Decoding Tire Markings

When it comes to parts of a car, there are few more important to vehicle stability, maneuverability, and safety than a car’s tires. Tires are responsible for carrying the weight of the vehicle, and require routine maintenance and replacement to guarantee that they’re performing at their best. Tire markings, however, remain a mystery to most consumers. Read on to learn what many of these tire markings mean.

Information on a Tire 

Your tires’ sidewalls contain a lot of information. On a typical tire, you will find the following information. 

  • size designation.
  • service description (load and speed ratings).
  • temperature grade.
  • maximum inflation pressure.
  • traction and tread wear grade.
  • maximum load rating.
  • U.S. Department of Transportation tire ID number.
  • nominal width of the tire.
  • aspect ratio.
  • ply composition and materials used.
  • and, the rim diameter code. 

Generally, most consumers needn’t concern themselves with most of this information. For those checking on their tires at home, the most important things are inflation levels and the size of tires.

Inflation Information 

All tires are manufactured with inflation information on their sidewalls. While the exact location might be slightly different depending upon the brand of tire, typically, inflation information can be located by looking for words similar to “Maximum load 300 at 44 PSI.” PSI stands for pounds per square inch, and refers to the inflation amount for your tire.

Checking your tire pressure regularly is important, and can be done using an air pressure gauge. Make sure that the air pressure in your tires is within the PSI limits for your tire but also be sure you inflate to the proper PSI per vehicle manufacturer instructions.

Over- or underinflated tires can lead to a blow out or other accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommended carrying a tire pressure gauge within your vehicle and checking your vehicle’s tires once per month.

Tire Size Information 

The other most important thing a car owner needs to know is the size of his or her tires. Usually, tires are sized using the metric system. Size markings can be confusing, and usually read, for example, “205/60R16.” However, once you know how to decode these markings, they’re very straightforward.

The first three digits always refer to a tire’s width. In the case above, the tire’s width is 205 millimeters. The second part of the number refers to a tire’s aspect ratio, or the height of the bottom of the sidewall to the top of the tire where the tread is. This number is presented in a percentage, so the aspect ratio is 60 percent of 205 millimeters, or 123 millimeters.

Finally, the third number, “R16,” refers to the rim diameter. Strangely, this number is usually displayed in inches, although sometimes it will be shown in millimeters. Knowing your tires’ size information is important when it comes time to replace your tires, or if you’re replacing your tires’ rims.

Get Help from Chalik & Chalik if in a Tire-related Accident 

Taking care of your tires can help to reduce your risk of an accident, but it may not help you if your tire is defective or if you have been hit by another driver. If you’ve the victim of a defective tire, speak with an attorney at Chalik & Chalik Law Offices. Florida gives you just two years from the date of injury to pursue a personal injury case. As such, if you’ve been in an accident, you need to act now.

Our attorneys can help you to build your case, gather proper documentation, and guide you through the legal procedures. To get started now, contact us at 855-529-0269.