Many people or drivers buy tyres based on sizes, performance, and utmost the important price. Many a time they usually rely on recommendation by the tyre shop or own information searched on the internet. However, each and every tyres carry loads of information on the sidewall. This information comes in codes which makes them confusing and hard to understand. Because of this reason people don’t bother to understand them.
It is important to at least know what they mean so you yourself as a motorist can at least make an informed decision whether the tyre is suitable for your ride.
The Deciphering Starts…
As mentioned, tyre sidewall carries loads of information and they are broken into few categories. Now let us go through one by one the more common or mandatory information.
The biggest word on a tyre sidewall is usually the tyre brand itself. You can never missed it. The word or words usually takes up almost the full height of the sidewall.
The second biggest word on the sidewall on many instances is the tyre model or tyre pattern name. For example, Toyo Tires brand of tyre has various pattern such as Proxes, Open Country, Tranpath and etc.
The third most important information on tyre sidewall is the tyre size itself. You will definitely come across words like 195/50R15, 205/50R17, 225/45R18 and so forth. So what exactly do they mean? The combination of numbers and alphabet is a sum of 3 segment that make up a tyre size.
Let’s take the first example and break it down. The first part is ‘195’. This is the tyre section width from sidewall to sidewall with correct rim size and tyre pressure. It is measured in millimeters. So it means this particular tyre is 195mm wide. The second number is known as tyre aspect ratio. It indicates the side profile of the tyre as in its height expressed in percentage to its width. In this instance is 50% of the tyre width. The alphabet segment that comes with a “R” is the tyre’s casing construction. The ‘R’ signifies this tyre is made using radial construction and most modern tyres are made this way. The last number segment which is 15 is the term used to indicate the rim size which tyre should be fitted. This measurement correlates with rim size. Yes, it is measured in inches as oppose to millimeter.
Load index and speed rating
Every tyre is made to withstand or carry a certain weight or in layman terms, what is the maximum weight can a tyre withstand.
Using our example of 195/50R15 tyre, you will find a reading as such 98H after the tyre size. This reading tells you it has load index of 98 and speed rating of H. In tyre making, there’s a preset chart that shows these two information. Please refer the chart to understand the categories available.
Treadwear, Traction and Temperature
The segment of this information always come in these 3 combinations. The first being treadwear. This reading tells you how long or durable the tyre is. For example, a treadwear of 380 is more durable than a tyre that has 280 treadwear.
The second reading is traction. This shows how grippy the tyre is. Most modern passenger car tyre carries a traction rating of AA or A. The more A it has, the grippy is gets. You will rarely find B or C traction rating tyres on the market.
The last reading is tyre temperature and most tyres on sale in the market has an A rating temperature.
Tyre Manufacturing Date
Another important information to look out for on a tyre sidewall is the tyre manufacturing date. This information comes in a combination of the year and number of week within a year. For example 3822 signifies the particular tyre is made in year 2022, week no. 38.
These are the more common information you will find on a tyre wall, however, some tyre brands also include other information and it varies from brand to brand.
As an informed consumer, it is to our benefit to know how to decode the information on a product. As in our case, reading a tyre sidewall. In contrast, you can always rely on the brand’s sale person to provide you with this information. Do visit your nearest Toyo Auto Centre to seek professional advise from our trained personnel.