Tyre Speed Ratings and What They Mean.
Tyre speed ratings are the maximum speed a tyre can safely operate at.
When you’re shopping for tyres, you’re likely to come across a lot of unfamiliar terminology, like Tyre Speed Ratings. In this blog post, we’ll demystify one of the most common—tyre speed ratings.
Read on to learn more about tyre speed ratings and what they mean for you and your vehicle.
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Tyre Speed Ratings Explained
Tyre speed ratings are symbols that indicate the maximum speed a tyre can handle. They were developed as a way to match tyres with vehicles based on their top speeds. The faster a vehicle can go, the higher its tyre speed rating needs to be.
You’ll find the tyre speed rating on the sidewall of every tyre. The rating is represented by a letter—the higher the letter, the higher the speed the tyre is rated for.
Here’s a quick tyre speed rating chart for the most common tyre speed ratings:
|Symbol Speed||Speed (km/h)||Speed (mph)|
Also there is Speed Code “Z” Z is for speeds over 186 mph (300+km/h).
These are specially designed high performance tyres used only on racing cars or very high end sports cars. You definitely won’t find these on a family sedan!
How do you know what your tyre speed rating is?
The tyre speed rating is a piece of information that’s moulded into the tyre sidewall.
There’s lots of information here – including sizes, along with tyre load and speed ratings.
We’ve explained how tyre sizes work in another blog – but spotting different speed ratings is fairly easy. Basically, you just need to look for a letter after the size information.
Load and speed rating are often printed together. At this stage, you don’t worry about the load rating – also referred to as the ‘load index’ or ‘maximum load carrying capacity’. Tyres that are suitable for your car will almost always have the correct load capacity – and all our tyre workshops will make sure that the tyre load rating is suitable for your vehicle.
Does it matter if I have a higher speed rated tyre on my car?
Don’t panic if you’ve got tyres on your car that are capable of doing much more speed than you ever will! It’s extremely unlikely that you’re going to be doing 270km/h on your way to work – but a tyre that’s capable of this will be just as good at keeping your safe at legal speeds!
Generally, tyres are capable of much higher speeds than you’ll ever reach.
What’s the recommended speed rating for my car?
Now that you know more about tyre speed ratings, you can make an informed decision when shopping for new tyres.
Keep in mind that even if your vehicle is capable of reaching high speeds, you shouldn’t necessarily buy tyres with a higher speed rating. Instead, choose tyres that will provide a good balance of performance and safety for the way you typically use your vehicle.
If you’re not sure what tyre speed rating to aim for, why not use Auto Hero to talk to trustworthy local tyre shops near you? There’s never any obligation to buy – just great service and expert advice.
Matt is the founder of Autohero.com.au and has been hooked on cars and repairs ever since childhood. A veteran in automotive since leaving school, Matt has completed his trade as a panel beater and is across all things with wheels.
His first car was a 1967 FORD XR Wagon followed by a string of collectable Holden’s.
Have a question for Matt? leave a comment below.