What Do the Numbers on Tires Mean?

Closeup of Tire Numbers with Wheel Rim

The last time you topped up your tires’ air or ordered new tires from your local St. Paul tire shop, you might have noticed the string of letters and numbers on the sidewall. What do these tire numbers mean? The answer is a number of things, such as its size and type, load and speed ratings, and purpose. If you need new tires and need to figure out which ones to get, or if you just want to sate your curiosity about tire number meanings, Mauer Chevrolet’s got you covered! Keep reading to learn more, or contact our service center with any other questions!

Your Tire Number Meaning

The best way to show you what a tire number means is with an example:

P215/65R15 95H

Each piece of this code gives another piece of the puzzle for your tires:

Decoding P

P is for P-metric tire, built for long life and smooth driving around Woodbury in a passenger vehicle like a sedan, minivan, or SUV. Other tire types include LT for light truck, ST for special trailer, and others. Plus, your tire number might not have a number at the front if it’s a Euro-metric tire. These are similar to P-metric tires but a little different.

Decoding 215

The first number in the tire code is its width in millimeters—here, the tire is 215mm, or almost 8.5 inches, wide.

Decoding 65

Next, the tire declares its aspect ratio, or the ratio between its height and width. Our example tire is 65% as tall as it is wide.

Decoding R

The R that comes next in the tire’s code means it’s been radially constructed. Most tires you’ll see today will carry this R since radial construction is the most common way modern tires are constructed.

Decoding 15

Next up is an essential piece of information: the tire’s rim diameter. In our case, 15 means the tire will fit on a 15-inch wheel.

Decoding 95H

Finally, the tire indicates its load index and speed rating. Both are codes in their own right—you can find tables for what each load index and speed rating mean. For our tire example, it can safely carry 1,521 pounds up to 130 miles per hour—plenty for Inver Grove Heights commutes and more.

How Do I Check My Tire Pressure?

Regardless of your Chevy’s tires, they must remain properly inflated to do their jobs. Luckily, checking your tire pressure is pretty simple, and even better, modern Chevrolet models include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that will alert you when something is wrong. When you see the TPMS indicator on your dash, you should head to a service station to re-up the air or bring it to the service center at Mauer Chevrolet, where we’ll top them up and help with whatever other maintenance you need!

Turn to Mauer Chevrolet for All Your Maintenance Needs!

Whether your Chevy needs brake maintenance, new tires, an oil change, or anything else, we’ve got you covered at Mauer Chevrolet for all your parts and maintenance needs! Make an appointment with our service center today to keep your Chevy running in top condition.


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