How to Interpret Performance Ratings on New Tires in Riverside, CA

How to Interpret Performance Ratings on New Tires in Riverside, CA

May 28, 2019

Have you ever looked closely at your vehicle’s tires? There’s a lot of information printed on the exterior of these wheels. If you don’t know what you’re looking at, these letters and numbers can seem like a foreign language, yet you need to know what they mean to properly maintain your car. This information is especially important if you ever need to buy new tires in Riverside, CA.

Following is a breakdown of the various ratings you’ll find on old and new tires in Riverside, CA. For questions or additional information about these ratings, contact your local supplier of new tires in Riverside, CA.

Performance Rating

Modern tires are marked with a code to indicate their performance rating. For example, a tire may have the following rating printed on its exterior: P215/65R16 95 H. Let’s break down this label:

  • P – Stands for passenger car.
  • 215 – This is the width of the tire in millimeters.
  • 65 – This is the aspect ratio of the tires, from height to width.
  • R – Radial.
  • 15 – This is the rim diameter code.
  • 95 H – This portion is optional. It is a service description that provides the load index, 95, and the speed, H. Speed ratings include M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, U, H, V, W, and Y. These are based on lab tests that indicate the tire’s road performance.

DOT Compliance

The tires should have a Department of Transportation (DOT) compliance indication somewhere on their exterior. This is usually indicated by “DOT” followed by letters and numbers. The letters and numbers are a serial number for the tire, which includes the week and year in which the tire was manufactured.

Max Load and Inflation

A tire’s ratings also show the maximum load for which it was designed as well as the maximum pressure (psi) to which it should be inflated. It’s important to maintain the recommended inflation for old and new tires in Riverside, CA for safe handling of the vehicle and to avoid blowouts.


Keep in mind that the rating of a tire does not indicate that the vehicle is safe to drive up to the maximum speed allowed by the tire’s rating. Other factors also come into play. Weather and road conditions as well as the overall condition of the vehicle greatly affect the speed at which it should be driven. Always follow appropriate safety precautions, even with brand new tires in Riverside, CA.

Get the Right Rating

When you need new tires in Riverside, CA, consult your vehicle manual to determine the rating that is appropriate for your vehicle. Consult with your local experts at Reliable Tire Center to ensure you choose the best option. When you purchase tires from our team, you not only get the best products, but you get free rotation, balance, and repairs for the life of your tires. With service like this, it’s no surprise we’ve been the area’s go-to source for tires since 1971. Stop by our shop today for new tires in Riverside, CA, or just give us a call to learn more!

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