What Do the Numbers on Tires Mean?

Closeup of Tire Numbers with Wheel Rim

You’ve probably noticed the numbers on the sidewall of your vehicle’s tires as you check the inflation or wash your car in your Winter Haven driveway. What do tire numbers mean? Unfortunately, they aren’t coordinates to a buried treasure in Lake Wales. Find out about tire number meaning in this guide from Lake Wales Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, your top vehicle service center near Haines City.



What Do Tire Numbers Mean for Your Car, Truck, or SUV?

Tire number meanings show Frostproof service technicians and tire pros the size, load index, speed rating, and type of tire for new and used vehicles.

Look over this example:

P235/55R19 95H


The “P” stands for “P-Metric tire,” because it’s used for passenger vehicles, such as sedans, SUVs, minivans, and smaller pickup trucks. Tire numbers starting in “LT” indicate a tire for a “light truck” for bigger pickup trucks. If the tire does not have a letter at the beginning, you’ve got a European tire on your hands.


Next is the “235,” which shows the width of the tire in millimeters. The number 235 would be 235 millimeters or 23.5 centimeters. That equals about 9.25 inches.


After the forward slash, you see the number “55” on the tire. This shows the height of the sidewall as compared to the width of the tire, called the aspect ratio. The height of this tire is 55% of the tire’s width. The bigger the aspect ratio, the taller the tire will be.


The “R” refers to the tire’s construction, or radial in this case. You might also see “B” for belt or “D” for diagonal. This indicates the layout pattern of the steel embedded in the tire’s rubber.


The number “19” indicates the wheel size as the diameter, measuring from one end to the other through the exact center. This particular tire fits a wheel 19 inches in diameter, which is usually for an SUV or pickup truck. Car wheels may range in width from 14 to 20 inches.


At the end of the code is “95H,” or the load index and speed rating for the tire. The load index (“95”) shows the weight the tire can support at optimal inflation. Typical passenger vehicle load indices go from 75 to 105. 

The “H” represents the maximum speed the tire can handle. Speed ratings range from A to Z. An H tire can go up to 130 mph.

Checking Tire Pressure Yourself

Every tire must be inflated properly for optimal handling. If your vehicle’s tires are over- or under-inflated, you’ll see it on your tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) via a dashboard warning light. When that happens, fill the tire up with air if it’s under-inflated.

Contact Us for Tire Service in Lake Wales

Now that you have a good idea of tire number meaning, does your vehicle need tire service? Our team is here to help. Call 863-456-1510 or schedule an appointment online today. We want you to get the most out of your vehicle!

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