Tire Information

tire information service icon

Are your tires' tread not what they used to be? Do you know if you need new tires entirely, or can they just be repaired? Perhaps they simply need a good rotate and balance (recommended every 6,000 miles, or every other oil change).

A quick and easy test you can do at home is the 'Penny Test'. Just place a penny, head first, into the groove of your tires. If you’re able to see the top of Lincoln’s head, it may be time to consider replacing your tires.

Let's say you do need new tires, but where do you start to ensure you get the right tire(s)? Below are a few tips to help you navigate the process of your tire purchase!

The first step in determining your vehicle's recommended tire size can quickly be found in one of the following ways:

  1. Listed within your vehicle's Owner’s Manual
  2. Alphanumeric code on the sidewall of your existing tire(s)

penny test tire tread

Either way, your vehicle-specific string of letters and numbers likely begins with either a 'P' or 'LT', which describes the Tire Type. While 'P' denotes the tire is intended for Passenger vehicles, the 'LT' denotes the tire is intended for 'Light Trucks'. In general, 'LT' tires require higher inflation pressures than Passenger tires.

Next are a set of numbers separated by a slash, such as '205/55'. The first three-digits refer to the Tire Width. The Tire Width is a measurement of the tire, sidewall to sidewall, in millimeters. In our example, the Tire Width is 205mm.

After the slash is a two-digit number, which dictates the Aspect Ratio. This ratio measures the height of the tire’s cross-section to its width. In our example, the Aspect Ratio is '55', meaning the height of the tire is equal to 55 percent of the tire’s width. The larger the aspect ratio, the taller the tire.

The next item in the string is a letter, dictating the tire’s Construction. Most often, this will be the letter 'R', indicating a 'Radial' (or radial-ply) Construction. This simply means the design of the tire’s cord plies are arranged at 90 degrees to the direction of travel, or radially (from the center of the tire).

After Construction is another two-digit number. In our example, this is '16', and it provides the Rim (or wheel) Diameter in inches. Since we need tires to fit the wheel, the numbers for our Rim Diameter are critical in a new tire purchase!

tire information image

The next item in the string should be a two-digit number, followed by a letter. The numbers will indicate a tire’s Load Index, while the letter indicates the Speed Rating.

The Load Index (or Load Rating) allows us to understand the tire’s relative load-carrying capabilities. In our example, we see our tire’s Load Index is '91', which equates to the ability to carry approximately 1,356lbs (complete load-rate table below). The higher the Load Index, the greater its load-carrying capacity.

  • Load Index

    Pounds

    Kilograms

  • 71

    761

    345

  • 72

    783

    355

  • 73

    805

    365

  • 74

    827

    375

  • 75

    853

    387

  • Load Index

    Pounds

    Kilograms

  • 76

    882

    400

  • 77

    908

    412

  • 78

    937

    425

  • 79

    963

    437

  • 80

    992

    450

  • Load Index

    Pounds

    Kilograms

  • 81

    1,019

    462

  • 82

    1,047

    475

  • 83

    1,074

    487

  • 84

    1,102

    500

  • 85

    1,135

    515

  • Load Index

    Pounds

    Kilograms

  • 86

    1,168

    530

  • 87

    1,201

    545

  • 88

    1,235

    560

  • 89

    1,279

    580

  • 90

    1,323

    600

  • Load Index

    Pounds

    Kilograms

  • 91

    1,356

    615

  • 92

    1,389

    630

  • 93

    1,433

    650

  • 94

    1,477

    670

  • 95

    1,521

    690

  • Load Index

    Pounds

    Kilograms

  • 96

    1,565

    710

  • 97

    1,609

    730

  • 98

    1,653

    750

  • 99

    1,709

    775

  • 100

    1,764

    800

  • Load Index

    Pounds

    Kilograms

  • 101

    1,819

    825

  • 102

    1,874

    850

  • 103

    1,929

    875

  • 104

    1,984

    900

  • 105

    2,039

    925

  • Load Index

    Pounds

    Kilograms

  • 106

    2,094

    950

  • 107

    2,149

    975

  • 108

    2,205

    1,000

  • 109

    2,271

    1,030

  • 110

    2,337

    1,060

The final letter is the tire’s Speed Rating. The Speed Rating allows us understand the maximum speed a tire can handle. In our example, our tire carries an 'S' rating, so it should handle approximately 112mph (complete speed-rating table below). A higher Speed Rating will carry a greater maximum for handling speed.

  • Speed Rating

    KMH

    MPH

  • A1

    5

    3

  • A2

    10

    6

  • A3

    15

    9

  • A4

    20

    12

  • A5

    25

    16

  • A6

    30

    19

  • A7

    35

    22

  • A8

    40

    25

  • B

    50

    31

  • C

    60

    37

  • Speed Rating

    KMH

    MPH

  • D

    65

    40

  • E

    70

    43

  • F

    80

    50

  • G

    90

    56

  • J

    100

    62

  • K

    110

    68

  • L

    120

    75

  • M

    130

    81

  • N

    140

    87

  • P

    150

    94

  • Speed Rating

    KMH

    MPH

  • Q

    160

    100

  • R

    170

    106

  • S

    180

    112

  • T

    190

    118

  • U

    200

    124

  • H

    210

    130

  • V

    240

    149

  • W

    270

    168

  • Y

    300

    186

  • (Y)

    300+

    186+



If you have questions, just reach out to your nearest Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers location, and we’ll be more than happy to help you find the right tire for your vehicle! Purchasing tires can be an expensive investment, so remember to check back often and take advantage of the many rebates we offer throughout the year!

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