What Do Tire Numbers Mean?


You’ve probably seen the combination of numbers and letters printed on the sidewall of your tires in passing. And of course, if you find yourself here, you’re very likely wondering, “What do tire numbers mean, exactly?” When looking into tire number meaning, there are several things to know. Luckily, here at the Sacramento Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram service center, we’ve got answers for you! So read on to find out more about tire numbers! Want to learn what the light on your dash means or how often to change your oil? We are here to answer all.

Deciphering Tire Number Meanings

Tire codes make use of alternating numbers and letters that, when taken together, provide you key information about the tire size, load index, speed rating, and even the type of tire your vehicle needs for optimum performance on the roads near Elk Grove. To learn more about the answer to the question “what do tire numbers mean?”, we’ve provided a convenient example below:

Example: P215/65R15 95H

The above is a typical example of a tire number you’d find on your vehicle tire’s sidewalls. Below, we’ll go through each part of it, step-by-step, so you can learn all about tire numbers and their meaning.

What “P” Means

The “P” in the number sequence above means “P-Metric tire.” That’s a fancy way of saying that the tire in question is used for passenger vehicles only. Were there to be an “LT,” that would stand for “light truck”. As you’d guess, these type of tires are used only on light-weight pickup trucks. If, however, no letters come before the code, you likely have a European style tire, or Euro-Metric tire, which have different load capacities.

What “215” Means

The “215” in the above example tells you how wide in millimeters the tire is when measured from sidewall to sidewall.

What “65” Means

The aspect ratio code is the next part of any set of tire numbers. In the example above, the aspect ratio, then, is “65.” What exactly is aspect ratio? Simply put, it’s the measured height of the tire’s cross-section to its width, In this case, the tire height is equal to 65% of the tire’s width. The larger the aspect ratio, the beefier the sidewalls will be. Extremely low ratios correlate with low-profile tires.

What “R” Means

The “R” tells you about the tire’s construction, with “R” denoting a radial tire.

What “15” Means

“15” indicates the wheel diameter from one end to the other. In this case, the vehicle in question has 15-inch wheels.

What “95H” Means

The “95H,” or number that stands in for it denotes the tire’s load index and speed rating. The load index (“95” in this instance) tells you just how much weight the tire can support when it’s inflated correctly. This can range from 75-105 for passenger vehicles.

“H” in 95H represents the speed rating, or how fast the tire can safely be driven based on its load capacity. Letters from A-Z are used here, and it happens that tires with an “H” rating can be driven up to 130 mph.

Learn How to Check Your Car’s Tire Pressure

Tire numbers and their meaning temporarily aside, it’s important to regularly check your car’s tire pressure, so knowing how to do that as well is smart. Once you know how to check your tire pressure, either by utilizing your car’s Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), or a pressure gauge, you should check it regularly to ensure optimal tire health and longer-lasting tires.

If your vehicle’s tires are over- or under-inflated, you’ll receive a notification from the TPMS system in your vehicle, if equipped. Still not sure how to check tire pressure or wondering more about what tire numbers mean? Rely on the Sacramento Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram service center for all your service tips! We’re here to help.

Sacramento Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram: Here to Help With Car Maintenance Tips

We are here to provide you with answers to all your common car maintenance questions, including “what do tire numbers mean?”. But we’re also here to service your vehicle, when you don’t want to do DIY maintenance or repairs at home in Roseville or Folsom. Schedule service now to benefit from our service technicians’ years of experience with tire care and more!

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