Back to all

The Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Center Tampa (East Fletcher Ave) Guide to Tire Specs

February 17, 2019

You know you need new tires, but you're not sure what type. You look at a tire to get the size: 225, 50, R, 16, 92, H. All the way to the Tampa service center you keep repeating it over and over. You even say it over in your mind while waiting in line. Then you get to the counter and the manager asks what size you need. Then your mind goes blank.

Tire size can be confusing for many Tampa drivers. There's so much on the side of the tire, and it's hard to keep straight.

Even though there's a lot on a tire - if you know what it all means, it's actually more helpful than confusing for Tampa tire shoppers. Let's start with the size number.

For example, let's say a tire reads: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The 225 part is the width of the tire in millimeters - the width between the sidewalls of an inflated tire with no load. The 50 is the aspect ratio - the ratio of the sidewall height to the tread width. Off-road tires will have a higher number and high performance tires will have a lower number.

The R signifies it's a radial tire. And 16 is the rim or wheel size in inches.

The 92 is the load rating index - it's the load carrying capacity of a tire. The higher the number, the more it can safely carry. Your empty vehicle can be safe with a lower number, but you'll need a higher rating if you routinely haul heavy loads around Tampa. The next letter is the speed rating. Not all tires sold in Tampa are speed rated. The ratings generally follow the alphabet: the further up the alphabet, the higher the speed rating - with the exception of H - it comes between U and V (don't ask why).

There's a lot of fine print that most Tampa area drivers probably need a magnifying glass to read. But there are a couple of other large print items of interest. One is the tread type: highway, mud and snow, all season, severe snow, etc.

And then there are the Uniform Tire Quality Grading System markings. The first is a tread wear index. 100 is the base line - a lower number is poorer and a higher number is better. All things being equal, a tire rated 200 would wear twice as long, on a government test track, than one rated at 100. These wear grades are only valid within the manufacturers product line - you can't compare with others. And it's important to note that a lower rating might be just what you want - a high performance, sticky tire has a softer rubber compound and won't wear as long, but boy, will it take those corners on twisting FL roads.

The next is a traction grade. This measures the tire's ability to stop on wet pavement in government tests. A - the best, B - intermediate, C - acceptable.

Temperature grade measures a tire's resistance to heat buildup in government tests. A, B and C - from best to acceptable.

It's safe for Tampa drivers to go with the vehicle manufacturers original equipment recommendations that came on your car. But if you want to make adjustments, you'll now be better equipped to communicate with your friendly and knowledgeable Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Center Tampa (East Fletcher Ave) tire professional.

Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Center Tampa (East Fletcher Ave)
1130 East Fletcher Ave
Tampa, FL 33612
813-980-0792
http://www.tuffyfletcher.com

 

More articles from Tuffy Fletcher

Greeted by a Screech (Loud Noise when Starting Vehicle)

September 19, 2021

No one likes to be greeted in the morning by having someone screech at you. The same goes for a loud, high-pitched noise your vehicle greets you with every time you start the engine. If you're wondering if that's normal, no, it isn't. And it is worth getting checked out. The good news is that... More

Low Power Mystery (Ignition Coil Service)

September 12, 2021

It's no fun when your vehicle just doesn't run the way it used to. You may notice (especially in cold weather) the engine won't start easily or when it does start, it doesn't run smoothly. It may not have much power at all. You also may have had to stop at the gas station more often, a sign you... More

Tampa Air Conditioning Service

September 5, 2021

Working up a sweat is a great thing to do in a gym around Tampa, but not in your vehicle. When Tampa residents' vehicle AC Systems have a problem, they'll often feel it right away. The question is, how long do you put up with it? You know, the old comfort versus cost dilemma. But a more comfortab... More