Have you noticed the writing on your tyres? The new tyre labelling is based on European regulations focusing on driver education to help them make more informed decisions when buying tyres. This refers to fuel efficiency, quality and the importance of finding the right tyre size for your car.
Knowing your tyre size is important especially when buying new tyres. It’s not uncommon that many people don’t know their tyre size but that’s where Elite Garages come in. Looking at a tyre with the numbers, 215/60 R 15 91 H, what exactly do they mean?
- 215 indicates the tyre width measured in millimetres from sidewall to sidewall.
- 60 is the aspect ratio or the percentage of the tyre’s sidewall height compared to the tyre width. This figure indicates that the height of the tyre is 60% of its width.
- R is the construction code indicating that this particular tyre is manufactured with a radial ply construction. Majority of modern tyres are designed this way.
- 15 is the rim diameter measured in inches from one side of the wheel flange to the other.
- 91 shows the load index or maximum carrying capacity of your tyre measured in kg. In this example, cars with a load index of 91 have a maximum load capacity of 615 kg.
- The H in this tyre labelling example is the speed rating when tyre pressure is correct and when used under load. A tyre with a speed rating of H has a maximum speed of 130 mph (210 km/h).
While in some cases you could fit tyres with a higher load index and speed rating, you should always first consult the vehicle manufacturing manual. You will find all the information you need to determine whether, by law, you can fit a certain tyre for your car.
Remember that overloading your vehicle puts additional strain on your tyres and other critical components. It can result in poor handling, increased fuel consumption and even tyre failure. This includes severe cracking, part separation or worst case scenario, a tyre “blowout.”
It is vital that you always look at load and speed rating together when buying tyres. At the same time, the tyre’s speed rating should also match your vehicle’s top speed. When in doubt, look at the car manufacturer’s manual or just ask our tyre experts at any Elite Garages. We can help you find the right tyre size for your car.