Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How do I read the tire labelling on the sidewall to ensure I get the right replacement?

asked by on

How do I read the tire labelling on the sidewall to ensure I get the right replacement?

A: There’s a lot of information found on the s...

There’s a lot of information found on the sidewalls of your car’s tires. You’ll find the tire size, the maximum PSI rating for the tire, the speed rating, load limit and a lot more. Of course, you need to know how to read it. Here’s a quick primer:

Size: You’ll see the tire size as something like this – P205/55R16. Now, let’s break that down:

  • P: Passenger

  • 205: The width of the tire measured in millimeters

  • 55: The aspect ratio of the tire

  • R: Radial (as opposed to bias)

  • 16: The size of your rim/wheel

After the tire size, you’ll find another number and letter combination, such as 89H.

Here’s what that mean:

  • 89: The code indicating the maximum load for the tire

  • H: Your tire’s speed rating

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Radiator fan not working

Hi there. The engine cooling fan is controlled via a relay by the engine computer. Fuse 57 needs to be checked along with the cooling fan relay as soon as the fan should be initiated. Voltage needs to be checked...

Q: How do I connect a USB device to the radio?

Your car’s radio is capable of working with a number of different USB devices, as well as other devices using an auxiliary jack. Here’s how to connect a USB device. Open the bottom section of the center console between...

Q: How do I keep larger children safe?

Child safety should always be your top priority and that means knowing how to protect them when riding in the car. There are several things you should know about protecting larger children while you’re on the road. Here’s a handy...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.