Know Thy Tyres!

Using the right tyres on your vehicle lets you realize significant fuel savings.

On the sidewall of your tyres, you will find a set of numbers and letters that indicate the size of the tyre and some performance ratings. These figures are actually very helpful, especially if you understand what they mean. If, for example, you see the figures P195/55R16 94VM+S, here’s what they mean:

  • P is the type of tyre. “P” indicates that the tyre is for a passenger car. If it says “LT” then it’s intended for light trucks. SUV’s are not required to use LT tyres, especially if they won’t be used to haul heavy weights.
  • 195 is the width of the tyre tread in millimeters.
  • 55 is the aspect ratio; the ratio of the sidewall to the width.
  • R indicates radial construction.
  • 16 is the diameter of the rim, in inches.
  • 94 is the tyre’s load rating.
  • V indicates the tyre’s speed rating, or the highest sustainable speed. “V” corresponds to 149 mph. Other ratings are “S” (112 mph), “T” (118 mph), and “H” (130 mph). The speed rating is an important indicator of how well the tyre can dissipate heat. The higher the rating, the more efficient it is at handling heat.
  • M+S means the tyre is suitable for all-season driving. “M” is for mud, and “S” stands for snow.
Being able to determine how a tyre is likely to perform is very important and a key factor in choosing the right one for your vehicle.

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