Tires 101 — How to Buy the Appropriate Tires for Your Vehicle

Most women know what features they want on their vehicle, or even what kind of vehicle they want. But what most of us don’t know, is what kind of tires need to be put on, and what each marking around the tire stands for. So, I thought I would do a little research on the subject and pass that on to our readers for future reference! At the end of the day, you’ll all be able to say you’ve had your vocabulary lessons for today.

Tire Type: P=Passenger Vehicle 
                          LT=Light Truck

Tire Width: Measured in Millimeters

Aspect Ratio: The ratio of the height of the tire’s cross-section to its width

Construction: R=Radial (Ply runs straight across tire from inside to outside
                                   B=Bias (Ply is criss-crossed)

I asked our Service Manager, Mark, for a short ‘Tires for Dummies’ explanation so I could understand the construction better. He said Bias tires aren’t sold much anymore, and Radial is the most popular. They wear better, they ride cooler, and they aren’t as noisy.

Wheel Diameter: Greatest distance across the wheel from tread to tread (inches)

Load Index: Maximum load (pounds) a tire can support when properly inflated on the load index chart (E.G. Load Index=85, Pounds=1135)

Load Capacity: Maximum load (pounds or kilograms) the tire can support

Speed Rating: Maximum Service Speed for the tire based in the speed-rating chart

Rating Symbol          Maximum Speed (mph)
Q                                                     99
S                                                     112
T                                                    118
U                                                    124
H                                                   130
V                                                    149
ZR W                                              168 
Y                                                     186

Tread-wear Grade: The wear rate of the tire — 200 rating will wear twice as long as tire with a 100 rating

*Tire wear grades are only valid when comparing same manufacturer tires

Traction Grades: Tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement (AA-Very Best, A-Best, B-Intermediate, C-Acceptable)

Temperature Grades: Tire’s resistance to generation of heat (A-Best, B-Intermediate, C-Acceptable)
Types of Tires

M&S or Four Seasons Ico: All-season tire (Not recommended for extreme cold climates or snowfall)


Winter: Specifically for winter conditions

Summer: Specifically for summer conditions (dry & some wet driving)

Performance: Increase handling, cornering ability, traction

Truck: Pay close attention to the load rating and tire pressure (Consult your vehicle’s specifications for this information)

I hope this introduction to tires will help you all next time you have to replace your tires! Our webpage,, will also be adding a new application within the next few days. It will allow visitors to enter their car’s make and model or the tire TCP code. The site will show them which tires are best for their vehicle, and then allow them to enter their contact informationand request a coat from us for that particular tire.

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