Today we are going to start to explore tire types. A tire size branded on the sidewall tells us a lot about its intended purpose. Most tire sizes begin with letter or letters to identify vehicle type and type of service intended. Today we are going to look at passenger tires.
MAX AIR 35 PSI AND MAX LOAD ON TIRE OF 1609 LBS
If a tire has a P in front of it signifies it is a P metric tire that is designed for cars, minivans, sport utility vehicles and light duty trucks (1/4 and ½ ton trucks). These tires are the most frequently used tires today.
MAX AIR 44 PSI AND A MAX LOAD OF 1653 LBS
If there is not a letter preceding the 3 digit numeric portion of the tire size it is a metric or Euro metric tire. Euro metric being it originated in Europe. Metric tires are primarily used on European cars, vans, and sport utility vehicles as is the P metric tire above. Even though the tires are dimensionally the same, they differ in their loading carrying capacity and max air pressures.
The important thing here to remember is that most tire shops and wholesalers really don’t recognize there is a difference in the tires and sell them all day as being the same. To go a step further, we drop the P in our system when we load the size and description. Just be aware of the difference and remember to never put a tire on a vehicle with a speed rating or max load less than what came on the vehicle as original equipment. (This is more for retailers that actually see the end user than the wholesaler.)
If a tire begins with a T, it signifies that it is a temporary spare (space saver or mini Spare). These tires are just that, to be used as a temporary fix until you get the flat tire fixed or replaced. They usually last 100-200 miles depending on the vehicle they’re used on. Continental, Bridgestone, Goodyear, Yokohama, Kumho, and even Kenda make mini spares. They are made in both radial and non-radial, but 95% of what is on the market is radial. Not many companies stock the mini spares.