So it’s time to buy tires? You call a few shops and one of the first questions they ask is “What size?” A seemingly simple question yet you’ll soon find out it’s much more complex than small, medium or large. The first thing you need to find is the tire size for your vehicle. You can refer to your owner’s manual or the tag on the door pillar for recommended tire size and inflation. You’ll also be able to find the tire size of your current set by looking at the sidewall of your tire.
SUVs and Trucks Require Different Types of Tires
Consideration to the type of vehicle you drive is a large part of getting the right tire. A car will require a different tire than an SUV, and an SUV will need a different tire than a truck. To understand what classification your vehicle falls under there are some simple indicators, if the letter “P” is in front of your tire size it refers to Passenger Tire and is meant for Passenger Vehicles such as a Car or SUV. The letters “LT” before or just after the tire size refers to Light Truck. Truck tires – due to load capacities – generally require higher inflation pressures.
What About All Those Other Numbers?
If you’ve ever looked at the sidewall of a tire, you’ll notice plenty of numbers and letters. Let’s find out what they mean using the example P215/65 R15. As stated above the “P” means Passenger Vehicle, now let’s find out about the rest:
- 215: Tire width is measured in millimetres – sidewall to sidewall – thus, a tire that is a P215/65 R15 is 215 millimetres wide – approximately 8.5 inches.
- 65: The aspect ratio – the 65 after the / represents the height of the tire’s cross-section (where the tread is) to its width. Referring back to our example, the tire size is P215/65 R15. The 65 means the height of the tire is 65% of the tire’s width. The higher the aspect ratio, the larger the tire’s sidewall.
- R: The letter “R” in the tire size refers to radial, and the term “radial” means that layers of metal weave or fibreglass are running radially – going from the centre outward or from the circumference inward along a radius. A little technical, right, but understand that tires with “R” result in a superior quality.
- 15: Wheel diameter is determined by measuring the distance from one side of the wheel to the other, through the centre point. A tire that is a P215/65 R15 is designed to fit a wheel (rim) that is 15 inches in diameter.
Lastly, not all tires are created equal, nor is every tire applicable to every vehicle. There are several exceptional tire brands on the market, and generally, each has an entry-level, mid-range and high-end tire option. For example, if you think of automotive brands Nissan versus Lexus, it’s the same idea.
If this all seems a bit too technical, not to worry. The tire experts in our Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centre will help you find the right tire for your vehicle at the best possible price, you can click here to request a quote. We stock every major tire brand with sizes to fit every make and model of vehicle. And when it comes to price, we won’t be beat. You’ve got our Price Match Promise. Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centre is conveniently located next to Drayton Valley Ford.