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Q: Are Euro-Metric and P-Metric Tires Interchangeable?

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Are Euro-Metric and P-Metric tires interchangeable?

A: When looking for tires, you may run into so...

When looking for tires, you may run into some confusion when you see words like euro-metric or p-metric. With all of the other ratings on tires, such as temperature, load, treadwear, and traction, adding these other terms into the mix does not help. However, knowing what they mean and how they affect the tire you are considering can help you to make a knowledgeable decision.

First off, there is not a lot of difference between euro and p-metric tires. Their sizes are essentially the same; they correlate to the same width, height and rim size. The main difference is with the load carrying capability.

Euro-metric tires do not have a standard or uniform way of calculating the tire's load bearing capability. If you purchase a euro-metric tire, be sure that its rating corresponds to the weight of your vehicle to prevent tire failure, such as uneven wear. Furthermore, euro-metric tires are not typically readily available in the United States, so coming across them is rare.

In around the 1970’s, the U.S. added the p-metric rating as a standardized measure of tire load carrying capability. This gave more uniformity to tires, which can also equate to better safety standards. The “P” stands for “passenger”, which means that the tire will work fine on just about all passenger cars, including vans, small SUV’s, and smaller trucks. Larger vehicles or trucks will typically have LT-metric tires, meaning “light truck”. These tires will have a much higher load carrying capacity.

When it is time for you to purchase new tires, don't be intimidated by all of the terms and ratings available. If there is any confusion about the tires you are considering, seek advice from a knowledgeable tire dealer or a certified mechanic to avoid purchasing a tire that is not right for your vehicle.

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