Where to Find Your Tire Size and What Does it Mean

Where to Find Your Tire Size and What Does it Mean

Aug 14, '23

You can find your tire size printed on the sidewall of your tires. It's important to understand what the numbers and letters on the tire sidewall represent because they provide essential information about the tire's size, type, and capabilities. The format of a tire size typically looks like this: P215/65R15 95H.

Here's how to decode a typical tire size and what each part means:

  1. Tire Type Prefix (Optional):

    • "P" stands for Passenger Vehicle. It indicates that the tire is intended for use on passenger cars. If the tire has no letter, it is a Euro-metric tire commonly found on European vehicles.
    • "LT" stands for Light Truck. It indicates that the tire is designed for light trucks or SUVs.
  2. Tire Width (in millimeters):

    • In the example "P215/65R15," the first number (215) represents the tire's width from sidewall to sidewall in millimeters.
  3. Aspect Ratio (Percentage):

    • The aspect ratio is the second number in the size, in this case, "65." It represents the height of the tire's sidewall as a percentage of the tire's width. In this example, the sidewall height is 65% of the tire's width.
  4. Construction Type:

    • "R" stands for Radial construction, which is the most common type for modern tires. Radial tires have reinforcing belts that run radially across the tire.
  5. Rim Diameter (in inches):

    • The last number in the size, "15," indicates the diameter of the wheel (rim) in inches that the tire is designed to fit.
  6. Load Index:

    • The load index (e.g., "95" in the example) represents the maximum load capacity of the tire. You can refer to a load index chart to find the specific weight capacity associated with this number.
  7. Speed Rating:

    • The speed rating (e.g., "H" in the example) indicates the maximum speed at which the tire can safely operate. Each letter corresponds to a specific speed range, and you can refer to a speed rating chart to find the associated speeds.

Understanding your tire size is crucial when it comes to purchasing replacement tires or assessing the suitability of tires for your vehicle. When replacing tires, it's recommended to use the same size, load index, and speed rating as specified by your vehicle's manufacturer to maintain proper handling and safety. You can usually find the recommended tire size for your vehicle in the owner's manual, on a placard inside the driver's door jamb, or by consulting your vehicle manufacturer's guidelines.  Any wheel sold at Factory Wheel Replacement is made to factory specifications.  If replacing a single wheel of the same size and style, your current tires will fit perfectly.  If you are upgrading your vehicle with a different size wheel, our specialists can provide the correct size tire for your new set of wheels.