How to Read Tire Sizes

The string of numbers and letters on the top of the tire mean a lot more than you think. For one, everything has a meaning in the string, not just for tire size. Some of the numbers stand for wheel diameter or wheel height. Tire type is represented in the first letter. If it has a P, then that means you have a passenger vehicle. This means that it is rated for passenger vehicles only in the United States. If there are no letters, then that means it is a European tire. There can also be a tire with LT on it, which means that it was rated for light trucks.

The next three digits stand for the tire width. For example, if you have a tire that is rated P200, then it has a wheel width of 200 millimeters. The aspect ratio is the next number after the backslash, which stands for what the height is equal to in terms of a percentage to the tire's width. With bigger aspect ratios, this means the tire will have a larger sidewall.

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