What do the tire markings mean?

One of the main parameters that you need to pay attention to when buying tires for your car is their dimension. Which is indicated on the sidewall in the form, for example, 185/55 R15.

"185" is the width of the tire in millimeters. The two-digit number following it after the slash (in our case, 55) is mistaken by many for the height of the profile in millimeters. In fact, this is the ratio of the tire profile height to its width. And it is measured as a percentage.

• In practice, this means that of the two tires - 185/55 R15 and 195/55 R15 - the second is not only 10 mm wider, but also taller than the first. And often installing it instead of the first is impossible. To find out, you need to check the vehicle manual for the range of tire sizes suitable for this particular model.

• The letter "R" indicates that the tire has a radial cord construction. Diagonal tires ("D") are practically not used on cars these days, since their adhesion properties are extremely low in comparison with radial ones.

• The next number (in our case - 15) indicates the landing diameter of the tire on the disc. Thus the R15 is a 15 "radial tire, not a 15" radius tire as many people mistakenly believe.

• After the landing diameter of the tire, the load and speed indices are indicated: for example, 82V. In this case, “82” means that the tire is designed for a maximum load of 475 kg, the letter V means a speed of 240 km / h. Other common speed indices: R (170 km / h), S (180 km / h), T (190 km / h), U (200 km / h), H (210 km / h).

• In addition to these parameters, various additional information is indicated on the sidewalls of the tires.

• So, the word Tubeless means a tubeless tire. Tube Type, on the other hand, indicates that the tire should only be used with a tube.

• On tires with a directional tread pattern, the direction of rotation of the wheel is indicated by the word Rotation and the corresponding arrow. In the case of asymmetric tires, the outer and inner sides (respectively, Outside and Inside) are marked on their sidewalls.

• The umbrella-shaped pictogram and the words Aqua, Water, Rain indicate the so-called "rain" tires designed for driving in the rain or on wet asphalt. "Snowflake" refers to winter tires; All-season tires are labeled with the phrase All Season or the abbreviation AS. AW (All Weather) - tires for any weather.

• The abbreviation “M + S” stands for “Mud and Snow”, which means that this tire is winter or all-season. On the other hand, the “M&S” badge on SUV tires means the tire offers increased flotation.

• Reinforced tires are designated by the abbreviation XL (Extra Load) or the word Reinforced or the letters RF in the standard size.

• On the oval stamp at the bottom of the sidewalls of the tire, the date of its manufacture is indicated in the form of a three- or four-digit code. Tires manufactured after 2000 are marked with a four-digit code, and older ones with a three-digit code.

• The first two digits indicate the week of production, the last two are the year. Marking 2106, therefore, means that the tire was released in May 2006.

• In the case of tires manufactured before 2000, the principle is the same, but there is a nuance. The year of production is indicated by one digit. And you can understand whether we are talking about the 90s or 80s by the presence or absence of a space after the last digit. For example, * 117 * indicates 1987, * 117 * or * 117 * - 1997.

• Is it possible to buy tires that are two, three or more years old? It is possible if they have a normal residual tread depth and if the tires do not show signs of aging.

• It is possible to determine whether the tire is "aged" by the condition of the rubber on the sidewall and between the "checkers" of the tread. The main signs of aging are small cracks and a pale gray (in advanced cases - up to whitish) color of rubber instead of normal black. If these signs are present, it is better to refuse to buy such tires. If they appear on your own tires, you need to change them, even if the tread has not yet worn out.

• Let's deal now with some issues of seasonal storage of tires. First and foremost, before leaving tires anywhere for the next season, they must be washed. This is especially true for winter tires: if salt or anti-icing agents remain on them, the rubber and wheel can be severely "damaged" over the summer.

• Tires must not be kept outdoors for more than a month and must not be exposed to direct sunlight. Otherwise, the rubber will become unnecessarily hard (as a result - loss of grip properties), or even crack at all. That is why it is not recommended to keep tires on the balcony, especially without special sealed bags.

• It is recommended to store tires in a dry, dark place. One of the ideal places is a garage (but not a "shell"). The main thing is that there are no leaks in it and there is good ventilation.

• Tires without discs must be stored "standing". Moreover, from time to time they need to be scrolled a little in order to avoid deformation.

• If the tires are on disks, they must be folded horizontally on top of each other or suspended on brackets.

• In any case, it is desirable that the temperature in the room is relatively constant, ideally approximately + 10 ° - + 15 ° C. The distance to heating devices should be at least one meter.

• Finally, why it is important to observe the rules of seasonal tire storage. Firstly, it will avoid premature aging of tires, while tires from the best manufacturers, if properly used and stored, can last up to 10 years without serious loss of performance. Secondly, improper storage of tires can lead to deformation, and this will create an increased load on the chassis of the car or even cause the wheel to run out with all the consequences.

- In general, store the rubber correctly and good luck on the road!