Tire markings explained; Tire markings and what they indicate?

You may have noticed a lot of markings on the tire, which may contain letters and numbers.

This article will give you an idea of ​​some tire markings and what they indicate.

Suppose the markings on a tire are as follows, 165/80R14 85T.  Let us see what each of these means,


Section width of the tire

In the above-mentioned example, The number 165 indicates the section width of the tire, I.e. the width of the tire. This is the distance from the sidewall to the sidewall when viewed from the front.

The sidewall is the part from the tread to the rim, I.e. the part where the tire markings are recorded. The section width is denoted in millimeters, That is, the side width is 165 mm in the markings shown above.

Tread width: Similar to section width, the area from tread to tread is called the tread width.

Overall width: You may have noticed some letters or patterns sticking out of the sidewall of some tires. In such tires, the distance between the patterns or the letters is called the overall width.

Aspect ratio

In the above-mentioned example, 80 denotes the aspect ratio (tire profile ) of the tire.  The sidewall height can be calculated using the aspect ratio which is marked on the tire. If the aspect ratio is 'X', then the sidewall height will be 'X' percent of the section width of the tire.

If the tire marking code is 165/80R14, the number 165 (in mm) denotes its section width and the number 80 denotes the aspect ratio. So here the tire has a sidewall height of 80 percent of 165, which means the sidewall height of the tire will be 132mm.


The letter "R" stands for radial tire

Diameter of the tire

The number 14 denotes the diameter of the wheel, It is measured in inches.

Load Index

The number 85 mentioned in the above example shows the load index of the tire. The load index refers to the maximum load that a tire can carry at its maximum pressure.

Here 85 is an index, which means 515 kilograms per tire. The number written as the index has corresponding values.

Eg: If the tire index is 100, it is capable to carry 800 kg

For 110 it is 1060 kg

Never fill the tire to maximum air, Fill the tire with only the amount of air recommended by each vehicle manufacturer.

Speed index

In the example above, the letter T indicates the speed index of the tire. The speed index indicates the maximum speed at which the vehicle using that tire can be used safely.  Driving the vehicle at speeds above that range is not safe.

This is also an index, denoted by the letter T in the example above, T denotes 190 km/hr. Not only T but also many letters are used as speed index, each of them indicates a specific speed range.


Eg: H denotes 210 km/hr, Y denotes 300 km/hr

Use the tire which has a speed rating above the maximum speed of the vehicle, Typically, each manufacturer uses tires that have a speed rating higher than the vehicle's top speed.

This article contains only a few markings that can be seen on a tire, there are many more markings on the tire.

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