How do I Read My Tire Size?

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CHARLOTTE – This is a reworking of an older article. For our entire back catalog, check out

Have you ever tried reading your tire size? It looks like a jumbled mess, doesn’t it? Even though there’s a lot to take in, there’s actually a pretty useful and interesting meaning behind each and every aspect. To better explain, let’s take a look at an example:


P – is the Tire Type. Tires with “P” on them are designed for passenger vehicles – usually sedans and unibody SUV’s. Another thing you may see is “LT” (Light Truck) – this is usually put on trucks and body-on-frame SUV’s.

245 – is the Tire Width in millimeters from sidewall-to-sidewall. This area generally encompasses all your tire’s tread. In our example, 245 means 245 millimeters.

55 – is the Aspect Ratio. This measures the height of the sidewall from where it meets the rim to the tread. In our example, 55 means the sidewall height is 55% of the tire width (which we said earlier was 245 millimeters.)

R – is the Construction. In our example, we have an “R” tire – a radial – which means the tire layers run radially across the tire. Almost all tires on the road use this structure, but you may also see cross-ply style tires.

16 – is the Wheel Diameter in inches. In our example, the wheel is 16 inches.

If you have questions about your car’s tires, feel free to call Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill at (704) 545-4597, email us at, or message us on Facebook at

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