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Knowing your car’s recommended tyre size is a significant part of making a purchase since it not only concerns the width and height of the tyre but also determines the optimum speed that they can be driven on. However, the alphanumeric code on a tyre’s sidewall can be hard to decipher for most car owners.
To help you make an informed purchase and find the right fit for your vehicle, Tyre Lab breaks down the fundamentals of interpreting a tyre size code.
For better understanding, we will take the example of 205/55 R16 97T.
The first three digits in this code, 205, denote the width of tyre in millimetres. A tyre marked 205 will measure 205mm across both the sidewalls. More the width, greater will be the grip.
The next two digits display height of the sidewall as a percentage of tyre width. In this example, the tyre’s sidewall measures 55% of its width.
The next alphabet ‘R’ represents it is a radial tyre, that is it is engineered with cord piles at an angle of 90 degrees to its direction of motion, to add to its durability.
The number 16, following ‘R’ denotes, diameter of the rim in inches, for which this tyre will be an ideal fit.
The first two digits following the main tyre code constitute additional information on each tyre’s load index. Here, 97 represent the index for maximum load in kilograms that a tyre can support when inflated to its optimum safe pressure level. With an increasing index, the load capacity of a tyre also increases.
The last alphabet in a tyre size code represents the optimum level of speed at which the unit can safely support provided load index. It is a scale of ‘A’ to ‘Y’, with each succeeding letter denoting an increasing value for permissible speed limit in kmph. Here, alphabet ‘T’ corresponds to a maximum value of 160 kmph.
Selecting tyres, matching your vehicle requirements perfectly, is extremely crucial to its optimum performance and safety. A discrepancy in tyre dimensions can affect your car’s overall performance adversely.
So, next time you search for “tyres near me”, take a note of your current car tyre size code beforehand to make a similar purchase.
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