One of the most common issues we run into is people not understanding their tire size. We make it easy for you to learn!
Hi, I’m Nancy Kneble at Kneble’s Auto. Over the life of your car, you’re probably buying several sets of tires. If you’re like me you’re probably wondering, I don’t know anything about tires. Where do I begin? Let me help educate you on buying your tires.
Make sure they are the correct tires for your car. Let’s assume your tires are like shoes. Now everybody knows their shoe size, but do you know the correct tire size for your car? On that label in the door jam, you will find something as P215 /60 R 16 98T. Well, you’re probably wondering what are all those letters and numbers for? Let me explain.
Let’s start from the beginning. Let me get a little props to help you understand exactly what those letters and numbers mean. Just a minute. Good thing I went to the gym today. Okay. The P stands for passenger. We have a passenger tire. The 215 represents in millimeters the distance from sidewall to sidewall, so that is across here. That’s the width of the tire. It’s 215 millimeters. The next number is a /60 that’s called aspect ratio, and you say, what’s that? I’m going to explain it to you.
That is actually, the 60 is 60% of this distance, reflects the sidewall to the top of the tread. So it is 60% of the width becomes the sidewall to top of the tread. The R is the radio construction, stands for radio. That’s the construction of the tire. And the 16 is in inches, and that is the rim or the diameter of the tire. So now we explained exactly what P215 /60 R 16. There’s another number, 98 and a letter T. You say what is that for? That stands for, 98 is a load rate. That reflects when your tire is fully inflated properly, how much weight this tire can hold.
So 98 can hold approximately 1,653 pounds. Each tire will hold properly inflated. Now you say what does the T represent? That’s the speed rating. That’s how fast you can go on that tire when it is properly inflated with the load at 118 miles an hour. That’s the T, not that we’re doing that fast, but that that tire can sustain itself under that speed. Now, remember the numbers I gave you is an example. Your car has its own requirements, but be also aware that the load can be from 75 to 105. So if you see a number different than the 98, know that that’s what your car requires. The T that I represented as a speed rating, that also can be M to Z. So once again, when you look at your door jam, be aware that it may not be the same numbers I gave you.