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Discussion Starter #1
Most tire sizes begin with a letter or letters that identify the type of vehicle and/or type of service for which they were designed. The common indicators are as follows:

P225/50R16 91S

P = When a tire size begins with a "P," it signifies the tire is a "P-metric" size that was designed to be fitted on vehicles that are primarily used as passenger vehicles. This includes cars, minivans, sport utility vehicles and light duty pickup trucks (typically 1/4- and 1/2-ton load capacity). The use of P-metric sizes began in the late 1970s and they are the most frequently used type of tire size today.

225/50R16 92S

If there isn't a letter preceding the three-digit numeric portion of a tire size, it signifies the tire is a "Metric" size (also called "Euro-metric" because these sizes originated in Europe). While Metric tire sizes are primarily used on European cars, they are also used on vans and sport utility vehicles. Euro-metric sizes are dimensionally equivalent to P-metric sizes, but typically differ subtly in load carrying capabilities.


T125/90D16 98M

T = If a tire size begins with a "T," it signifies the tire is a "Temporary Spare" ("space saver" or "mini spare") that was designed to be used temporarily only until a flat tire can be repaired or replaced.

LT245/75R16 108/104S

LT = If a tire size begins with "LT," it signifies the tire is a "Light Truck-metric" size that was designed to be used on vehicles that are capable of carrying heavy cargo or towing large trailers. This includes medium and heavy-duty (typically 3/4- and 1-ton load capacity) pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and full-size vans. Tires branded with the "LT" designation are the "little brothers" of 18-wheel tractor-trailer tires and are designed to provide substantial reserve capacity to accept the additional stresses of carrying heavy cargo.

ST225/75R15

ST = If a tire size begins with "ST," it signifies the tire is a "Special Trailer Service" size that was designed to only be used on boat, car or utility trailers. ST-sized tires should never be used on cars, vans or light trucks.

Following the letter(s) that identify the type of vehicle and/or type of service for which the tire was designed, the three-digit numeric portion identifies the tire's "Section Width" (cross section) in millimeters.

P225/50R16 91S

The 225 indicates this tire is 225 millimeters across from the widest point of its outer sidewall to the widest point of its inner sidewall when mounted and measured on a specified width wheel. This measurement is also referred to as the tire's section width. Because many people think of measurements in inches, the 225mm can be converted to inches by dividing the section width in millimeters by 25.4 (the number of millimeters per inch).

225mm ÷ 25.4 = 8.86"


Typically following the three digits identifying the tire's Section Width in millimeters is a two-digit number that identifies the tire's profile or aspect ratio.

P225/50R16 91S

The 50 indicates that this tire size's sidewall height (from rim to tread) is 50% of its section width. The measurement is the tire's section height, and also referred to as the tire's series, profile or aspect ratio. The higher the number, the taller the sidewall; the lower the number, the lower the sidewall. We know that this tire size's section width is 225mm and that its section height is 50% of 225mm. By converting the 225mm to inches (225 ÷ 25.4 = 8.86") and multiplying it by 50% (.50) we confirm that this tire size results in a tire section height of 4.43". If this tire were a P225/70R16 size, our calculation would confirm that the size would result in a section height of 6.20", approximately a 1.8-inch taller sidewall.

P225/50R16, P225/50ZR16

A letter (R in this case) that identifies the tire's internal construction follows the two digits used to identify the aspect ratio.

The R in the P225/50R16 91S size identifies that the tire has a Radial construction in which the tire's body plies "radiate" out from the imaginary center of the wheel. Radial tires are by far the most popular type of tire today representing over 98% of all tires sold.

If the R in the size was replaced with a D (225/50D16), it would identify that the internal tire body plies crisscross on a Diagonal and that the tire has a "bias ply" construction. Tires using this construction are for light truck and spare tire applications.

If the R in the size was replaced with a B (225/50B16), it would identify that the tire body plies not only crisscross the tire on a diagonal as before, but that they are reinforced with belts under the tread area. This type of tire construction is called "Belted." Tires using this construction are practically extinct.


Today, the only tires that continue to include the speed rating "in" the tire size (P225/50ZR16) are Z-speed rated tires. In this case, following the two digits used to identify the aspect ratio are the letters ZR to identify the tire's speed rating (Z) and its internal construction ®. Since 1991, all other speed ratings are identified in the tire's Service Description

P225/50R16 91S

The 16 indicates the tire and wheel diameter designed to be matched together.

Tires that have a rim diameter expressed in inches (P225/50R16, as well as 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26 and 28) are called "inch rim" sizes, are the most common type of tire size and are used on most cars, minivans, vans, sport utility vehicles and light duty light trucks.

While not as common, two additional "unique" types of tire/wheel diameters are still in use today.

Tires and wheels that have a rim diameter expressed in "half" inches (8.00R16.5LT, as well as, 14.5, 15.5, 17.5 and 19.5) are used on some heavy-duty trailers, heavy-duty light trucks and box vans.

Tires and wheels that have a rim diameter expressed in millimeters (190/65R390, as well as, 365 and 415) are called millimetric sizes. Michelin initiated millimetric sizes for their TRX tires that saw limited use on many different car models in the late 1970s and 1980s.



Your Welcome,
Eric
 

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Let's hear it for the tire genius!

Thanks man
 

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Lots of info I was wondering about just today, cause my friend just got new tires for his Mazda-6.....

Nice work SHOff.... B)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
(235/34ZR-16 96W), no such animal, is it 235/55ZR16 96W


Here is more helpful information

Using a P195/60R15 87S tire size as an example, the 87S at the end of the size represents the tire's service description. A service description identifies the tire's load index and speed rating. Service Descriptions are required on all speed rated (except for Z-speed rated) tires manufactured since 1991.

The first two digits (87S) represent the tire's load index and are followed by a single letter (87S) identifying the tire's speed rating.

Load Index

P195/60R15 87S - The load index (87) is the tire size's assigned numerical value used to compare relative load carrying capabilities. In the case of our example the 87 identifies the tires ability to carry approximately 1,201 pounds.

The higher the tire's load index number, the greater its load carrying capacity.

89 = 1,279 pounds
88 = 1,235 pounds
87 = 1,201 pounds
86 = 1,168 pounds
85 = 1,135 pounds

A tire with a higher load index than that of the Original Equipment tire indicates an increase in load capacity. A tire with a load index equal to that of the Original Equipment tire indicates an equivalent load capacity. A tire with a lower load index than the Original Equipment tire indicates the tire does not equal the load capacity of the original.

Typically, the load indexes of the tires used on passenger cars and light trucks range from 70 to 110.

Load Index-Pounds-Kilograms

71 761 345 ......91 1356 615
72 783 355...... 92 1389 630
73 805 365 ......93 1433 650
74 827 375 ......94 1477 670
75 853 387 ......95 1521 690
76 882 400 ......96 1565 710
77 908 412...... 97 1609 730
78 937 425...... 98 1653 750
79 963 437...... 99 1709 775
80 992 450...... 100 1764 800
81 1019 462 ....101 1819 825
82 1047 475 ....102 1874 850
83 1074 487 ....103 1929 875
84 1102 500 ....104 1984 900
85 1135 515 ....105 2039 925
86 1168 530.....106 2094 950
87 1201 545 ....107 2149 975
88 1235 560 ....108 2205 1000
89 1279 580 ....109 2271 1030
90 1323 600 ....110 2337 1060

Speed Rating

In Europe, where selected highways do not have speed limits and high speed driving is permitted, speed ratings were established to match the speed capability of tires with the top speed capability of the vehicles to which they are applied. Speed ratings are established in kilometers per hour and subsequently converted to miles per hour (which explains why speed ratings appear established at "unusual" mile per hour increments). Despite the tire manufacturer's ability to manufacturer tires capable of high speeds, none of them recommend the use of their products in excess of legal speed limits.

Speed ratings are based on laboratory tests where the tire is pressed against a large diameter metal drum to reflect its appropriate load, and run at ever increasing speeds (in 6.2 mph steps in 10 minute increments) until the tire's required speed has been met.

It is important to note that speed ratings only apply to tires that have not been damaged, altered, under-inflated or overloaded. Additionally, most tire manufacturers maintain that a tire that has been cut or punctured no longer retains the tire manufacturer's original speed rating, even after being repaired because the tire manufacturer can't control the quality of the repair.

Over the years, tire speed rating symbols have been marked on tires in any of three ways shown in the following examples:

225/50SR16 225/50SR16 89S or 225/50R16 89S

Each of these was an acceptable method of identifying speed ratings.

Early tires had their speed rating symbol shown "within" the tire size, such as 225/50SR16. Tires using this type of branding were not to have been produced after 1991.

225/50SR16 112 mph, 180 km/h
225/50HR16 130, 210 km/h
225/50VR16 in excess of 130 mph, 210 km/h

Beginning in 1991, the speed symbol denoting a fixed maximum speed capability of new tires must be shown only in the speed rating portion of the tire's service description, such as 225/50R16 89S. The most common tire speed rating symbols, maximum speeds and typical applications are shown below:

N 87 mph 140 km/h Temporary Spare Tires
P 93 mph 150 km/h
Q 99 mph 160 km/h Studless & Studdable Winter Tires
R 106 mph 170 km/h H.D. Light Truck Tires
S 112 mph 180 km/h Family Sedans & Vans
T 118 mph 190 km/h Family Sedans & Vans
U 124 mph 200 km/h
H 130 mph 210 km/h Sport Sedans & Coupes
V 149 mph 240 km/h Sport Sedans, Coupes & Sports Cars

When Z-speed rated tires were first introduced, they were thought to reflect the highest tire speed rating that would ever be required, in excess of 240 km/h or 149 mph. While Z-speed rated tires are capable of speeds in excess of 149 mph, how far above 149 mph was not identified. That ultimately caused the automotive industry to add W- and Y-speed ratings to identify the tires that meet the needs of new vehicles that have extremely high top-speed capabilities.

W 168 mph 270 km/h Exotic Sports Cars
Y 186 mph 300 km/h Exotic Sports Cars

While a Z-speed rating still often appears in the tire size designation of these tires, such as 225/50ZR16 91W, the Z in the size signifies a maximum speed capability in excess of 149 mph, 240 km/h; the W in the service description indicates the tire's 168 mph, 270 km/h maximum speed.

225/50ZR16 in excess of 149 mph, 240 km/h
205/45ZR17 88W 168 mph, 270 km/h
285/35ZR19 99Y 186 mph, 300 km/h

Most recently, when the Y-speed rating indicated in a service description is enclosed in parentheses, such as 285/35ZR19 (99Y), the top speed of the tire has been tested in excess of 186 mph, 300 km/h indicated by the service description as shown below:

285/35ZR19 99Y 186 mph, 300 km/h
285/35ZR19 (99Y) in excess of 186 mph, 300 km/h


Your Welcome,
Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Originally posted by jedhead@Oct 24 2004, 09:17 PM
My typo  235/45ZR-17  96W
That means, that your 1 single tire is capable of carrying 1565 lbs. up to 168 mph, at max inflation, in a safe maner.
 
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I already know all of this. But it's GREAT for the guys who don't!! Nice work! :thumb:



Sal
 
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