How to find tire size

Apart from the way mentioned above, you can find loads of information about a tire by just reading the letters and digits encoded on its sidewall. For example, the label on the sidewall may have a code like “P215/60R16 94T”. It carries information about the size, speed rating, treadwear, and other aspects of a tire. Let’s check the tire size guide to learn how to decipher the sidewall information:

Find Tire Size

It’s easy as the first part of the code indicates tire sizes for cars. The “215” indicates the width of the cross-section in millimeters while the number “60” refers to the sidewall’s height and width ratio, which means the height is equal to 60% of the width.

The Tire Type

Another important aspect is to know the type as it defines the proper use of a tire. The first letter denotes that information. In this case, “P” implies that it’s a passenger car tire while it would be a light truck tire of the letters were “LT.”

Construction

The label also carries information about the construction of the tire. The letter “R” after the number 60 means radial-ply construction. It means radial layers across the tire. On the contrary, if it were a “B,” it would indicate bias structure, meaning diagonal layers.

Tire Sizes for Rims

The first part’s last two digits refer to the width of the rim diameter in inches. Here, the digits are “16”, so the wheel diameter, in this case, is 16 inches. While replacing a tire, you always have to choose one with the same rim size.

Load Index and Speed Rating

The last part of the label carries information about load index and speed rating. The digits “94” implies the maximum tire load and the letter “T” indicates the speed rating, which means the speed limit when carrying the maximum load.

An all-season tire can be rated T (118 mph) or S (112 mph). There are other ratings too – Y (186 mph), W (168 mph), ZR (149+ mph), V (149 mph), and H (130 mph). There are winter tires that start with the rating Q (99 mph) and then go upwards.

The sidewall also has two more labels carrying information about treadwear grade, traction & temperature scores, and manufacturing year. So, you’ll find tire size as well as other valuable data from those labels. Remember to keep at least the size and speed rating as same as the original tires while replacing the old ones.

Carlos G. Hill

Carlos G. Hill

Carlos joined TireReview in 2019 after seven years of living and working in Dubai. He has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a wide range of publications, including Rolling Stone, Time Out, iQ and Loaded. After starting out on the automotive team as deputy editor of Engine Technology International, Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International and Transmissions Technology International, he has been an editor since 2015, and began editing Tire Technology International in 2018. In 2020, he was appointed editor-in-chief of Tire, Professional Motorsport World, Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International and Crash test Technology International

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