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If you look at any tire and only see a circle of rubber, you’re not really getting the whole picture. At its most basic, that is a description of a tire, but not all tires are equal in terms of how much stress they can handle. Tires are broken up by their speed ratings, and not adhering to these ratings can put you and your vehicle at risk. Here is what you need to know about tire speed ratings so you can decipher them for yourself.

What Does Tire Speed Rating Mean?

The most important thing to know about your tire’s speed rating is that it dictates the maximum speed the tire can handle reliably. All vehicles have a harder time handling well at higher speeds, but a vehicle with tires that have a higher speed rating will be able to handle those higher speeds with better overall control.

Tire speed ratings are designated by letters of the alphabet. While there are a few outliers, the further into the alphabet that the letter is, the higher the tire’s speed rating.

Where To Find Your Tires’ Speed Ratings

Along the side of your tire is a raised size code that looks like a string of letters and numbers. A tire’s speed rating will almost always be the last letter in that code. The rest of the code tells you the different measurements of the tire itself, but that last letter is important.

You can find your vehicle’s recommended tire speed rating in its owner’s manual. You may also be able to find it on the driver’s side door jamb, inside the gas tank hatch, or even in the door of the glove box.

Most Common Tire Speed Ratings

The following are some of the most common tire speed ratings you’ll see for most vehicles on the road today:

  • Speed Rating “T” – The tire can reliably handle speeds up to 118 mph. You can find tires like these on vehicles like minivans or family-oriented cars.
  • Speed Rating “H” – This major outlier of the alphabetical rating system indicates a tire that handles speeds up to 130 mph safely. Coupes and sportier sedans often have these tires.
  • Speed Rating “V” – Some sports cars have this rating, indicating a tire can handle speeds up to 149 mph.
  • Speed Rating “W” – High-end sports cars may have a “W” rating, which is a tire that reliably handles speeds up to 168 mph.
  • Speed Rating “Z” – While these are high-performance tires, manufacturers categorize tires as “Z” for different reasons. They can definitely handle speeds up to 149 mph but may go beyond that, depending on the manufacturer.

Finding tires in Corpus Christi with the right speed rating doesn’t have to be a hassle. RNR Tire Express is always here to help you find the right tires for any vehicle.

Locations: Corpus Christi, TX

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