How To Read a Tire Sidewall

Car tire

When you’re getting a new set of tires, you want to make sure you get the right ones for optimal traction on your Mesa drives. Like our inventory of vehicles, tires come in all shapes and sizes, with different types even within the same manufacturer. Fortunately, most of the information you’ll need can be found on the sidewall of your tires. But, what do the tire numbers mean? Combined with the tire number meanings, the different letters, and various words on the side of your tires, you’ll be able to perfectly narrow down your choices to find a set of tires that fit your driving style around Surprise. Today, the experts at Cactus Jack's Auto will help you go over how to read a tire sidewall by touching on the following items:

  • Tire numbers meaning
  • What are the letters on a tire?
  • What do the words mean on a tire?

By going over, “What do tire numbers mean?” and helping you discover all the definitions of the words and letters, you’ll be shopping for the right set of tires in no time. Don’t forget, you can also browse through our other car maintenance tips to continue to keep your vehicle in excellent shape!

What Do the Tire Numbers, Letters, & Words Mean?

While there are many different kinds of tires available, they typically all follow a similar pattern. To help you learn how to read a tire sidewall, we’re going to specifically look at the Bridgestone Potenza RE040 tires in the 205/50VR15 85V specifications. Take a look at the sidewall of your tires and you’ll notice a set of words followed by numbers and letters. But, what does it all mean? Using our example, let’s find out below:

Example: Bridgestone Potenza RE040 205/50VR15 85V

  • Brand: The first word, “Bridgestone” is the manufacturer or brand of the tire. These tires are from Bridgestone in this case.
  • Series: Under the Bridgestone brand, you’ll find a series of different tires. The series in this case is the Potenza set of tires. In a series of tires, they’ll all provide similar handling characteristics.
  • Model: The model would be the RE040 moniker. RE040 refers to the specific model within the Bridgestone Potenza lineup of tires.
  • Width: So, what do the tire numbers mean? Now that you know these are Bridgestone Potenza RE040 tires, you’ll find that there are different sizes for this specific model of tires. The first number, “205” refers to the width of the tires in millimeters.
  • Aspect Ratio: The second number, “50” refers to the aspect ratio of the tire. This is the height of the tire’s with, or its profile, from the rim to the tread. The aspect ratio is expressed as a percentage of the tread width.
  • Speed Rating: After the aspect ratio, “V” is related to the speed rating of the tire. Certain tires have a maximum top-speed rating allowable for testing purposes and the V rating can reach up to 149 mph. Different letters refer to different speed ratings.
  • Wheel Size: The next set of numbers and letters, “R15” means that the tire can fit a 15-inch wheel. Similarly, R18 would mean that the tire can fit an 18-inch wheel.
  • Load Rating: Tires have a maximum load-carrying capacity. In simple terms, some tires have the ability to carry more weight than others. “85V” means the tire is rated at 1,135 pounds. To determine the maximum safe loaded vehicle weight (including people, cargo, full tank of gas, etc.), multiply the load rating by the number of tires on the car.

If you would like more information about the tires on your Glendale daily driver, or you’re looking for used car lot sales in Phoenix, Cactus Jack’s Auto is the best car dealer in Phoenix. Need to know how to remove stickers from a car? We’ve got you covered there, too!

Get More Automotive Tips at Cactus Jack's Auto!

Whether you’re buying a car or finding out the tire numbers meaning, we’re here to help at Cactus Jack's Auto. We have multiple dealership locations available for you to visit and a friendly staff that’s ready to assist. We’re a family-owned business that provides customers with poor credit a chance to drive away in a great used car thanks to our Bad Credit Auto Loans! With unmatched buy here pay here financing, we’re sure to get you driving around Phoenix in your dream car in no time. Learn more about us and how we can help you with all your automotive needs today!

Image courtesy of Khunaspix-

Cactus Jack's Auto 33.5101018, -112.1115231.