What if we told you that the exact tire size could be found by merely looking at the vehicle owner manual or the tire placard? We are not joking as the recommended tire size is mentioned in the owner’s manual or tyre placard. The tire placard can be inside the fuel cap, glove compartment, or the inside of the driver’s door. It contains information regarding the recommended tire size for that specific vehicle. If you cannot find the placard or the owner manual, a simple online search can help you.
Go to Google and search for recommended tire size followed by your vehicle’s make and model, e.g., Mitsubishi recommended lancer tyres. You’ll be able to find the required information in no time at all. However, the tire size is not written in layperson terms like’ 18-inch tire’ or a’ 17-inch tire’.
Instead, it’s written in a specific form like ‘225 50 17’ or ‘245 60 r18’. For most people, it sounds like complete gibberish. However, it tells everything there is to know about the recommended tire size for the discerning eye. But don’t worry. In this article, we are going to tell you how to read this code.
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What is this Code?
Without standardization, there would be too much confusion in the world. That’s why the world has introduced globally acceptable standards throughout the world. The most famous standards body is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Likewise, the tire industry, too, has introduced a uniform code.
The code that we mentioned earlier is a globally accepted way of denoting information like the tire size, construction, width, and so much more. But that’s not the complete code. Therefore, to avoid confusion, we are going to show you an example full code. Afterward, we will discuss the individual components of that code in detail. Let’s start. The code is as follows:
P215 65 R15 92S
The ‘P’ stands for passenger. It shows that the car is made for use on passenger vehicles. In the case of a light truck tire, you will see the initials’ LT’. Although most automobile manufacturers offer a full-sized spare tire, others do not. In that case, the spare tire will be marked as ‘T’, which stands for temporary. If it’s ‘ST’, the tire is designed for special trailers.
The 215 is the width of the tire in millimetres. It is measured from one side to the other. Usually, people think that the wider the tire, the better the traction. Although it is correct, yet that’s not always the case. At times, the opposite can happen. Moreover, wider tires may also impact acceleration and fuel consumption.
Therefore, P225 means a passenger car tire with a width of 215.
The 65 is the aspect ratio of the tire. In simple words, it talks about the tyre’s height. The aspect ratio is measured in percentages. Therefore, 65 means that the tyre’s height is 65% of the width. The aspect ratio is calculated by dividing the height by the width.
The next thing that you will come across is another letter. In this example, the letter is ‘R’. It denotes the tire’s construction. The letter ‘R’ means that the tyre is constructed radially. If the letter is ‘D’, it means that the construction is diagonal or bias ply. Today, most tires are radially constructed.
The next numbers after the R represent the diameter. The diameter is measured in inches. Therefore, in this example, the diameter is 15 inches. It means that the tires can be fitted onto a rim that is 15 inches in diameter.
The next code after the diameter is the load index. Remember, tires are not constructed to withstand unlimited weights. Each tire is built with a maximum weight capacity. This capacity is referred to as the tire’s load index. A 92 load index means that the tire can carry 1389 lbs. The load index starts at 0 and ends at 150. The weight is between 99 to 7385 lbs.
This letter denotes the speed rating of the tire. Just like the load-carrying capacity, tires also have a maximum speed. If you try to exceed that speed limit, the tire must burst or lose responsiveness. The recommended speed limit is also mentioned in the owner’s manual. A tire with an ‘S’ speed rating can go up to 112 mph or 180 km/h. Similarly, a tire with a V speed rating can drive up to 240 km/h. If you own a high-end vehicle, go for a tire with a higher speed rating. W and Y rated tires are made for high-end sports vehicles.
Reading the Complete Code
Now, let’s read the complete code in simple English.
P215/65R15 92S à A passenger tire with 215 width, 65 aspect ratio, radially constructed for use on 15-inch rims, and load-carrying capacity of 92, and a maximum speed of 180 km/h. Although it sounded like complete gibberish at the start, it is not, and now you can understand what the code really means. If you are unable to understand it even now, please leave a comment. We’ll help you understand it better.
However, this just answers one part of the title – how to find the exact tire size for your vehicle. What about the brand?
Finding the Right Tyre Brand
Are you looking for Audi R1 tires? Confused about the brand after determining the right size. Don’t worry. It’s something that many car owners go through. However, there is a simple yet effective cure for this worry. Just conduct a needs assessment, and you’ll be able to find the right tire brand. If budget is not a concern, you can opt for higher-end brands like Michelin, Goodyear, Pirelli, and Continental.
If budget is an issue or you use the car for simple everyday tasks, opt for a less expensive brand like Kumho, Hankook, Falken, and numerous others. Please keep in mind that less costly does mean that they are low in quality. These brands are just cheaper than the premium ones but do not compromise on quality or much-needed features.
We are confident that we managed to teach you something new today. If you have any queries, please free to ask in the comments section. Our team will get back to you with the answer. Thank You. Please share the article with friends and family to help them select the right tyres for their vehicles.