Tyre Markings: EXPLAINED



Here’s a fascinating little fact for you.

One which might win you the odd pub quiz if you’re lucky. Do you know who the world’s largest tyre manufacturer is?


We bet that Lego wasn’t on the tip of your tongue.




Anyway, Tyre Markings....

Now this can be a very confusing area for all of us to grasp.


Not just the tyre novice.


Especially so, if you’re not really a numbers person like the author of this blog. Words, great. Numbers, a bit problematic.


Still, every day’s a learning day here at WCC.


Which is good news for you, as you get to finally understand tyre codes.


Harder to decipher than the Enigma Code at first glance, when explained tyre markings are slightly more straightforward than you might otherwise have thought.




Firstly, Let’s Have A Quick Look At The WHY

The reason is twofold. Firstly to convey important information such as the size and specification of tyres.


And secondly as proof that the tyre has met the necessary safety standards.




But Why Does This Need To Be Written In Hieroglyphics?

A combination of signs and symbols were deemed the most appropriate means by which to present the all-important tyre/rubber compound data. A universal measure, which facilitates instantly recognisable info.


Providing that you received the memo on said info.




So, Here’s Your Timely Memo

Or more specifically, get an idea on what your tyres are telling you.


Beneath we describe the what, why, where, when, which and how when it comes to tyres.


235 - TYRE WIDTH - this refers to tyre width. Indicating the width of tyres from sidewall to sidewall in millimetres.


55 - ASPECT RATIO - this refers to the height of the sidewall, which is denoted in terms of percentage of tyre width. For example, in this illustrative instance, the tyre height is acknowledged as being 55% of its width.


R - TYRE CONSTRUCTION - the letter ‘R’ determines that tyres are of a radial construction. Most tyres manufactured today are this. Alternative construction types might include ‘B’ (bias belt) and ‘D’ (diagonal).


17 - WHEEL DIAMETER - relates directly to the wheel rim size in inches, specific to where the tyre is intended to be fitted to.


99 - LOAD INDEX - a numerical code which signifies the maximum load that a tyre can carry, recorded in kilograms.


W - SPEED RATING - Using the example of the letter ‘W’, the speed rating indicates the maximum speed that a tyre can service whilst transporting its maximum load. Individual letters relate to a recommended maximum speed displayed on the table beneath. For the record, ‘W’ symbolises 168mph.


So, that’s the basics covered.


But the tyre markings story doesn’t end there.




The Writing’s On The Wall. Tyre Wall, That Is


Then there’s the rest of the alpha numericals emblazoned across our tyres.


Which, again, are explained as follows.


There’s the brand or tyre manufacturer’s name to look out for. Usually writ in caps somewhere prominently on the sidewalls, and often repeated for good measure.


Elsewhere you’ll always discover the pattern name. Brands manufacture many different types of automotive rubberwear which incorporate an array of varying patterns.


Meanwhile the country of manufacture is typically plain to see/read on the sidewalls. The same of which can’t be said for tread wear indicators. These tend to be situated in the grooves of tyres, as opposed to sidewalls. Visible by the initial, ‘TWI’, together with a small image, icon, logo or other marking. These only really become apparent to the naked eye once the tyre tread is approaching legal minimum limits.


Which is 1.6mm of tread remaining.

In addition to this, there’s also manufacturing date codes. Pretty self-explanatory, and projected as a string of digits and letters. And is essentially coded info that when translated informs those who need to know when your tyre was manufactured. The last four numbers signifying the actual date of manufacture, so as to identify/confirm age of tyre.


The hypothetical numbers 1119 for instance, would refer to the 11th week of 2019.


And finally. European ECE type approval. Which is statutory when legally considering the testing and subsequent passing of Europe-wide safety standards. The letters acknowledge countries within Europe.




WCC Never Tire Of Fitting The Brands You Want To Your Vehicle

Now you’ve got a greater understanding of tyres, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us should you be requiring replacement tyres in the foreseeable.


At WCC we fit a lot of tyres to our customer’s cars.


While we don’t hold them in stock, we can order most tyre brands depending on your budget for next day delivery, and fitting when convenient after that.




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