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Reading A Tire Sidewall
A tire’s sidewall is simply the outer and inner “walls” on the sides of a tire, if facing a tire
on its side. Every sidewall has its own unique information that is divided into three main
"P" - Tire Type
This designates the type of vehicle the tire fits. P is for passenger metric. Other letters are LT (for
light truck), T (for temporary spare) and ST (for special trailers). If your tire has no letter, it signifies
that your tire is a euro “metric” size.
"225" Tire Width
Also called Section Width, this is the width of the tire (or thickness) in millimeters, if measured from a
tire’s widest point of its outer sidewall to the widest point of its inner sidewall. Why millimeters? It
originated in Europe, which uses the metric system.
"55" Aspect Ratio
This identifies the tire’s aspect ratio, which is the relationship of the tire’s sidewall height to the tire’s
width. In this example, the sidewall height of the tire is 55% of its width. The lower the ratio, the
smaller the sidewall height, which means better cornering, but a rougher ride.
This is the tire’s internal construction, which is “radial.” Almost every tire on the road has radial
construction, which means the cords of the carcass plies inside the tire “radiate” directly across from
one side of the tire to the other. Other letters used are D, for diagonal construction, and B, for belted.
"18" Wheel Diameter
This number (in inches) indicates that the tire is designed to fit on a wheel with a 18-inch diameter.
"97" Load Index
This indicates how much weight the tire is certified to carry at maximum safe inflation. It doesn’t mean
97 pounds, because it’s actually an assigned value that corresponds with its “actual” load capacity
found on a load index chart. If you look up 97 on the chart, you’ll find 1,609 pounds.
"T" Speed Rating
This indicates the maximum safe speed at which a tire is certified to carry a load under specified
Department of Transportation Safety Code
Tire complies with all Department of Transportation (DOT) safety standards.
After the DOT insignia is your tire’s identification number.
UTQG Code The Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG)
was established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
Treadwear: This is the wear rate of the tire, comparable only to other tires
within a tire manufacturer’s line. 100 is the baseline grade. Therefore a tire
with 200 would theoretically last twice as long on the government’s course
compared to a tire with 100.
Traction: Traction grades are AA, A, B and C (with AA being the highest
grade). They represent the tire’s ability to stop straight on wet pavement as
measure on a specified government track. Any tire rated under C is
considered unacceptable for road travel.
Temperature: The temperature grades, from highest to lowest, are A, B
and C. These represent the tire’s ability to dissipate heat under controlled
indoor test conditions. Any tire rated below C is considered unacceptable.
Your Local Dealer is: Spitz Auto Parts, Irwin Pa. 1-800-637-AUTO (724) 863-8108