What Do Tire Numbers Mean?

Closeup of Tire Numbers with Wheel Rim


When checking your tire tread wear, have you ever wondered what do the numbers on tires mean? Your tire number meaning is more complicated than you might think, and the long string of letters and numbers on the sidewall represents many different pieces of information – from tire type to size to speed rating. Whether you’re looking for a set of replacement tires or you’re just curious about the tire number meaning, Val Ward Cadillac can teach you how to better understand your set. 



Determining Tire Number Meanings

Before we dive into what do tire numbers mean, let’s pull up an example. This set of letters and numbers may look like gibberish to your average driver, but it reveals a surprising amount of information that you’ll need for the Cape Coral roads. 

P215/65R15 95H

Decoding “P”

This indicates the type of vehicle that should use this tire. In this case, “P” refers to a “P-Metric tire” or passenger vehicle tire. You might see “LT” for “light truck” or no letter at all for a European-style tire.

Decoding “215”

The number “215” stands for the tire width in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall. So, the width of the example tire is 215 millimeters from sidewall to sidewall.

Decoding “65”

This is the aspect ratio, or the height of the tire’s cross-section to its width. This tire has an aspect ratio where its height is equal to 65% of the tire’s width.

Decoding “R”

This stands for the tire’s construction. The “R” means that this is a radial tire.

Decoding “15”

This indicates which wheel can accommodate this tire. The “15” tells us that this tire is meant for a 15-inch wheel.

Decoding “95H”

Finally, this number and letter combination indicates the load index and speed rating. The load index of “95” tells you how much weight the tire can support, ranging from 75-105. The speed rating of “H” tells you the speed rating, ranging from A to Z. The H rating can reach up to 130 mph.

Visit Val Ward Cadillac for All Your Automotive Needs

Whether you need a new set of tires or a maintenance appointment, visit Val Ward Cadillac in Fort Myers for all of your automotive needs in the Naples and Bonita Springs area. Our team can bring out the best in your car, so don’t hesitate to contact us.

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