‹ Tips & Guides home https://d1bat1ruswunxz.cloudfront.net/app/uploads/2020/10/rimsusallc-66656-reading-tire-code-blogbanner1.jpg

Tire codes are some of the most important resources to use during the purchase of new tires. While this string of numbers and letters might not seem like much, it’s a direct indicator of a product’s features and abilities. Because of this, knowing roughly what these symbols mean can be of great use to you—even during the research process. This is a guide to reading a tire code and all the components that make up these specific encryptions.

Tire Type

If the tire code you’re trying to read starts out with a capital letter, it means that that tire was made to adhere to certain standards in the United States. “P” will mean that it’s a standard sedan or van tire, while “LT” indicates that the model was made for light trucks. Should there be no letters at the beginning of the code, it means that the tire was manufactured with European metrics in mind.

Tire Width

The three-digit number following the letters will then indicate the tire’s width. This unit is depicted in millimeters and only includes the three numbers before the slash. So, if the tire reads P245/45, the width is 245 millimeters.

Aspect Ratio

A tire’s aspect ratio, indicated by the 45 in the above example, refers to the height of the tire’s sidewall when compared to the width. This is particularly important for determining whether a tire will fit in a certain wheel well. When the ratio reads 45, it translates to the fact that the tire’s height is 45 percent of the tire’s width.

Tire Construction

The next letter you’ll come across in a tire code will indicate the tire’s type of construction. “R” stands for a radial build—where the tire’s plies run perpendicularly to the center line. While “D” means that a tire has a diagonal construction and has its plies running at less prominent angles.

Wheel Diameter

Lastly, the final two numbers before the space are the size of the wheel as measured from one end to the other. This is meant to give you an idea of what diameter of wheel that tire is designed to fit. Unlike tire width, this number is given in inches. As such, should the number be 15, it means that a certain tire can fit a wheel with a 15-inch diameter. By understanding tire codes, you’ll have an easier time deciding which tires are best for your specific needs. This is why we at RNR Tire Express seek to provide you with as much information as possible about this trait. In addition to this guide to reading a tire code, we also sell a large plethora of tires in Anderson, SC. So, not only can we help you learn more about your desired tires, we can readily provide quality models as well.

Find A Location Near You

The Tires
You Need

Shop Tires

The Wheels
You Want

Shop Wheels

Sign up to receive special offers.

By signing up you agree to our Privacy Policy.

A background image with five tires in a row.