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Introduction to Tyre Markings
Here at Merityre Specialists we sell a wide range of tyres suitable for almost every kind of vehicle. We know which tyres are suited to which driving conditions, and which manufacturers recommend which tyres. We know all about grip, fuel efficiency and noise levels. But do you know what all of the markings on your tyres mean?
We’ve teamed up with the experts at Michelin to bring you a guide to tyre wall markings.
If you’ve ever wondered what all of the writing on your tyre wall means, this guide will help you to understand the signs and symbols that indicate where your tyre comes from and what its intended use is. The markings on tyre walls are mainly there for two reasons; firstly, to indicate the size and specifications of the tyre, and secondly, to prove that the tyre has passed European and other country safety standards.
At Merityre we can advise you on every aspect of tyre safety, specification and suitability. We stock a wide range of tyres to suit all budgets, from premium tyres to quality budget tyres. Buy your tyres online from us, and chose a convenient time to have them fitted at one of our fitting centres throughout the South East of England.
1. Type of Construction
Nearly all modern tyres are of Radial construction. The radial tyre has replaced the cross ply constructed tyre. Cords in a radial tyre run perpendicular to the direction of travel. They run radially when viewed from the side, which gives the tyre its name.
2. Load Index
This is the numerical code referring to the maximum load the tyre can carry, at the speed indicated by its speed symbol. In this example, the code is 91; therefore the maximum load per tyre is 615kg.
The below table below can be used to find out specific load index details for each code.
|Load Index||Kilograms||Load Index||Kilograms||Load Index||Kilograms|
3. Speed Symbol
The speed symbol is the letter that indicates the maximum speed at which the tyre can carry the load - This corresponds to the Load Capacity Index.
In this example, the symbol is V, therefore the maximum speed is 149mph or 240km/h. Common speed symbols in the UK are ‘S’, ‘T’, ‘H’, ‘V’, ‘W’ and ‘Y’ The below table can be used to find out specific speed ratings for each symbol.
|Speed Symbol||Approx MPH||Approx KM/H|
4. Uniform Tyre Quality Grading Markings
This is required by USA consumer information regulations, but isn’t applicable here in the UK.
5. Country of Manufacture
In this example, made in Great Britain
6. Brand Name
In this example, Energy
7. Location of Tread Wear Indicators
This marking is not on all tyres. Tread wear indicators are moulded into the base of the main tread grooves and are set at the minimum legal depth of 1.6mm. These act as a visual warning when the tyres tread starts to approach the minimum legal depth. On Michelin tyres, a small Michelin man is used instead of “TWI”
8. North American Department of Transportation (DOT) Markings
This is a compliance symbol and identification number, but isn’t applicable here in the UK.
9. Manufacturing Date Code
These numbers represent the week and year the tyre was made. The first two numbers are the week and the second two are the year. In this example, 1607 means the 16th week of 2007.
10. European ECE Type Approval Marks and numbers.
This proves that the tyre has been tested and passed European safety standards. The ‘S’ symbol indicates Sound – which means the tyre complies with EC noise directive.
11. Tyre Construction Details
12. Commercial Name and Identity
In this example, Michelin
13. Max Load/ Pressure Information
This is not to be used for setting pressures. Use the vehicle manufacturer recommended pressures.
14. Indicates exterior sidewall on asymmetric tyres
These are used for fitting purposes only.
15. Tyre Size Designation
This indicates the width, height and construction type of the tyre, and the diameter of the wheel it is designed for. In this example, 205/55 R 16 means:
205 - the nominal width of the tyre’s cross-section in millimetres.
55 - is the ‘aspect ratio’ - the ratio of the sidewall height to the cross-section width which is shown as a percentage.
R - stands for radial construction.
16 - stands for the nominal diameter (in inches) of the wheel rim that the tyre is designed to fit.
If you are in any doubt about the markings on your tyres, or would like advice on anything related to tyres, you can get in touch with one of our experts at your local Merityre Specialists fitting centre.