Tyre Sidewalls - What does it all mean?

Tyre sidewalls are a strange creation. Words, acronyms, numbers, letters and symbols adorn the side of each tyre. Fortunately, only a small portion of the sidewall is of any relevance when it comes to replacing a tyre.
tyre sidewall. Image copyright Goodyear Dunlop

Key information - 195/65 r15 91v

195The width of the tyre in MM
65The aspect ratio of the tyre as a percentage of the width. In this case the sidewall is 45% of 205mm, or 92.25mm
RRadial construction, as all modern tyres are
15The size of the wheel in inches
91The load index of the tyre in kgs (see table 1)
VThe speed index of the tyre (see table 2)

Other useful information

E13The E-Marking.
XLDenotes whether the tyre is an extra load version
Date of manufactureThe recommend life for a tyre is around 6 years (depending on storage conditions.) The first 2 numbers in the date code refer to the week the tyre was made, and the 3rd and 4th numbers refer to the year
Rotation directionIf the tyre is directional this shows which way the tyre should rotate when mounted
SideIf the tyre is asymmetric the tyre will have 'inside' or 'outside' printed on the tyre wall, showing which way round it should be mounted on the car.
US Consumer informationTreadwear, traction and temperature are rated on the side walls. These values can only be used as a comparison for tyres within the same brand as there is no common reference between brands.
This Article is part of tyrereviews total tyre guide


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