Tips, Guides & Resources For Keeping Your Car Up & Running In Jacksonville FL (2024)

Home>Blog>Tire Speed Rating Codes: What They Mean

September 25, 2020

Tire speed rating codes are one of several important codes to pay attention to when you’re buying new or different tires. Let’s go over what they are, what they mean, whether they’re important and what to choose with our handy speed rating chart.

What does “speed rating” mean on tires?

The speed rating on a tire indicates the fastest speed a tire can handle before it affects the tire’s performance. Lower speed ratings (such as A8 or B) will mean that you won’t have good control or handling of the car at highway speeds. Higher speed ratings, like H or ZR, can handle far beyond a normal highway speed. For example, “H” would translate to a tire that can only handle speeds up to 130 mph (or 210 km/h).

Where is the speed rating located on a tire?

Tips, Guides & Resources For Keeping Your Car Up & Running In Jacksonville FL (1)

You can find a tire’s speed rating on the sidewall, where one will typically see a string of numbers and letters. These are several important codes, such as radial construction, aspect ratio, tire load and speed rating. The speed rating is typically the last letter listed on the sidewall (coming after the load index, which is a number). For example, if you see “M+S 235/45 R18 94V” on the side of the tire, the last letter, V, is your speed rating.

If you can’t find the last letter printed on the sidewall of your tire because it’s worn off or hard to find, you can also find your vehicle’s recommended tire specs in your car’s manual.

What do the letters mean?

Speed ratings go from A1 to Y, with A1 having the lowest rating and Y being the highest, but there are some anomalies. There are eight different A ratings. There are no X, O, or I ratings, and H rating is in the “wrong” place. Also, the ZR rating isn’t truly its own rating, but includes both W- and Y-rated tires. You’ll want to use our chart to find out which letter matches which speed.

Does tire speed rating matter?

Yes, it matters because your speed rating indicates how much heat a tire can handle safely. Not following those guidelines can lead to faster wear on the tread, decreased steering response, decreased stopping power and poor driving capabilities in colder conditions. Tire manufacturers conduct tests to meet the Society of Automotive Engineer’s standards, running the tire for a full hour in a machine in a room that’s heated to 100 degrees. This testing is done in a controlled environment, however, and so many other variables might affect your tire’s safety, like the size of the load, the weather and the wear. Since it can have an impact on your stopping power, a tire’s speed rating is not the tire rating code to ignore.

What are the most common tire speed ratings?

Most commuters and consumers will want either an H, S or T tire. Light trucks may need a tire between the N and T ratings. Sports cars may get better handling with a ZR tire.

  • H-Rated Tires: This is a perfect, average tire for most sedans and commuter vehicles. It might not seem to fit in our chart, but the tire speed rating “H” is rated for up to 130 mph.
  • T-Rated Tires: This tire is often recommended for family sedans and vans. It’s rated for up to 118 mph. That’s well below the speed limit of most states, unless you’re planning on bringing your commuter on the Autobahn.
  • ZR-Rated Tires: The ZR rating (or Z rating) indicates anything above the V rating (168 mph), so it includes both the Y and W speed rating. Sports cars will often get the best handling with these tires.

It’s not necessarily the case that the higher the speed rating, the better the tire; there are exceptions. For instance, many off-roading tires are powerful and girthy, working perfectly in mud and sand, but they might only have a speed rating of L, meaning that you’ll not want to bring those tires on the highway.

Tire Speed Rating Chart

Speed Rating Symbol

Speed (mph)

Speed (km/h)

A1-A8

<25 mph

<40 km/h

B

31 mph

50 km/h

C

37 mph

60 km/h

D

40 mph

65 km/h

E

43 mph

70 km/h

F

50 mph

80 km/h

G

56 mph

90 km/h

J

62 mph

100 km/h

K

68 mph

110 km/h

L

75 mph

120 km/h

M

81 mph

130 km/h

N

87 mph

140 km/h

P

94 mph

150 km/h

Q

100 mph

160 km/h

R

106 mph

170 km/h

S

112 mph

180 km/h

T

118 mph

190 km/h

U

124 mph

200 km/h

H

130 mph

210 km/h

V

149 mph

240 km/h

ZR

Above 168 mph

Above 270 km/h

W

168 mph

270 km/h

Y

186 mph

300 km/h

(Y)

Above 186 mph

Above 300 km/h

If all of this still sounds like Greek to you, feel free to connect TIRE OUTLET, and we can help you pick out a tire with the speed rating that meets your needs. Schedule your appointment for brand new tires today!"

Tips, Guides & Resources For Keeping Your Car Up & Running In Jacksonville FL (2024)

FAQs

How to maintain your car in good condition? ›

Here's our full list of maintenance checks that can help keep your car in good shape, plus maximize your resale value if and when the time comes.
  1. Check tire pressure and rotate tires. ...
  2. Check the motor oil. ...
  3. Check other important fluids. ...
  4. Test the headlights and taillights. ...
  5. Check and replace windshield wipers.

What basic maintenance is required for my car? ›

Usually, basic car maintenance involves checking or replacing parts like spark plugs, wires, fluids, and serpentine belts. Scheduling maintenance services through your dealer may be best.

How to take care of your car in Florida? ›

Check fluid levels monthly, especially in summer months, and refill or replace as necessary. Perform regularly scheduled maintenance to ensure your vehicle is dependable and keeps you safe on the road. Refer to your vehicle's owner manual for specific manufacturer recommendations on what to check and when.

What car maintenance is really necessary? ›

Fluid Checks and Flushes: Fluids such as coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid play essential roles in your vehicle's operation. Regular checks and flushes help maintain proper fluid levels and quality, preventing overheating, corrosion, and costly repairs.

How do I make sure my car is running good? ›

It's a fact that if you take your vehicle in for regular car maintenance, it can help to prevent expensive repairs and maintain a reliable vehicle.
  1. Stick to the Oil Change Intervals. ...
  2. Check the Fluids Regularly. ...
  3. Inspect the Battery. ...
  4. Keep Your Tires Inflated to the Proper PSI. ...
  5. Routinely Rotate the Tires.

How often should I change the air filter in my car? ›

It's recommended that you replace your car's air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first. However, if you drive in dusty conditions or on dirt roads frequently, it's best to check more often as this will increase the amount of debris entering into the engine.

At what mileage do cars start needing repairs? ›

Your car's odometer can clue you in on when to perform necessary vehicle maintenance. Many car manufacturers recommend a 30-60-90 schedule, which means that certain items will need to be inspected, changed or replaced at 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000 miles.

What maintenance does a car need every month? ›

Every month, or every few gas fill-ups and especially before any longer road trips, it's a good idea to get under the hood of your car and inspect both the oil and coolant levels while the engine is cool. Low levels of either can lead to engine problems if left unchecked.

How do I store my car for 6 months in Florida? ›

Where should I store my vehicle?
  1. Protect Your Vehicle Against the Elements [Including Pest] ...
  2. Avoid Direct Sunlight. ...
  3. Do Not Forget Storm Season. ...
  4. Mold is Public Enemy Number One. ...
  5. Maintain the Airflow within the Garage. ...
  6. Use a Dehumidifier. ...
  7. Close Your Vehicles Windows and Air Vents. ...
  8. Use a Battery Maintainer.
Mar 11, 2020

How often should you wash your car in Florida? ›

Keeping your ride clean helps keep it in good condition. If the weather's not too harsh where you live, washing your vehicle every two weeks is a good rule of thumb to help your car last longer.

How long can you sleep in your car in Florida? ›

The Law on Sleeping in Your Car in Florida

There is no federal law that prohibits motorists from sleeping inside their vehicle. However, in Florida, drivers are only allowed to sleep inside their vehicle for a maximum of three hours. You are not allowed to park overnight and sleep in your vehicle.

What is the most frequent maintenance task for a car? ›

Regular Oil Changes

One of the fundamental auto maintenance tasks is changing the oil often. Engine oil lubricates the internal components, reducing friction and preventing premature wear. A routine oil change typically recommended every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, ensures your engine operates.

Which car brand needs the most maintenance? ›

Toyota has emerged as the most economical brand when it comes to vehicle maintenance costs for the period of 10 years, while BMW and Mercedes-Benz hold their position of the highest maintenance cost vehicles.

How to keep a car in great condition? ›

Change the oil and air filter

Most manufacturers suggest every 5,000 miles. If you push it too far, your oil will become dirty, which can spell disaster for the essential components of your engine. The car's air filter filters out dirt and debris, which can seriously harm your engine and chop years off its life.

What makes a car in excellent condition? ›

“Excellent” condition means that the vehicle looks new and is in excellent mechanical condition. This vehicle has never had any paint or bodywork and does not need reconditioning. The engine compartment is clean and free of fluid leaks. This vehicle is free of rust.

How often should I drive my car to keep it in good condition? ›

To feel a bit more in-tune with your car, our Pasadena area Toyota dealership recommends that you drive your car every two to three weeks to ensure that you don't end up with a dead battery, flat-spotted tires, or other issues that can be caused by letting a car sit parked for weeks.

How can I improve the stability of my car? ›

  1. 1 Tire selection and pressure. One of the simplest and most effective ways to improve vehicle handling is to choose the right tires and maintain the optimal tire pressure. ...
  2. 2 Suspension tuning and alignment. ...
  3. 3 Weight distribution and reduction. ...
  4. 4 Aerodynamics and downforce. ...
  5. 5 Here's what else to consider.
Oct 17, 2023

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