Decoding the numbers on your tires

Decoding the numbers on your tires


At SVG, when you buy 2 tires, you get 2 free! No joke! When you pay for your first two tires plus alignment, mount and balance fees, you’ll get 2 tires free. When you make an appointment to have the new tires installed, you’ll need to know what size tire you want to replace. While our helpful technicians can certainly figure this out for you, it’s always a good idea to know what tire size you need ahead of time. Here, we unravel the mystery of the numbers stamped onto tires so you know exactly what you have and need.


If you look at the sidewall of your tires, you’ll see they have a number series on them. Typically, they’ll be displayed like this:


205/55 R 16 91W


Understanding what these numbers mean can not only help you when you need new tires, but in the event you’re experiencing issues due to your tires (spinning under hard acceleration, premature wear, etc.) you may be able to determine that you’ve got the wrong tires for your needs.


The first number in the series (in our example, 205) is the tire width. It’s also called the “patch” or tread. This is the area of the tire that comes into contact with the road. On most high performance vehicles, the patch or width will be significantly larger than an average vehicle. Usually, the width is measured in millimeters, so a 205 width is 205 mm wide.


The next number (in our example, 55) is the tire’s profile, or sidewall height. This number represents a percentage of the tire’s width. The number 55 in our example means the height is 55% of the tire’s width. Using math we can see that the tire’s profile is then 112.75 mm tall.


The letter “R” denotes the tire construction or type. In this case, the R represents “radial” which is the most common type.


Next we find the number 16. This is the wheel’s diameter.


Finally, we see 91W. These denote the tire’s load and speed ratings. If you’re trailering, towing or hauling, you’ll need a tire with a hefty load rating. Likewise, if you have a performance vehicle designed for quick acceleration and high speeds, you’ll need a more substantial speed rating.


Hopefully these tips can help you decide what type of tires you need on your vehicle so when you come to SVG for your two free tires, you’ll be able to speak to the technicians like a pro! Ready to take advantage of the Buy 2 Get 2 Deal? It’s easy, you can schedule an appointment right here.



Categories: Tech tips, Parts, Service