How to Read Tire Size From a Sidewall | YourMechanic Advice

How to Read Tire Size From a Sidewall

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.


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Bryant

11 years of experience
407 reviews
Bryant
11 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Indianapolis, Indiana
Bryant has done great work on my car before, the latest work is no exception. He's very flexible, and goes the extra mile to get you back on the road.
Scion iA - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Carmel, Indiana
This is my first time using this service. I am very happy with it. Bryant was very knowledgeable and did quality work. I will use this service more regularly.

Augustine

11 years of experience
57 reviews
Augustine
11 years of experience
Volkswagen Passat - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Albuquerque, New Mexico
He’s amazing! Did a wonderful job on my brakes and was extremely knowledgeable, and a real fun guy to be around as well!

Jimmi

25 years of experience
68 reviews
Jimmi
25 years of experience
Mazda CX-9 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Orlando, Florida
Jimmi was wonderful. He was on time, knowledgeable, and completed work in a timely manner. He went above and beyond with helpful tips and recommendations. We will be using him for all our family vehicles.

Robert

3 years of experience
4 reviews
Robert
3 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Tacoma, Washington
Came right on time! Had all the necessary tools to finish the job. After the test drive, he gave me an update on my car. Topped off my fluids and disinfect the inside. Well recommend!!

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