Reading A Tire Sidewall

A tire’s sidewall is pretty much what it sounds like – the outer and inner “walls” on the sides of a tire, if facing a tire on its side. Every sidewall has its own unique information that is divided into three main sections:

 

1. Tire Specs

This describes the fundamental characteristics of your tire. Size, construction, speed rating and more.

Tire Type: P
Tire Width: 225
Tire Aspect Ratio: 55%
Tire Construction: Radial
Wheel Diameter: 18
Load Index: 97
Speed Rating: T

2. Department of Transportation Safety Code

This assures that your tire complies with all Department of Transportation (DOT) safety standards. After the DOT insignia is your tire’s identification number, which begins with the tire’s manufacturer and plant code where the tire was manufactured (two numbers or letters). The ninth and tenth characters tell the week the tire was manufactured. The final number(s) signifies the year the tire was manufactured.

 

BFGoodrich sidewall image (DOT).

3. UTQG Code

The Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) was established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to test tires following government prescribed test methods and then grade each tire on three main components:

 

Treadwear: This is the wear rate of the tire, comparable only to other tires within a tire manufacturer’s line. 100 is the baseline grade. Therefore a tire with 200 would theoretically last twice as long on the government’s course compared to a tire with 100.

 

Traction: Traction grades are AA, A, B and C (with AA being the highest grade). They represent the tire’s ability to stop straight on wet pavement as measure on a specified government track. Any tire rated under C is considered unacceptable for road travel.

 

Temperature: The temperature grades, from highest to lowest, are A, B and C. These represent the tire’s ability to dissipate heat under controlled indoor test conditions. Any tire rated below C is considered unacceptable.

 

Close up of BFGoodrich sidewall Treadwear 300.

4. Icons

Some tires have unique benefits, as showcased with specific icons. For example, a Mountain Snowflake symbol tells you that the tire meets or exceeds industry-established snow traction performance requirements.

Although not available online, we may be able to help you find a tire that fits your selection.

Please tell us the year, make and model of the vehicle for which you would like a tire recommendation. Also please let us know which tire features are important to you. Finally, let us know the area of the country where you do most of your driving. This way, we can provide you with our best recommendation.

Please click the "CONTACT US" button below to allow our Consumer Care team to help you find a tire that matches your selectionorview all tire sizes available.

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  • In order to find your vehicle's options please check the following:
- The vehicle's window sticker, or a decal usually located on the side or rear of the vehicle
- The vehicle owner manual
- Your original sales invoice.
  • Your vehicle was manufactured with multiple tire sizes. Please select your size.

    In order to find your vehicle's original equipment tire size please check the following:<br> - The tire placard located on the driver's door jamb<br> - Your owners manual<br> - On the glove compartment door<br> - Inside the fuel hatch or trunk lid <br>  You can also check your existing tire's designation on the sidewall. However, there is no guarantee that these are the original tire size unless they came on the vehicle new<div><img src="/assets/bfg/system/images/contextual-help/R2-Size.png"></div>
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  • Find the exact tire quickly using your tire size. Check your owner's manual or tire sidewall to find the required specifications.

  • This three-digit number represents the width of the tire in millimeters (mm), measured from sidewall to sidewall. Since this measure is affected by the width of the rim, the measurement is done when the tire is on its intended rim size.  <div><img src="/assets/bfg/system/images/contextual-help/R2-width.png" /></div>
  • The aspect ratio is the relationship of a tire's sidewall height to its section width, expressed as a percentage. In this example, the tire sidewall height is approximately 55% of the tire width. The higher the number, the taller the sidewall; the lower the number, the lower the sidewall.<div><img src="/assets/bfg/system/images/contextual-help/R2-aspect.png" /></div>
  • The diameter of the rim in inches.<div><img src="/assets/bfg/system/images/contextual-help/R2-diameter.png" /></div>
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  • If you know the name of the tire are looking for, select the tire from the list below.

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  • All tires fall into certain categories. If you're wanting to do a broad search of our tire lines, use the list below.

  • All tires fall into certain categories. If you're wanting to do a broad search of our tire lines, use the list below.
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