Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What do the various terms associated with tire pressure and tire loading mean?

asked by on

What do the various terms associated with tire pressure and tire loading mean?

There are quite a few different terms you’ll need to be familiar with when it comes to your car’s tires. Understanding these terms and how they apply to your tires will help you take better care of them, and can result in safer driving. Here’s a quick introduction to some of the most important:

  1. Tread Wear Indicators: Small rubber bars embedded in the tread of your tires. You may hear them called “wear bars”. When these show, it’s time to replace your tires.

  2. Load Rating: This is the maximum weight your tire can hold when set at a specific pressure.

  3. Cold Tire Pressure: The amount of air inside the tire when the tire is cold (before you get on the road, or after the car has sat long enough for the tires to cool down).

  • Maximum Load Rating: The weight a tire can carry at the maximum rated PSI.

  • Recommended Inflation Pressure: The amount of air the tire manufacturer recommends when the tire is cold.

Tip

When it comes to tire pressure, ignore the information on the sidewall and go by what’s listed on the driver side door placard.

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
  • Home
  • Questions
  • What do the various terms associated with tire pressure and tire loading mean?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car will not start, only clicks once or twice.

Hello. Clicking when you turn the key is usually a sign that there is not enough power for the starter to fully turn. If your battery is new, then that is likely not the source of the problem. I would...

Q: What tips should be followed for wearing seat belts properly?

While seat belts might seem like relatively self-explanatory safety devices, it’s actually pretty easy to use them incorrectly. Doing so can seriously reduce your safety and even put you in greater danger during an impact. Follow these tips to wear...

Q: My car rattles when I start it up but stops after that

If the noise started immediately after your new starter was installed, the noise may relate to the installation and/or the starter might be defective. Normally, the supplier warrants the part, and labor, so you should check to see if there...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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.