Tyre Markings

Understanding Tyre Markings: Your Guide to Making Informed Choices

Tyre Markings

Tyre markings, typically situated on the sidewall, serve as a vital source of information for vehicle owners. These abbreviated symbols encompass crucial details about load index, speed rating, and manufacturing date, among others. By understanding these markings, motorists can make informed decisions when selecting tyres tailored to their specific driving preferences, vehicle specifications, and safety requirements. Whether it’s choosing tyres optimised for speed and performance or prioritising load capacity for heavy-duty applications, decoding these markings empowers individuals to optimise their driving experience and ensure maximum safety on the road.

Tyre Markings: Speed, Load, Date and Other Markings

Speed Symbols 

Tyres are marked with codes indicating their load-carrying and maximum speed capabilities. The speed symbol denotes the highest speed at which the tyre can carry the load corresponding to its load index. For instance:

  • Tyres labelled ‘VR’ are engineered for speeds exceeding 131 mph.
  • ‘ZR’ markings signify tyres designed for speeds surpassing 149 mph.
  • ‘V’ designation, alongside a load index (e.g., 93V), indicates suitability for speeds between 131 mph and 149 mph.
  • Tyres with ‘W’ and ‘Y’ symbols, such as 83W and 83Y, are rated for speeds from 149 mph up to 186 mph and beyond. The load index is adjusted accordingly, ensuring safety at high speeds.

Note: Tyres with a ‘W’ speed symbol may include ‘ZR’ in the size marking. Additionally, when the service description is enclosed in brackets (e.g., 95Y), it signifies tyres suitable for speeds over 186 mph. Understanding these symbols ensures optimal tyre selection for safe and efficient driving experiences.

Load Index Markings 

The load index serves as a numerical representation of a tyre’s maximum load capacity, designed to withstand the demands of driving conditions specified by the manufacturer. 

For instance, in the load index and speed symbol combination like “91H,” “91” denotes the load index, indicating a maximum load per tyre of 615kg, while “H” represents the speed symbol, signifying a maximum speed of approximately 210 km/h or 131 mph. These indices, often referred to as the Service Description, are crucial for determining a tyre’s suitability for various vehicles and driving scenarios. 

Additionally, tyres labelled as “Extra Load” (XL) or “Reinforced” (Reinf) possess enhanced load ratings beyond standard specifications, ensuring greater resilience and durability in demanding conditions.

Date Codes 

Determine the manufacturing date of your tyres by locating the alphanumeric code on the sidewall. For instance, ‘0223’ indicates production in January 2023. This information is crucial for assessing tyre age and performance.

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