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Guide to reading the Tires codes

Tires, all look the same but really are not.

Tires 235/55 R17 99W orĀ 205/55 R13 91H? What do they want never mean these codes, and where can we find them?

For more information on your tires just consult the user manual of the vehicle or the vehicle registration document.

However, the most practical solution is that of reading those codes that are on the tire shoulder, printed directly on the rubber.

These codes are not progressive or invented numbers, have a specific meaning and precisely identify the tire on which printer.

Analyze the code and explain the parts of which it is composed

Example code:

205/55 R16 91H

Parts of the code:

[205]/[55] [R][16] [91][H]


[width] / [height] [tires type] [diameter of the circle] [load index] [speed code]


The first issue that we see [205] indicates the width of the tire in millimeters. Usually values between 125 and 335.


The second number, preceded by “/” indicates the tire height. However, this value is expressed as a percentage of the width.

tire type

The letter that we find immediately after the height, the most common is “R”, therefore represents the type of tire construction. “R” means radial, “ZR” Suitable for high speeds, “RF” indicates Run Flat.

Circle diameter

The number immediately after the type of tire indicates the tire diameter, more precisely the inner circle. This value is expressed in inches. olitamente values between 10 and 23 inches for cars.

Load index

The last number indicates the maximum value transported by each tire. This value is related to speed code, without which no abrevve no value.

speed code

The last letter determines, for the tire, the maximum speed at full load. This speed is generally higher than the actual vehicle.

However, there are exceptions for winter tires and for some nations. All this information is widely described in the car’s manual and on the vehicle registration document.