What The Codes Mean In Deciphering Sidewall Graffiti

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Does sidewall graffiti on tires hold any secrets? Author Douglas Adamsmay very well be intrigued at the notion, but the truth is that tire codes tell consumers about the tire's size, wear, construction and speed rating, among other things. Using the right size tires for your vehicle is an significant part of getting one of the most from your automobile and increasing mpg. Thanks to Edmunds, here's your official cheat sheet for breaking down the mystery of the tire codes on your commuter or weekend joy-rider. You'll have that sidewall graffiti figured out in no time and only have to worry about coming to Car Deal Expert the next time you are in need of auto loans bad credit.

Article Source: Deciphering sidewall graffiti - What those tire codes mean?

Sidewall graffiti and if your tires could talk

For an example, let’s use 205/55R 16 89V. Let's see how that breaks down:

  • First there’s 205 – This represents the tire’s section width which methods the millimeter distance between sidewall edges. The tire is fatter if the number is larger.
  • Second there’s 55 – The aspect ratio comparing section width and height. The section height is 55 percent of the section width in this case. The lower the number, the shorter the sidewall meaning improved handling.
  • Third there’s R – This is the tire's construction, in this case radial. Radial has been the standard in the last 20 years, but some trucks nevertheless use the very same old bias-play construction.
  • 16 ­– This represents the rim diameter in inches. This number needs to match when you upgrade your tires.
  • Fifth 89 – The load index, which is translatable via the Maximum Load-Carrying Capacity Per Tire chart. 89 in the example will equate to 1,279 pounds per tire. Multiply the result by four to get total weight capacity for a set of tires.
  • Sixth V – This is the speed rating, which tells you maximum recommended speed a tire is intended to accept over an extended period of time. "V" means the tire can safely run at up to 149 mph for a time frame. If you go over that a lot more than a couple of minutes, your tires might explode. For other speed codes, see the link at the bottom of the article.

Other things you may consider as part of your sidewall graffiti

Edmunds suggests that there may be other information, like a DOT (Department of Transportation) number that helps the DOT track production numbers within the case of a recall. A traction rating can be there too with A,B, or C, A being the best. You may see the word “TREADWEAR” with the numbers 180 or 120 along the side. 180 can maintain tread for 80% longer as standard is 100. Sometimes there are other scales used but typically the higher the number, the longer the tread life.

Read a lot more on this topic here

Douglas Adams






Maximum Load-Carrying Capacity Per Tire


speed codes, see the link at the bottom of the article


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