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How to read your tyre size

Learn how to understand your tyre markings to get your tyre right!

Tyre size & markings explained

Car companies work closely with tyre manufacturers to select the best tyres that meet their performance standards. Your new car came with tyres specifically designed for it. These tyres are known as OEM tyres, which stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer.

Replacement tyres with the same specs as your OEM ones give you the best braking, handling, steering, stability, and acceleration, and guarantee a boost in fuel economy.

Just a friendly heads-up:  Tyres of a different size could make your vehicle un-roadworthy, so if you’re considering getting new tyres, it’s essential to know how to check their size.

How To Read Your Tyres

Tyre Size & Markings Explained

Understanding your tyre size

Take a close look at the sidewall of your tyre. You’ll notice little markings that contain important information about your tyre. It appears in this order: width, profile or aspect ratio, construction type, rim size, load and speed index. We’ll go through them one by one.

Tyre Width or Section Width

Aspect Ratio or Profile

Tyre construction

Rim diameter

Load index or load rating

Speed Index or Speed Rating

Understanding tyre speed symbols

The Speed Index is the last letter on your tyre. It’s a code that sits alongside the Load Index and shows
the maximum speed your tyre can handle before it starts to fail. Each letter corresponds to a specific speed
See table below for passenger tyre speed symbol ratings.

Speed Symbol Rating (km/h) Speed Symbol Rating (km/h)
E 70 R 170
F 80 S 180
G 90 T 190
J 100 U 200
K 110 H 210
L 120 V 240
M 130 W 270
N 140 Y 300
P 150 Z 240+
Q 160

Understanding tyre load & speed index

Load indicates the maximum weight that your tyre can safely handle at full speed. Keep in mind that this depends on the
tyre being in good condition, properly installed, and inflated to the recommended pressure.
See table below for load index and the maximum load per tyre.

Load Index Max Load (kg) Load Index Max Load (kg) Load Index Max Load (kg) Load Index Max Load (kg) Load Index Max Load (kg) Load Index Max Load (kg)
60 250 85 515 110 1060 135 2180 160 4500 185 9250
61 257 86 530 111 1090 136 2240 161 4625 186 9500
62 265 87 545 112 1120 137 2300 162 4720 187 9750
63 272 88 560 113 1150 138 2360 163 4875 188 10000
64 280 89 580 114 1180 139 2430 164 5000 189 10300

Understanding tyre abbreviations

Tyres may have extra letters and numbers:
To convey important information such as the size and specifications of the tyre.
To prove the tyre has passed necessary safety standards.

Understanding Tyre Abbreviations


  • OD – The overall diameter of your unloaded tyre in mm
  • RFT – Run Flat Technology
  • MOE – Mercedes Original Equipment
  • LRR – Low Rolling Resistance
  • RBT – Raised Black Letters Tubeless
  • OWT – Outline White Letters Tubeless
  • RWT – Raised White Letters Tubeless
  • LWT – Line White Tubeless
  • TT – Tube Type
  • TL – Tubeless
  • XL – Extra Load
  • LT – Light Truck construction
  • N* – Porsche specification
  • ☆ – BMW spec

Understanding other text on your tyres

Brand name

The brand who manufactured the tyre will be displayed clearly. This is often the largest piece of writing on the tyre.

Tread pattern name

Tyre manufacturers make a number of tyre models. Each model is give a name, which we call the tread pattern. This is located on the sidewall and is usually as large as the brand name.

Country of manufacture

This indicates where the tyre was made. Tyres are made in factories in many countries around the globe.

Tread wear indicators

Tread wear indicators will be situated in the grooves of the tyre rather than on the tyre sidewall. They may be in the form of the letters, a small image/logo or other markings. the tread wear indicators may only be visible when the tyre tread is close to approaching the legal minimum depth of 1.5mm. Not all tyres have tread wear indicators – so it is important you frequently check your tyre tread depth or visit your local Tyreright store for a FREE tyre safety check.

Manufacturing date code

Displayed as four numbers, it provides information on when the tyre was manufactured. For instance 2219. In this example, it would mean the tyre was manufactured in the 22nd week of 2019.  It is recommended that tyres older than 5 years be inspected as rubber compounds can start to break down and the integrity of the tyre may become compromised. It’s best to get a FREE tyre safety check from your local Tyreright store if you have any concerns.


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