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What Do Tire Numbers Mean?

tire pressure tool checking front tire

Have you ever noticed the combination of numbers and letters on the side of your tires? Golden drivers sometimes ask us at Planet Honda, “What do tire numbers mean?”. The tire number meaning is the size and type of tire and its particular performance purpose. If you need new tires and want to know which ones to get, or if you’re wondering what the numbers on tires mean, Planet Honda can help. Keep reading, and if you have questions, contact our service team.

Determining Tire Number Meanings

Tire numbers are a series of letters and numbers that specify the size, speed rating, load index, and type of tire your car needs for maximum performance on Denver roads. Here is an example:

Example: P215/65R15 95H

While it may look like gibberish to you, each code section on your tire represents a vital piece of information.

Decoding “P”

The “P” in the above example stands for “P-Metric tire,” meaning it is for passenger vehicles. If your tires read “LT,” it stands for “light truck,” and the tire is designed for light-weight pickup trucks. If your tire doesn’t have a letter preceding the code, it is a European style tire or Euro-Metric tire with different load capacities than those in the United States.

Decoding “215”

Following the “P” above is the number “215”, which shows the width in millimeters from one sidewall to the other sidewall. In this example, the width is 215 millimeters.

Decoding “65”

After the forward slash in the code comes the aspect ratio, indicated in the example by the number “65.” This is the height of the tire’s cross-section to its width. So this tire has an aspect ratio equal to 65% of the tire’s width. The larger the aspect ratio, the bigger the sidewalls are.

Decoding “R”

The “R” indicates the tire’s composition, with “R” meaning that it’s a radial.

Decoding “15”

The “15” above indicates the wheel size from one end to the other. This tells us what tire can fit on this particular wheel. So, in this example, the tire is meant for a 15-inch wheel.

Decoding “95H”

At the end of the code in the example is “95H.” This shows the load index and speed rating for the tire. The load index of “95” indicates how much weight the tire can handle when adequately inflated and ranges from 75-105 for passenger vehicles. The letter “H” represents the speed rating, which shows fast the tire can safely go based on its designated load capacity. The speed rating ranges from A-Z. A tire with an “H” rating can go up to a maximum speed of 130 mph around Lakewood and beyond.

How to Check Your Tire Pressure 

Regardless of your car tire size, keep them healthy on Arvada roads by ensuring they are correctly inflated. Checking your vehicle’s tire pressure is easy. Most new Honda models have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), so if your car’s tires are over-or under inflated, you’ll receive a warning indicator from the TPMS. If this happens, take your vehicle to a gas station to add or remove air as needed. Also, our service team can check your tires when you come in for service. 

Planet Honda is Always At Your Service

If you need new tires, brake replacement, or an oil change, turn to Planet Honda for auto service, maintenance, and auto parts! You can schedule service online or contact us by phone. Check out our service specials to see if you can save some money before you head in. We look forward to serving you!.


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