What Do Tire Numbers Mean?

What Do Tire Numbers Mean?

Have you ever checked the tires on your Mitsubishi vehicle? Perhaps you’d like to order newer tires from our Buffalo Parts Center? You’ve more than likely seen the combination of numbers and letters on the sidewall.


So you’re most likely wondering, “What do the numbers on tires mean?” This code represents the type, size, and specific performance purpose of the tire. Find out more about tire number meaning and which type is right for your Williamsville and Clarence commute with the experts at Basil Mitsubishi below!

What Do the Numbers on Tires Mean? A Breakdown

So, what do tire numbers mean, really? A tire’s code consists of numbers and letters to indicate to our Basil Mitsubishi Service technicians what speed rating, load index, size, and type of tire your vehicle needs for optimal performance. For example, P215/65R15 95H may seem like little more than utter nonsense to a novice tire shopper. However, each section of the code represents a piece of information as to what 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 lightweight pickup trucks. If the tire does not have a letter preceding the code, it is a European-style tire, or Euro-Metric tire, which has different load capacities.
  • Decoding “215”: Following the “P” is the “215” number, 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.” A tire’s ratio is 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”: Finally, we have “95H,” which is the 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.

Are Winter Tires Different from Regular Tires?

It’s important to have a solid understanding of the meaning of tire numbers. However, as a Buffalo driver, it’s even more important to have a solid understanding of the importance of winter tires. Winter tires differ from run-of-the-mill tires, in that their narrow design is better suited for extreme conditions as they provide higher surface pressure against the road. Narrow tires also work better than wider ones in the loose snow and slush of the greater Amherst area.

Get the Best Service in Buffalo at Basil Mitsubishi

Our Basil Mitsubishi service experts were more than happy to answer the question, “What do tire numbers mean?” We’re also standing by if you’re ever in need of new tires, require a replacement, or need any other maintenance conducted on your Mitsubishi car, truck, or SUV. Just schedule a service appointment at our Buffalo Auto Center, and we’ll handle the rest!


More from Basil Mitsubishi

  • Best Used Hybrid & Electric Cars

    As more and more drivers have discovered, choosing an electric or hybrid car means that you’ll enjoy more than just impressive efficiency. These types of vehicles provide seamless power delivery and smooth acceleration for a truly serene ride. Combined with the fact that you’ll be spending less time and money at the gas station, it’s…

  • Basil Toyota Named One of 2018 Automotive News’ Best Dealerships to Work For

    Basil Toyota was named one of the 2018 Automotive News Best Dealerships to Work For. This is the seventh year that Automotive News has partnered with Best Companies Group to identify 100 dealerships in the U.S. and Canada that have excelled in creating quality workplaces for employees. The program measured workplace satisfaction through a confidential…

  • A look at the Chevy Bolt

    Summer is just around the corner which means gas prices are gonna rise a bit as well, but you can stop worrying about that by buying an electric car. The problem with an electric vehicle (EV), is that you need a car that can get you from point A to point B without dying halfway…

Basil Mitsubishi 42.954330, -78.697150.