What do those numbers mean on my tire?

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 – stands for “passenger.” This is the Tire Type. Tires with “P” on them are designed to go on passenger vehicles – usually sedans and some light unibody SUV’s. Another thing you may see is “LT” (Light Truck) – this is usually put on big trucks like F350’s and some 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 a “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. This is a simple measurement of the size of your wheel (sometimes called a rim) and in our example, the wheel size is 16 inches.

Once you know what you are looking at it is pretty easy.  As always, 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 kenmanchester1@gmail.com, or message us on Facebook at facebook.com/ManchesterAutoandTireOfMintHill.