Here’s how you can interpret speed ratings of your car tyres
Tyres are one of the most important components of your vehicle as they not only maintain your driving conditions but, also help in proper braking when needed. Even though tyres are of great importance yet, they are neglected. Here at PakWheels, we have written many articles regarding the various aspects of tyres including its safety, maintenance, damaging factors, etc.
Tyre size and their manufacturing dates are two of the most critical aspects especially when you are purchasing the new ones. We have also written about the tyre size; how it is manufactured and sidewalls. But, this time we’ll be focusing more on the information which is printed on the sidewalls of tyres, which will surely help you while getting replacement tyres.
Load rating basically indicates the load which a vehicle can carry at a maximum inflation pressure of 32 psi. The load is mentioned alpha-numerically on the tyre. Mostly, it’s a number written before a single alphabet. You can see in the picture below.
As shown in the figure, the numerical 97 is a load rating of a tyre. This load rating can bear up to 730 kgs load. To get the total load index, multiply the load rating; 97 in this case with the 4 and you’ll get a total load, which tells you that how much weight your car can carry safely. Let’s say if you have a semi-commercial and commercial vehicle, and the rear tyre says 180 then it shows that each tyre of your vehicle can support up to 1000kg. In our local new Toyota Corolla and Honda, we get a 15” Euro Star tyres made by General Tyre Pakistan. This tyre has a load rating of 91 which shows that tyres are safe for up to 615kg of weight. The following chart contains a full load index for your better understanding.
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Now as for speed rating, it is mentioned in Alphabets and is written next to the load index. It tells the safe speed in which you can drive easily and safely without blowing up vehicle’s tyre. Different alphabets represent different speed limits. If the sidewall of tyre says Q then it means a vehicle can be driven safely at up to 160km/h and if its W then the tyre is safe up to the speed of 270 km/h.
The rule is basically that higher the letter is, the higher the speed is and faster you can go. If Z is mentioned on tyres, they are safe for speed around and more than 240km/h. However, the new performance tyres have Y or (Y) letter as their speed rating and thus are safe for traveling over (300+ km/h).
It should be worthy to mention that speed rating and load index work in combination, and when you are buying a new tyre for an old or used car and is thinking of getting an upgraded high-performance tyre, then you should consider these two attributes beforehand before purchasing a tyre.
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