What Do Tire Numbers Mean?

Closeup of Tire Numbers with Wheel Rim


If you’ve ever glanced at your tires or had to order new ones from your local Crete parts shop, you’ve probably seen an odd combination of numbers and letters on the sidewall. You may be curious, however, about “what do tire numbers mean?” This code is an indication of the size and type of tire and the particular performance purpose. If you need new tires and you are trying to determine which ones to get, or you are just wondering what the numbers on tires mean, keep reading in this guide from Sid Dillon Hyundai.

What Do the Numbers on Tires Mean?

Determining a tire number meaning simply requires looking at the code, and learning about the size, load index, speed rating, and type of tire your vehicle needs for maximum performance. Use this code as an example for assessing your own Omaha tires code:

Example: P215/65R15 95H

While it may seem like gibberish, each section of code represents a piece of information to correctly identify the type of tire it is.

Decoding “P”

The “P” stands for “P-Metric tire,” meaning that it is used for passenger vehicles. If your tires read “LT,” this stands for “light truck,” and the tire is intended for light-weight pickup trucks. If the tire does not have a letter preceding the code, it is a European style tire, or Euro-Metric tire, which have different load capacities.

Decoding “215”

What do the numbers on tires mean? Following the “P” is the number “215”, which stands for tire width in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall. So in our example, the width of this tire is 215 millimeters.

Decoding “65”

After the forward-slash comes the aspect ratio code, indicated in our example by “65.” This tire number meaning is the ratio of the height of the tire’s cross-section to its width, so in our example, this tire has an aspect ratio where its height is equal to 65% of the tire’s width. The bigger the aspect ratio, the bigger the sidewalls will be.

Decoding “R”

The “R” indicates the tire’s construction, with “R” representing that it’s a radial.

Decoding “15”

“15” indicates the wheel size from one end to the other, which informs us of what tire can fit on this particular wheel. This code tells us that this tire is meant for a 15-inch wheel.

Decoding “95H”

At the end of the code is “95H,” which has a tire number meaning load index and speed rating for the tire. The load index (“95” in this instance) indicates how much weight the tire can support when it’s properly inflated, and can range from 75-105 for passenger vehicles. “H” represents the speed rating, which is how fast the tire can safely go based on its load capacity. This rating is ranked from A-Z, and with our example, a tire with an “H” rating can reach a maximum speed of 130 mph.

What Do the Numbers on Tires Mean: How to Check Tire Pressure 

No matter the size of your car’s tires, the best way to keep them operating at optimal performance on Crete roads is to have them properly inflated. You can check your vehicle’s tire pressure quickly and easily. Most new vehicles have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that is constantly monitoring them for you. If your tires are over-or under-inflated, you’ll receive a notification from the TPMS. Then you can go to a gas station near Seward to top-off the air in the tires, or we’ll do it for you when you come in for a service visit! 

Turn to Sid Dillon Hyundai for All Your Maintenance Needs

Now that you know the answer to the question, “what do tire numbers mean?” You can come to Sid Dillon Hyundai if you need new tires, brakes, or your regularly scheduled oil change! Complete this secure schedule service form to make an appointment in Lincoln. If you have any questions, contact us online.

Sid Dillon Hyundai 40.7364343, -96.6867297.