How To Read a Tire Size

While most people think that tires only banner their brands, tires do actually contain information that may be relevant to you and your joy rides.  Tires contain numbers and letters that have their own corresponding meaning. So you might want to check your tires out and know more about their specifications.

  • Study the letters. Initially, you first find the two initials: "M+S." This would mean that the tire is made to be able to roll on city snow or mud quite easily. However, caution must be observed as this is not an implication that the tire is made for any kind of terrain unless it is indicated.
  • Compare other letter. Look at the next initial. A letter "P," meaning passenger, would mean that this tire is particularly manufactured for passenger automobiles. This is the tire most common in cars that you see along roads and streets.
  • Look at the three numbers. The three numbers 185 might be different than the number on your own tires. These digits mean that the particular tire has a measure of 185 mm at the section width. The section width is the measurement from the tire walls outside up to the opposite wall's outside.
  • Check out the digits after the slash. You will see the number 80. It is the aspect ratio given pertaining to the height and width. The height is the measurement starting from the tire’s inner circumference up to the tread’s top – the portion at the surface that touches the road. The lower the tire’s aspect ratio is, the shorter and wider it will be.
  • Study the next initial. “R” is for radial tire. “B” represents belted bias tires. And “D” signifies bias ply tires. Radial tires have stronger treads while belted bias tires offer you smoother rides and tractions. Bias ply tires, on the other hand, are more efficient on rough terrains although they provide weak plies as well as a weak tread.
  • Take note of the last digit. The last digit will provide you with your vehicle’s rim size. If you see 15, it means that your vehicle has 15 inches of rim size. When a salesman asks for your tire size, this is what is asked of you.
  • Know how to calculate. When you are getting the replacement size of your tire, you must do some calculations. 205/50-15 would mean that your tire’s tread width measures 205mm, the tire’s height is 50% greater than its width, and that your tire would fit on a 15-inch rim.
  • Convert. If you want to convert this measurement to inches, just divide 205 by 25.4. You will get about 8.07 inches. Get the 50% of this result and you have about 4.04. Multiply it by 2 and you get 8.07 once again. Add the last digit of your measurement, which is 15 inches. So, your tire is about 23 inches tall.

If you have hesitations, tire experts and salesmen would always be available to assist you so it is still recommended to get their expertise.


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