Tag: Tire Speed Rating

Tire Ratings

These are the tire rating codes that you will find on your tires. It is important that you match the right tires with the proper ratings to your vehicle. Check your instruction booklet for the proper tires for your car, truck or SUV ! Using the wrong tires can make your car unstable while driving causing loss of control.

Alternatively, your tire dealer can recommend the proper tires for your car based on speed ratings and manufacturer guidelines. If you chose tires that are not recommended for your car there is a chance of experiencing instability at higher speeds which could lead to an accident. Additionally you may not be able to stop as fast or properly in an extreme breaking situation. Stick with the right tires for your car.

Tire Ratings

  • L 75 mph 120 km/h Off-Road & Light Truck Tires
  • M 81 mph 130 km/h
  • N 87 mph 140km/h Temporary Spare Tires
  • P 93 mph 150 km/h Q 99 mph 160 km/h Studless & Studdable Winter Tires
  • R 106 mph 170 km/h H.D. Light Truck Tires
For higher speeds consider:
  • S 112 mph 180 km/h Family Sedans & Vans
  • T 118 mph 190 km/h Family Sedans & Vans
  • U 124 mph 200 km/h H 130 mph 210 km/h Sport Sedans & Coupes
And even higher speeds, consider:
  • V 149 mph 240 km/h Sport Sedans, Coupes & Sports Cars
  • W 168 mph 270 km/h Exotic Sports Cars
  • Y 186 mph 300 km/h Exotic Sports Cars

I have always wondered about these speed ratings for tires. Who is going to drive at 300 kilometers per hour or 187 miles per hour on North American roads? The roads are not built for these speeds and if you do drive anywhere close to this level, chances are a police car is going to be in hot pursuit. While they may not be able to catch you, they will lay down spike belts somewhere ahead and channel you towards them so that you ruin an extremely expensive set of tires, possibly your car and probably lose your license for a long time or worse end up in jail.

If you happen to be racing on a circuit then yes you need these tires rated for high speeds, but no the average consumer who drives everyday to work or to the corner store for a quart of milk.

Winter Tires

On another topic, consumers also should drive primarily with all season tires in most areas on their vehicles, unless you live in areas were there is a lot of snow, in which case you should plan to install winter tires on your car for the winter. In some jurisdictions, it is a law for residents to have winter tires on their cars during the winter to make it safer for everyone to drive.

The recent winter of 2013 and 2014 has shown what happens when snow and ice hit an area which is not prepared for snow and ice. Everything comes to a standstill and no one can move because they are driving around on bald summer tires, summer tires. If they had all season tires or winter tires, many of these people who are blaming the government for no salt on the roads would have been able to get around much better and would not have been complaining about being on the road for 8 or 10 hours stuck in traffic that could not move. None of the talking heads on the news programs that were reporting these events talked at all about anyone having winter tires on their cars or even anything about tires. You can rest assured that people in the south are not using winter tires no even all season tires on their cars.


How To Select New Tires for Your Car

Having just gone through the trial of selecting new tires for my car and since this is a web site about tires, I thought it would be helpful to write How To Select New Tires for Your Carabout my experience and also some of the criteria that I used to finally decide which tires would be the right ones for my car. Of course we will all use different criteria, but hopefully this list will help readers and you may want to add them to your list. If you do not have one, perhaps this will help you when it comes time to put new rubber on your car.

Select New Tires for Your Car

We will expand on each of the items below:

  • Tire Size
  • Year of Your Car
  • Make
  • Model
  • Engine
  • Speed Rating
  • Road Condition – Mud, Snow, Rain, Seasons
  • Nitrogen
  • Valve Stems
  • TPMS
  • Mileage Warranty
  • Maintaining your Warranty
  • Repair Locations

Tire Size

When you go into see a tire dealer regardless of who it is they will check to make sure that they put the right size of tire on your car as defined by the manufacturer of your car. You can save time and also cross check your dealer if you already know the size of tire that is currently on your car.  My car’s tire size is P215 60 R 16

You can read this off the side wall of the tire and all of your tires on your car should be the same. If not you are going to have problems controlling your car at higher speeds. consult your owner’s manual to find out what tire size should be on your car and compare to what you see on your current tires.

Year – Make – Model – Engine

When you talk to the dealer, they will need to know the year your car was made, the manufacturer of your car , the model and the engine size.  This is the information that is used to select the size of tire from their database and to provide you a cross section of tire manufacturers to choose from.

Make sure you have this information with you when you go into see the tire dealer.

Speed Rating

The above information will also determine the speed rating of the tires that should be on your car.  Most people will never come close to the speed rating for your car or your tires. However you must make sure that you have the right speed rating for your car to ensure that your tires will not over heat and explode at high speed. Again your dealer will confirm this and you should ask him to explain.

Road Condition – Mud, Snow, Rain, Seasons

There are basically three general sets of  conditions that you need to be prepared for. Dry conditions – wet/mud  and ice/snow. Most people will opt for all season tires to allow them to have a good tire that can deal with all of the above conditions. However there are some locations that require snow tires during the winter and will not allow summer or all season tires in the winter time.

If you live in an area were there is a lot of snow, consider using all seasons in the summer and fall and then switch to snow tires for the winter. Traction is much better and you will be much safer as well.

All season tires perform well on plowed roads and wet conditions as long as there is sufficient tread dept.  If you are caught on the road with all season tires with lot’s of snow, pull off or at least go slow so that you can maintain control.

Nitrogen

I have used nitrogen filled tires for the first time over the past two years. Based on my experience, I would recommend using nitrogen filled tires. The gas is more inert and will maintain the tire pressure better than compressed air.

Not all locations will fill your tires with nitrogen and some will charge extra for this service.

Valve Stems

Most tire shops will replace the valve stem each time they replace the tire. This is standard and costs very little. The reason they replace these is to prevent any possible leaks that might crop up due to the current stems weakening from wear and tear.

TPMS

Cars with Tire pressure monitoring systems should not have any problem. The existing units should continue to operate as advertised and should not need replacement unless they have been damaged during removal of the old tire, damaged by the tire going flat while the car is still moving or just age.

Mileage Warranty

The mileage warranty that comes with the tire is basically how far you should be able to drive on your tires given normal average driving. Lower mileage tires are also cheaper as well since they will have less tread depth on them as well.

The mileage warranty you select will depend on how long you plan to keep the car and what your budget can afford at the time. Higher is generally better.

Maintaining your Warranty

The dealer will give you a list of things to do to maintain your warranty. These will include tire pressure maintenance, tire rotation , tire balance  and to ensure that your car is maintained properly to protect your tires. Read the specific requirements and ensure you follow these .

Repair Locations

This was very important for me. You might find cheaper tires at a small garage, but what happens when you are on a trip and need tire repairs immediately. Dealing with a national supplier such as Costco or Wal-Mart guarantees that there is a location not too far away regardless of where you actually are.

In our case I wanted coverage in Canada and the US. I wanted to be able to take advantage of the free tire rotation and balancing for the life of the tires regardless of were we were with the car.

Our next post will be about which Tire Supplier we chose and why!


New Tires for Your Car

new tires for your carAre you as confused as I am when it comes to searching for new tires for your car? There are so many different options and marketing buzzwords that really do not mean anything in the English language. It is tough to make sense out of any of the offers and to compare tires. Lately I have been doing some research online to see what tires fit my car and which ones are recommended for my own car. There is lots of marketing buzzwords to get to know. But it really comes down to price, how many miles they will go before needing replacement and whether they are good all year around or not.

Many / some retailers have their own special tires and this makes it even more difficult to compare. Should you just compare the tires or should you compare the services a retailer offers? These are all factors that consumers must take into account.

New Tires for Your Car – Price

Is price your main criteria, then you will care less about services such as warranty period, service from one store vs. many stores across the country.

Total Value vs. Price

I personally leaning towards the total price including basic services:

  • Installation & balancing
  • Valve stem
  • Tire disposal
  • Life time wheel balancing
  • Tire rotation

I am less interested in extending the warranty. Tires are so good now that you seldom have problems unless you are a wild driver that drives at high speeds.

Type of Tire

I am also looking for a tire that is good in dry conditions, wet conditions and also in mud or snow conditions. I may install snow tires later on, however lately we have not needed snow tires on the car so all season tires are probably ok for my car.

Tires rated for my Car

The tires I am looking for of course must be rated for my car, the load and speed rating of the car and the recommended tire size and type for my car. When you go to the tire dealer they can quickly look up this information and confirm that several tires will meet these requirements.

Price vs. Total Miles Rating

Next it comes down to how many miles you should expect to get out of the tires that you purchase. You can go for low rated tires, say 40k miles for example and pay a lower price. However tires that are rated for 75k or 80 k can be as much as double in price but will last much longer and presumably be much safer on the road as well.

Our Choice

We are going to go for tires that are rated mud and snow, all season, with an 80k rating and a speed rating near the top of what is rated for our car. We are also going to go for tire balancing for as long as we own the car which will include tire rotation and we will not take the extended warranty or sidewall damage warranty. With my type of driving I am not too worried about needing this type of coverage.

Were you Buy

We can purchase tires in Canada or the US and it looks like that we will purchase  the tires in the US this time. The reasons are:

  • Sales tax of 8.75% vs 13%
  • Tire disposal – $1.50 vs. $10.50
  • Tire price – substantially less
  • National provider – Looks like Walmart for the simple reason , they are almost everywhere.

We still have a few places to check prices, however the services and support are important for someone who travels a lot across the country. If you have other areas that we have not thought about please feel free to leave a comment. It will help me as well as our readers.

More information on searching for new tires, click here.

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