How to Read Tire Size

Your vehicle's tires are essential. While your engine powers your vehicle, it wouldn't go anywhere without the tires. That's why it's important to get the right tires for your vehicle.

To help our customers in Paoli, Wayne, and Devon, our team at Fred Beans Volkswagen has put together this helpful guide about reading tire size. Let's get started about how to locate the size on the tire!

If your vehicle needs service, schedule an appointment today.

What You Should Be Looking For

On each tire, you'll find a series of numbers and letters on the outer sidewall. It will be located between the edge of the outer tread and the inner edge where the tire meets the wheel. The size will also be sandwiched between the tire's name and the manufacturer.

Depending on the type of vehicle you drive and what conditions you drive in, your tire's size can be written differently. However, most of the time, it will look like this:

               P215/65R 15 95H

At first glance, this series of numbers and letters may seem confusing. However, once you know what each letter and number stands for, reading your tires' sizes will be a breeze.

What the Numbers Mean

First, let's dive in to what the numbers in your tire's size mean using the same example number from the previous section:

215: This first number, which comes before the slash, represents the width of the tire from sidewall to sidewall. This measurement is in millimeters.

65: The second number in the tire's size, which comes directly after the slash, is the tire's aspect ratio. This measurement is a percentage and represents the height of the tire's sidewall compared to the width of the tire. In our example, the aspect ratio number is 65, meaning the tire's sidewall height is 65% of the tire's width.

15: The third number in the series is the diameter of the wheel in inches.

95: The last number in the series, which is accompanied by a letter, represents the tire's load index. This number indicates how much weight the tire can support. However, this number isn't the weight itself; it's a number that corresponds with a weight on a load-carrying capacity per tire chart.

What the Letters Mean

Now that we know what the numbers means, let's look at what the letters than go with the numbers represent:

P: The first letter in your tire's size represents the service description. In short, this letter tells you what kind of vehicle this tire was made for. Our example tire is a P tire, meaning it was made for passenger vehicles.

R: The second letter in your tire's size denotes radial construction, which signifies that the tire meets passenger-car industry standards.

H: The last letter in your tire's size represents the tire's speed limitation rating. This rating tells you how fast you can drive safely in a vehicle with these tires. Our example tire has a speed rating of H, meaning that you shouldn't exceed more than 130 MPH.

Have Questions?

We at Fred Beans Volkswagen hope this guide has given you all the information you need to understand the size of your tires. Drivers in Paoli, Wayne, and Devon should give us a call today to learn more about their tires or to schedule a service appointment!

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