What Do Tire Numbers Mean?


Have you ever found yourself wondering, “What do tire numbers mean?” All those numbers on tires look pretty complicated, but they’re not. So what is the tire number meaning? The tire numbers are a code that indicates the size and type of tire, and its particular performance purpose. If you need new tires and want to determine which ones to get, or if you’re simply wondering,  “What do the numbers on tires mean?”, Virden Mainline Motors  is at your service. Learn about how to read tire numbers here, and if you have other questions, like how to reset the tire pressure light, or anything else, don’t hesitate to contact us!

How to Read Tire Numbers

A tire’s code uses a series of letters and numbers to inform you of the proper size, load index, speed rating, and type of tire your vehicle needs for maximum performance on Virden roads. Here is an example: P215/45R17 95H. While it may seem like a secret military code, it’s pretty simple to decode. Each section of the code represents a piece of information to correctly identify the type of tire. Take a moment to learn about how to read tire numbers below:

  • The “P” stands for “P-Metric tire,” meaning that it is used for passenger vehicles. If your tires read “LT,” this represents “light truck,” and the tire is planned for light-weight pickup trucks. If the tire does not have a letter before the code, it is a European style tire, or Euro-Metric tire, which has different load capacities than those in the U.S.
  • Following the “P” is the “215” number, which represents the tire width in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall. So in our example, the width of this tire is 215 millimeters.
  • After the forward slash on the tire is the aspect ratio code, shown in our example by “45.” A tire’s ratio is the height of the tire’s cross-section to its width, So, in our example above, this tire has an aspect ratio where its height is equal to 45% of the tire’s width. The larger the aspect ratio, the larger the sidewalls will be.
  • The “R” represents the tire’s construction, with the “R” representing that it’s a radial.
  • “17” indicates the wheel size from one end of the tire to the other, which tells us what tire can fit on this particular wheel. This code tells us that this tire is meant for a 17-inch wheel.
  • At the end of the tire, 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 will support on Birtle streets when properly inflated, and can range from 75-105 for passenger vehicles.
  • “H” stands for the tire speed rating, which is how fast the tire can safely go based on its load capacity. This rating is ranked from A-Z. So, in our example, a tire with an “H” rating can reach a maximum speed of 130 mph.

Find Replacement Tires Near Brandon

We’ve answered the question: “What do the numbers on tires mean?”. If you have other questions about how to read tire numbers, don’t hesitate to call our parts specialists at 204-748-3811. We’ll answer any lingering questions you may have about the numbers on tires. And if you need new tires, head to Virden Mainline Motors. Our service centre can help you install the tires and will have you back on the roads of Virden in no time! You can even make a service appointment online. Check out more service tips, such as how often to rotate tires, how to wash a car, and how much it costs to lift a truck.