Car Tire Facts 101

Car Tire Facts 101


All you need to know about Car Tire, the numbers on the sidewalls and which Tire to use in which application, read on – Car Tire Facts 101.

Want To Know More About Tires?

A Good Set Of Tires And Rims
A Good Set Of Tires And Rims

All Cars have them and must be replaced periodically, How do you choose which Tires are Best?

What do you prioritize when buying a car tire?

price – brand – style – quality – use – availability – convenience – durability

Whatever you prioritize it is important to know a few basics about Car Tires, below is a chart that visually explains the fundamentals of the average car tire. That puzzling numbers on the tire is explained in simple terms.

Components Of A Tire
Components Of A Tire

Numbers and Letters on the Sidewalls of the Tire?

  • P – Passenger Car
  • LT – Light Truck
  • ST – Special Trailer 
  • T – Temporary (restricted usage for “space-saver” spare wheels) 
What The Numbers On A Tire Means
What The Numbers On A Tire Means
  • 215/55R15 would mean that the nominal width of the tire is approximately 215 mm at the widest point, the height of the side-wall of the tire is 55% of the width (107 mm in this example).
  • R means that it is a radial tire, In this design, the cord or the plies are arranged at 90 degrees to the direction of travel, or radially (from the centre of the tire). 
  • The tire fits 15-inch-diameter wheels.
  • 98 would depict the Load Rating of the tire and the H would represent the Speed Rating of the Tire, how fast in Kilometers per hour you may safely drive with these tires fitted.

Tire Speed Rating Chart

It really is an indication of a tire’s ability to dissipate heat to avoid a blowout. Higher speeds mean greater heat buildup.

Tires with higher speed ratings are constructed to handle heat better. In general, they also ride harder than tires with lower speed ratings. Below is a chart to guide you in understanding Tire Speed Ratings.

A Car Tire Speed Rating Chart
A Car Tire Speed Rating Chart

Load Ratings for Car Tires

Car Tires Load Rating Chart
Car Tires Load Rating Chart

This depicts the load which the tire can bear safely. So if you are driving a pick up which you use for loading heavy items, you would take this into consideration when you fit tires to your Pick Up and so too if you have a Minivan which you use as a passenger transporter.

The loads would be heavier than a Sedan or Sports Car.

The tire above the load rating was 98, so according to the chart below this tire could carry a capacity of 1653 Pounds or 750 Kilograms.

Although one has to take into consideration what kind of Surface and Terrain the tires would be used on.

Three Important Car Checks To Perform Periodically On Your Car 

Tire Wear

Tires wear constantly, but when the suspension components of your car wear or the wheel alignment is not checked and set regularly or the Tires are not inflated to its correct pressure, then premature tire wear occurs as depicted in the illustrations below.

How Tyre's Can Wear And Why
How Tire’s Can Wear And Why

So simple Maintenance will save you lots of money on unnecessary cost for premature wear on your car’s tires.

Consider this when next your car needs new tires.

Where do you buy your tires? Comment below.

Until Next Time “Safe Motoring”

Gary De La Cruz

I have been 30+ years in the motor industry, still hands on, and have great passion for my chosen profession, I learn new things each day and believe that "if you enjoy your work, you never have to work a day in your life"I believe in honesty, integrity and helping where help is needed.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Akbar

    nice information very usefull, why did you choose this topic?

    1. Gary De La Cruz

      Hello Akbar

      Thank you for visiting my website and for the comment, this topic is one of many that I did
      as my website is orientated to helping visitors increase their basic knowledge of cars and it’s various components,
      I am a 30+ years mechanic and I am still very much physically active in my trade.

      I try not to go into much detail, for now, as I feel I do not want to overload my audience with
      too much information and make the topic boring.
      As my website grows I will go into more detail on subjects in my articles, I also try to write in a natural easy
      to read and understand manner, which in my opinion, appeals to a wider range of audience.
      I also try to post 1 new article per week to keep my website interesting and current.

      Once again Akbar thank you for the visit and comment, I wish you well ahead.


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