Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How to Read Tire Size From a Sidewall

How to Read Tire Size From a Sidewall

Sidewall Tire Size
HodagMedia / Shutterstock.com

You call around, looking for a price on tires, or maybe even brakes. The attendant on the phone asks you for your tire size. You have no idea. All you know about your tires is they are black and round, and rotate when you press the gas. Where do you even find that information?

Here's a straightforward way to find your tire size from the sidewall of your tire:

Look for a number structure like this example: P215/60R16. It will run along the outside face of the sidewall. It may be at the bottom of the tire, so you might need to read it upside down.

The prefix "P" indicates the tire’s service type. P is a passenger rated tire. Other common types are LT for light truck use, T for temporary use as in spare tires, and ST for special trailer use only.

  • The first number, 215, is the width of the tire tread measured in millimeters.

  • The number after the slash, 60, is the profile of the tire. The profile is the height of the tire from the ground to the rim measured as a percentage. In this example, the height of the tire is 60 percent of the width of the tire.

  • The letter that comes next, R, indicates the type of tire construction. R is a radial tire. Another option, although less common, is ZR which indicates the tire is rated for high speed.

  • The last number in the sequence, 16, indicates the rim size for the tire measured in inches.

Historically, there have been other tire constructions used that are no longer commonplace. D indicated diagonal construction, or bias ply, and B was for belted tires. Both constructions are extremely uncommon to see on modern tires.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...


Related questions

Q: How can I determine my tire's size?

Most of us never think about what size our tires are; it's something that usually remains out of mind until getting ready to purchase tires, or thinking about changing tire size. The size of your tires can be easy to...

Q: Is it safe to drive with low tire pressure?

If you have less than 15 lbs of pressure inside your tire, you should change the tire and bring it to a tire station to be repaired or replaced. Driving on a tire with very low tire pressure can quickly...

Q: How to make a 2004 Scion xB a smoother ride

Those Scion's are rough riding cars. A lot of people don't realize that the number one shock absorbers on their vehicles are the tires. Since tires are rubber and full of air, they end up absorbing majority of the shock...