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What Do Tire Numbers Mean?

Closeup of Tire Numbers with Wheel Rim


Have you ever checked your tires and needed to order new ones to replace them? In doing this, you’ll notice tires have a combination of numbers and letters on the sidewall to help you determine a size. So what do tire numbers mean? This code determines the size, performance purpose, and type of tire you’ll need for your vehicle. When the time comes for new tires, or to learn more about tire numbers, contact our service center at Findlay Acura.

Determining Tire Number Meanings

So what does a tire’s code mean? This code uses a variation of numbers and letters to help you find the size, load index, speed rating, and type of tire you need to get the maximum performance from your vehicle. For example, take this code:

Example: P215/65R15 95H

While it may seem like gibberish, each section of code represents a piece of information to correctly identify the tire.

Decoding “P”

The “P” stands for “P-Metric tire,” meaning that it is used for passenger vehicles. If your tires read “LT,” this stands for “light truck,” and the tire is intended for light-weight pickup trucks. If the tire does not have a letter preceding the code, it is a European style tire, or Euro-Metric tire, which have different load capacities.

Decoding “215”

Following the “P” is the “215” number, which stands for tire width in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall. In our example, the width of this tire is 215 millimeters.

Decoding “65”

After the forward slash comes the aspect ratio code, indicated in our example by “65.” A tire’s ratio is the height of the tire’s cross-section to its width; so in our example, this tire has an aspect ratio where its height is equal to 65% of the tire’s width. The bigger the aspect ratio, the bigger the sidewalls will be.

Decoding “R”

The “R” indicates the tire’s construction, with “R” representing that it’s a radial.

Decoding “15”

“15” indicates the wheel size from one end to the other, which informs us of what tire can fit on this particular wheel. This code tells us that this tire is meant for a 15-inch wheel.

Decoding “95H”

At the end of the code is “95H,” which is the load index and speed rating for the tire. The load index (“95” in this instance) indicates how much weight the tire can support when it’s properly inflated, and can range from 75-105 for passenger vehicles. “H” represents the speed rating, which is how fast the tire can safely go based on its load capacity. This rating is ranked from A-Z, and with our example, a tire with an “H” rating can reach a maximum speed of 130 mph.

How to Check Tire Pressure

No matter the size of your vehicle’s tires, you want to ensure they are in great working condition on any Mesquite road and beyond. This means making sure they are properly inflated. It’s easy to check your tire pressure nowadays. Most new vehicles have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that can alert you when your tires are over- or under inflated. 

Turn to Findlay Acura for All Your Maintenance Needs

Ready to schedule service with our team at Findlay Acura in Henderson? Check out our service specials first, then contact our team to learn more. We also encourage you to visit our service center to speak with a certified Acura technician about your car-care concerns. We’re conveniently located just a short drive from North Las Vegas and Las Vegas!

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