Getting new tires

When to get new Tires
May 11, 2016 – 04:52 am
Ocean Tire - 21 Photos - Tires

Retail shops typically have access to computer databases that can provide the right size tire for your car. At the same time, it is a good idea to acquaint yourself with the information printed on your tire's sidewalls.

For example, your tire may say: P225/55R17 95H. The "P" represents passenger tire, the first three numbers are the width of the tire, which is measured from sidewall to sidewall in millimeters.

After the backslash the next two numbers represent the ratio of height to width or what is also known as the aspect ratio. This is represented by the "55" in the tire size above, and indicates that the sidewall's height is equivalent to 55 percent of the tire's width. The "R" stands for radial and the two numbers following represent the diameter of your wheel. Following that is the load index and the speed symbol for the highest safe speed at which these tires can operate.

Tires may also have additional information such as M+S, representing mud, and snow and the name of the manufacturer.

Additional information may also be present, usually a reference symbol such as DOT, which explains that the tire is compliant with the U.S. Department of Transportation tire safety standards. That information typically precedes the main codes for the tire. Following the compliance code is a two-letter code identifying the plant that manufactured the tire. The tire size code number and tire type code will also be listed.

Of notable importance is a four-digit code that completes the sequence. It represents the date of manufacture or what some call the "born on" date for the tires. For instance, tires listed as 4814 were manufactured during the 48th week of 2014 or early December. Keep this number in mind when buying new tires — a newer date is better as tires age even when not fitted to a car.

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