How to Read the Information on Your Tire Sidewall

Tires are very intricate products. They are manufactured to fit very specific needs and are ingrained with the technology to perform highly unique tasks that go unnoticed in most people’s radars. Tires also have a very unconventional way of identifying itself. Unlike most products where details and descriptions are obvious on the product and its packaging, tires require some bit of knowledge to decode. The various numbers and debossed codes on the sidewall of the tire is one of the things most car owners overlook when buying tires, relying on the retailer or the salesperson to identify what tire best suits their needs based on a narrative. This should not always be the case, as good tire knowledge can help in long term decision making as well as ensuring your tires are a perfect fit for your needs. Luckily, Giti Tires has a tire-knowledge section in their website that also shares this information that is sure to be helpful.

Deciphering the Information on the Tire Sidewall

The benefits of being able to read the information on the tire sidewall can easily get you selecting the best tire you need for yourself. It also makes it easier to view selections over the internet especially when developers and manufacturers like Giti Tires ensures every product comes with the required debossed information for utmost customer satisfaction.

Prior to diving into what each code or number means, the convention of XXXX/YY/Z AA will be the convention to identify the long string and sequence of letters and numbers to easily spot the different definitions.

XXXX – The last three Xs indicates the numeric tire width in millimeters and in some cases, the first X on the left is included as a letter which indicates for what type of vehicle the tire is suited for. The convention may be the same for most manufacturers where the letters can be easily deciphered through common tire types (T – Truck, P – Passenger Vehicle, etc).

YY – There are two digits here which represent the aspect ratio percentage. In simpler terms, it is the height of the tire measured from the edge to the rim, divided by the width of the tire. This means as the aspect ratio goes higher, the higher the height of the tire is from the edge to the rim. Lower aspect ratios normally denote higher performance, shifting the center of gravity closer to the ground thereby increasing the stability of the tire.

Z – On this spot, there will almost always be an R to signify that the construction of the tire is radial in nature. Giti tires offers a wide selection of radial tires to choose from, giving you a good confidence in choice and performance. B and D tires also exist but in rarer occasions, these mean belt and diagonal respectively. This letter points to the carcass plies of the tires, or the layer upon layer of rubber that gives the sidewall the necessary strength to withstand a beating.

AA – This is simply the wheel diameter. The diameter is measured on an inch basis and is mathematically measured from edge to edge of the tire, with the line of measurement passing through the center of the tire.

Now that we’ve understood that sequence, let’s dive in further to the other letters and numbers normally found on the tire sidewall.

·         Next to the sequence of letters and numbers are normally a 3-code alphanumeric sequence. Two numbers followed by a letter that signifies the Load index and the speed rating, respectively. Now for both, it is important to refer to a table of translated equivalents. The load index will not be straightforward for instance, as looking at a number of 80 means a maximum of 992 pounds. The same goes for the speed rating. The letter convention needs a table to refer to as they are not in alphabetical sequence. In example, the letter U denoted 124 mph tops and it is succeeded by the letter H, which means a speed rating of 130 mph.

·         The red dot – For most, this may not be off essence to pour time into, but it just means that wherever the dot is it is the heaviest part of the tire. It does not necessarily tip the balance over, hence, the reason why most people do not pay attention to it.

·         Treadwear rating – It will be spelled out in the tire with a usual 100 rating right after it. 100 is the benchmark of an average tire’s life. Anything below indicates shorter tread life and a higher rating will be interpreted otherwise. This can be a good gauge of any treadwear warranties a company has or any other warranty for that matter. Companies like Giti provide warranties for tires that you wouldn’t want to miss out and checking them out will be worth the purchase.

·         Temperature Ratings – There are one of three possible letters that follow the word temperature on a sidewall, and they are A, B, or C. Starting from the bottom, C indicates that the tire has passed the minimum standards to be considered able in dissipating heat. We all know that heat is generated under intense friction from the road, and as the ratings go to B or A, the ability of the tire to dissipate this by-product becomes higher. Something to consider for hotter climates.

·         Tire Material Composition – Some tires spell out what materials were used in the construction of the tire. They are normally in smaller fonts as they tend to constitute a long list of materials for transparency purposes.


A good handle on the indications on the tire sidewall is very easy to learn. While the letters and numbers look daunting, they are actually easy to understand. In fact, knowing these can potentially keep you always safe as you understand what the tire capabilities and limits are. Giti tires are also built to provide transparent information like this so you do not go wayward in the selection process, and it allows you to make the safest bet for your needs in balancing performance, price, and safety.