How to Read Tire Sidewall Information

The sidewall of your tires are full of useful information, but it takes some practice learning how to decipher the info and ensure your new tires are going to fit on the car properly. Don’t let buying new tires intimidate you. We’ve listed all the most important information for tires and how to read and interpret it from the sidewall.

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READING TIRE SIZE & RATINGS

If you have a long alpha-numeric indicator such as the one listed in the below image (P 205 / 65 R 15 94 H), P stands for Passenger Vehicle, 205 is the tire width in millimeters, 65 is the aspect ratio (height / width), R means it’s a radial tire, 15 is the diameter of the rim, 94 is the tire’s load index, and H is the speed rating for the tire. Next to the numbers will usually be a marking of M+S or something along those lines. This shows that the tire is made for severe mud and snow conditions.

MAXIMUM TIRE PRESSURE & LOAD LIMIT

Load limit and tire pressure are two things many drivers misinterpret. If the maximum tire pressure is 50 psi (pounds per square inch), that does not mean you should inflate your tires to 50 psi. That is simply stating the maximum recommended pressure of your tire set by the (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is 50 psi. Depending on the load you’re carrying, the tire pressure will go up or down. Tire load includes the combined weight of the vehicle and cargo across four tires.

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