When you start shopping for new tires, you might think that the sizing system is in a different language. On the sidewall of a tire, there are letters, numbers, and symbols that can feel overwhelming as you try to pick out the right tires. The first 1-2 letter(s) indicate the type of tire. Light truck tires (LT) are usually on SUVs and trucks, and can carry heavier loads, while P is for standard vehicles. The next numbers (before the slash) are the width of the tire in millimeters, across the tread. The numbers just following the slash are the aspect ratio of sidewall to width, and the letter after will show how it is constructed.
Following the letter, there are two more numbers that are the most important part of the tire: the diameter in inches. The diameter is a key component because if you choose tires that are too large or too small, they can cause significant damage to every aspect of your vehicle. It also impacts the safety of your car, especially if you are involved in an accident. Following the diameter is a space, then the load rating (two numbers) and speed rating (letter). Common speed ratings include S (lower speeds), T (medium speeds, approximately 118 MPH), and H (highest speeds, 130 MPH).
The tire will also include a code for the type of driving for which the tire is best suited. M+S means it will handle well while driving in all seasons, while there are others that indicate winter driving in icy conditions, summer driving, and more. Make sure to rotate and replace your tires often to make sure they maintain good traction and safety, and contact us at Highway Tire Service & Collision in Mooresville, NC if you have any questions about which tires are right for your vehicle.