the tire’s “series.” Short sidewalled tires for sports cars are lower-series, and off-road tires designed to take punishment are higher-series.
The profile is almost universally followed by an R, which means you’re looking at a radial tire. Some performance tires also include another letter, which defines the tire’s maximum speed. The last number (15) is the rim’s diameter in inches, not millimeters!
Other information included on your tire can include a tread wear rating (from 100 to 700) and a temperature rating (from A to C, with A being the most heat resistant). Another set of numbers you will see, the 10-digit TIN (tire identification number) near the rim, is mostly useless for the tire buyer. However, the last four digits represent the birth week and year of any tire made since 2000.
If you would like more information on how to read a tire’s markings, or for quality tires in Bakersfield, contact Discount Tire Centers today.