Thursday Tip: Tyres Sizes, What Do They Mean?

Thursday Tip: 5 steps to tyre safety

What does tyre size mean?

To the untrained eye, the side wall of a tyre can look like a meaningless set of numbers, letters and symbols. Hidden amongst these is the tyre size. But what does it look like and, more importantly, what does it mean?

Understanding the code

The tyre size might read like this: P205/55 R16 91V. Hardly user friendly but, when you know what it all means, you’ll realise it tells you useful information about the tyre’s construction, size and type.

Where can I find my car’s tyre size?

You’ll find you car’s tyre size on the tyres’ sidewall, in your car’s vehicle manual as well as on a sticker inside the driver’s door.

1 Cross section width

The first three numbers, in this case 205, refer to the section width of the tyre. This is the measurement, in millimetres, from the tyre’s inner sidewall to its outer sidewall.

2 Profile / Aspect ratio

The aspect ratio, or profile, refers to the height of the sidewall as a % of the section width. In our example, 55 means the height is equal to 55% of the 205mm width. The bigger the aspect ratio, the bigger the sidewall will be.

3 Construction type

The letter R means the tyre is a radial construction. Almost all new car tyres are radials.

4 Rim

The number to the right of the construction type is the rim diameter, measured in inches. In this case, it’s a 19” wheel.

5 Load index

The final number (91) is the load index i.e. the maximum load (in kg) that the tyre can carry. See chart below

6 Speed symbol

The final character (in this case V) relates to the maximum speed of use. Again, the following table will clarify what your tyre’s symbol means.

Get Your Tyres Checked!

If you follow these five steps, you will have given yourself the best possible chance to avoid any issues related to your tyres. 

As we have seen, your car’s tyres are critical to road safety. Therefore, it is imperative that you check your tyres constantly.  As with anything, if problems are left unchecked, no matter how big or small they are, they can wreak havoc on other parts of the car.

Book your tyre inspection in Gorey with Oliver’s Car Service Centre today!

To book your tyre inspection and test please use the form below.

Read more tips on tyres

Car Service Tips from Oliver’s Car Services: Checking the depth of your tyre tread

Car Service Tips from Oliver’s Car Services: Checking the depth of your tyre tread

Car Service: Checking Tyre Tread Depth

Why is the depth of tyre tread important? Making sure that your car tyres are legal is a fairly quick and in-expensive operation. It usually involves a visual inspection of your tyres, not just the outside but the inside of the tyres as well. Tyres, if the wheels are not aligned correctly, can wear on either outside rim or across the middle so you need to make sure you check them all over. Any signs of baldness, any sign of wire or flat spots means that the tyre almost certainly needs replacing.

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