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How To Read A Car Tyre?

How to read tyre size

Ever thought what those numbers inscribed on your car tyre’s sidewall denote? The answer will be, generally, a ‘No’. As the tyre is one such component of your car that is ignored the most, hence it is hardly possible that you would be paying heed to the numbers imprinted on its sidewalls. Relax; you don’t need to crack the ‘binary code’ here, instead, we will get you a quick walkthrough of the topic.

The alphanumeric codes engraved on your car tyres are nothing but all about your car tyre specification. It is the standard procedure that needs to be followed by every tyre manufacturer, although the lettering, numbering and their placement could differ from brand to brand and type to type. Let’s go through on how to check tyre size and other important aspects:

How To Read Your Tyre?

• The first thing you will notice on your car tyre’s sidewalls engraved in big bold letters, is the main tyre size specification. For instance, if it’s written 205/55 R16 91W on your tyre, the 205 indicates the width of your tyre in mm, from one sidewall to the other.

• Next, the number 55 specifies the aspect ratio which is expressed in percentage. The number is the tyre’s cross-section ratio that is the comparison of the tyre’s section height corresponding to its width. Here 55 states that the height is 55% of overall tyre’s width.

• The “R” symbolises the Radial construction followed by the diameter of the wheel measured 16 inches.

• Subsequently, the number 91 in this tyre measurement is the load index, which is related to the maximum load carrying capacity of your tyre. Here 91 states that a tyre can carry up to 615 kilos of weight when properly inflated to the recommended level. Nowadays, to make things simpler, many of the manufacturers have started mentioning it in kilograms (Kgs).

• Lastly, the “W” indicates the speed rating of a tyre. If the car tyre has W engraved on the sidewalls, it means that the tyre has the maximum speed limit of 270 kmph. It is also known as the speed symbol alphabet. You can check the Speed Symbol Table in the tyre bursts article to known the speed limit of your vehicle tyres.

You will find other information like brand name and tread wear indicator. The latter is the mark that is placed around the circumference in the triangular shape denoting the tread depth of a tyre. When your tyre tread reaches this indicator, tyre change is highly recommended. The thickness of this tread wear indicator is usually 1.6mm. Some manufacturers also mention an alphabet right before width of the tyre, representing the type of vehicle the tyre is meant for. If there is a ‘P’ written, then the tyre is made for a passenger vehicle.

Understanding tyre sizes and measurements are very important as tyre is the sole element in your car that is in direct contact with the road surface. The tyre specifications explained above will help you find the most appropriate one made for your car. It’s the most conscious step before you go for a tyre change.

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