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The sidewall - tyre sizes and symbols explained

The writing and symbols on the sidewall of your tyre aren’t there simply to make it look good, they all tell you something about the specification of the tyre. That includes the speed at which the tyre can safely be used, the loads it can carry, its width, which way round to mount it on the wheel, where it’s made and what safety standards it’s passed. At first glance you might think all that information is hidden away in secret code, but if you follow our easy-to-use guide, you’ll see that there’s really no great mystery. 

Load index and speed symbols

The side wall

Stopping Distance Chart

It takes longer to stop with reduced tread on wet roads

Stopping Distances Chart

Source: Tests were carried out by independent experts, the Motor Industry Research Association, in 2003 and 2004 on four different vehicles: a mid-range family hatchback, an MPV, executive saloon and a high performance saloon car. Depth of water controlled to 0.5mm to 1.5mm, on an asphalt road surface. Maximum braking force applied from a speed of 50mph. Tyres were tested at four different tread depths – 8mm (new), 5mm, 3mm and 1.6mm.

 

Tyre Construction

Tyre Construction