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Types of Tires and Their Specifications Explained

Updated on July 9, 2011

Tires are the most integral part of your vehicle and play a major role in safety of you and your car while driving whether it is in city or on highways. Due to advancement in automotives and car tire technology, we can see a lot of latest editions of tires in the market. Below are 5 types of tyres used in cars in Asia, especially India.

  • Basic cross ply tires
  • Radial tyres or radial tube type tires
  • Tubeless tires
  • Run flat tires
  • Slick tyres

Cross ply tire is almost out of fashion now except for being used in old Maruti 800s, Padminis, and Ambassadors. They provide the least grip and are cheaper as well.

Radial tube type is the most common though tubeless tires are replacing them on a fast pace.

Run flat tires are the best but have two disadvantages. First they have a very rigid sidewall so not good at comfort and second very expensive to buy and repair. BMW is only the company which uses only run flats in all their cars.

Top 5 Brands of Tires

Michelin tyres are best
Michelin tyres are best

Important Details of a Tire - Tire Specifications Explained

The sidewall, as I told in my previous article, contains all the information about a tire and you can choose your tire based on that info.

First thing you will notice in a tire is its numerical rating:

195/60/R15, here

  • 195 is the width of the tire in mm.
  • 60 is the tire profile, i.e., the height of the tire from ground is 60% of the tire width.
  • R denotes radial tire
  • 15 is the wheel size.

Just after this info, you will see the load index of the tire denoted by a numeric value. Now you will see the load index. It indicates the maximum load carrying capacity of the tire at the maximum pressure. Normally it is between 60 (250 kg/tire) to 110 (1060 kg/tire). In Indian tires, generally you will see a load index from 85 to 91.

Just after this info, you will see the speed index of the tire denoted by an alphabet

Like 205/55/R15 91 V

Here the V tells the speed rating as up to what speed the tire can handle and don't lose its properties. Here is the speed rating details:

S: means the tire can handle speeds up to 180 kmph

T: means the tire can handle speeds up to 190 kmph

H: means the tire can handle speeds up to 210 kmph

V: means the tyre can handle speeds up to 240 kmph

Z: means the tyre can handle speeds up to 240+ kmph

W: means the tire can handle speeds up to 270 kmph

Y: means the tire can handle speeds up to 300 kmph

Most of the factory fitted tires come with S or T rating. V and W are the most common speed rating of a performance tyre.

Then mounting direction: only in asymmetrical tyres, you will find the word "outside" written as to tell which side has to be outside facing. Then you can also find the date and month of manufacture along with country of manufacture, so these are the details which you can find out from the sidewall of tire.

Info on buying tires online


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    • profile image

      Alwayne jones 4 years ago

      all size tires I want to know for all the cars in dis world.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Definitely will do that Archana. Thanks for the visit. Keep visiting.

    • profile image

      Archana David 5 years ago

      Its really informative... It was great reading it.. I never had so much knowledge about the tires... Please do share more with us.. :)

    • profile image

      A. Tanveer Baig 5 years ago

      great ...!!!! informative and intresting.....!!! i loved reading it..!!

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 7 years ago from New Delhi, India

      It's my pleasure mimind. Thanks for your visit and feedback.

    • mimind profile image

      mimind 7 years ago from THE UNITED STATES

      very helpful thanks for the informative hub