What You Should Know About Tire Identification

18 04 2013

Dale BertramWhen it comes to a tire purchase, there are many choices of brands and price range. Let’s take a quick look at basic tire information.  On the side wall of the tire, there is an alphanumeric code.

A tire labeled: P195/55R16 85H for example:

P — these tires are for a passenger vehicle. However ‘P’ denotes P metric size load and speed rating changes for P tire & non-P tires.
195 — the nominal width of the tire is approximately 195 mm at the widest point
55 — indicates that the height of the sidewall of the tire is 55% of the width (107 mm)
R — this is a radial tire
16 — this tire fits 16 in (410 mm) wheels
85 — the load index, a maximum of 515 kg (1,140 lb) per tire in this case
H — the speed index, this means the maximum permitted speed, here 210 km/h (130 mph).
It is also important to consider tread wear, traction & temperature ratings. Be sure to ask questions if you’re not sure.

Tire Age/Date of Manufacture unlike the other, more-prominent specs, the Department of Transportation’s Tire Identification Number (TIN) is of interest to tire owners and buyers alike, mainly because it includes the week and year of the tire’s manufacture, and thus its age. Tire age, not just wear, has become a safety concern.

Found close to the rim, the TIN consists of a series of 10-12 letters and numbers that like a vehicle identification number are of little use to a consumer. But the last four numbers represent the birth week and year of any tire built since 2000.

An example is DOT H25R YC24 4305. The tire above was manufactured in the 43rd week of 2005.

Recently, the effect of tire age on safety has become a concern. Unfortunately, climates and how well a tire is cared for affect its aging, so there are no universal rules. Most tires wear out before age becomes an issue, but most automakers agree that 10 years is the maximum safe lifespan for any tire, including a spare that has never been used.

If you’re not sure about your tires and want them checked, stop by and see your favorite tire person for an inspection.

Happy Motoring,





Fairway Auto Repair




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: