You’ve bought them numerous times, they carry you to and from places day-in and day-out, but you probably never paid much attention to the markings on your tire. If you’ve even noticed them, you probably just shrugged and thought something along the lines of “Well, they must mean something to the manufacturers, salespeople, or mechanics.” While that is often true, you can gain a good deal of insight into your tires if you understand tire coding and what the markings mean. Consumers can learn such important information like whether their tires are meant for a certain season only (e.g. summer use only), and they can use tire codes to their advantage if they are in the process or replacing tires or purchasing a new vehicle and choosing between several different options of tires.
All that being said, what do those marks mean, exactly?
There are a lot of different markings that can be placed on a tire, but we’ll try to recap the most common/more important codes.
P – This indicates that the tire is mean for a passenger car. This is not always indicated on a tire, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see a ‘P’ marking on your vehicle’s tires. Other marks that are sometimes used to indicate the type of vehicle associated with the tire(s) are C (commercial), T (temporary – like a spare tire), and LT (light truck).
The number preceding the slash – This indicates the tire’s width in millimeters.
The first number after the slash – This indicates the measurement of the tire’s profile. A tire’s profile is the height of its sidewall relative to its width. The measurement the percentage of the sidewall’s aspect ratio.
R – This indicates that the tire is a radial tire.
The number after the R – This indicates the diameter of the rim on which the tire fits, in inches.
The next set of numbers – This indicates the tire’s load and speed ratings.
M + S – This indicates that the tire is an all-season tire, good in both mud and snow.
Tires are actually packed with loads of information, and even more codes if you look closely. In addition to the markings above, you’ll find items like the Uniform Tire Quality Grade and the age/date of manufacture of the tire.
At REA JET we know that tire manufacturers each have unique needs for their production lines. We have a wealth of options for marking tires, and each of our products is a perfect solution for those unique needs. For example, use our large character ink jet printer for traceability of your tires; use the CO2 Laser for permanent marking of rubber sleeves; or use our Spray technology for dot marking on finished tires. Whatever your need may be, we can help.e