How to Read Tire Size

Just like there are a lot of different kinds of vehicles out there, there’s a lot of different kinds of tires. Your vehicle needs a specific size tire to work correctly. So, to learn how to read tire size for your vehicle, we at BMW of Manhattan have put together this guide to tire size.

 Below, drivers in Manhattan, Queens, and Bronx can read up on how to locate your tire’s size and how to read your tire’s size. Let’s get started!

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How to Locate the Size on Your Tire

Finding your tire’s size is easy-you just have to know where to look. You’ll start by locating the tire’s outer sidewall, which is the side that faces away from the underside of the vehicle. Then, you’ll look between the tread and the wheel edge.

This is where you’ll find the tire size, and it will look like a series of letters and numbers. Depending on what you drive and your driving preferences, the size will look a bit different, but most look like this: P215/65R 15 95H

These letters and numbers all have diverse but important meanings. Below, we’ll delve into how you can interpret each of them!

The Numbers in Your Tire Size

We’ll start by looking at the numbers that’ll appear in your tire’s size. To give you a better understanding of what you should be looking for, we’ll be referring to the numbers in the example tire size in the previous section.

215: The first number you’ll see in your tire’s size comes before the slash and indicates how wide the tire is in millimeters. This is measured sidewall to sidewall, or how much of the wheel touches the ground.

65: The second number, which can be found after the slash, specifies the tire’s aspect ratio. This percentage is achieved by calculating how the height of the sidewall measures up against the tire’s width. Our example aspect ratio is 65, which means that the tire’s sidewall height is 65 percent the length of the tire’s width.

15: This number, which stands alone most of the time, represents the diameter of the wheel in inches.

95: The last number you’ll find in your tire’s size tells you what the tire’s load index is. This index number represents how much weight the tire can support. Please note that this number isn’t the weight itself, but is a reference number that you can look up on a load-carrying capacity per tire chart.

The Letters in Your Tire Size

The numbers in the previous section will come alongside several different letters. Learn more about those letters below!

P: This letter, which will normally come first, tells you what kind of vehicle this tire was made for. For example, P stands for passenger. Our example tire is made for passenger vehicles.

R: This letter, the second in the series, represents the tire’s radial construction. This simply indicates that the tire meets passenger-car standards set by the industry to regulate tire production.

H: The last letter you’ll encounter will come at the tail end of the tire size series and will tell you how fast you can drive with that specific tire. As an H rated tire, our example tire can safely rotate at speeds up to 130 MPH.

Still Need More Information on How to Read Tire Size?

We at BMW of Manhattan are excited that you stopped by our site to learn more about tire size! Still have questions? Give us a call today for more information, or make the short drive from Manhattan, Queens, and Bronx to visit our service center.