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It is always critical to pay attention to the load rating of your replacement tire. You have to make sure that the tire can safely support the amount of vehicle load because if the load rating appears to be inadequate, then there are chances that the tire might become overheated, and it can indeed destroy the tire.

You may get confused with the numbers and letters that can be found on the side of your tire. By clearing this confusion, you may find the right choice of tire for your vehicle. An in-depth look into the tire service description or the tire load index rating as well as the speed rating can help you to a great extent whether your new tire can meet or exceed the specific vehicle weight requirement.

What is tire load index rating?

The load index number of your tire is known to be a shorthand method of describing the tire’s total load capacity. If you would like to know how much weight your tire can carry, you will need to understand the tire load index. For instance, you may have a number P225/40 R18 94Y. In this case, 94 is the load index rating of the tire, and Y is its speed rating.

When you are to replace the tires, you should be going for the ones having the same or the higher load index rating than its Original Equipment (OE) tires. It is possible to find the recommended load rating by the manufacturer in the doorjamb of the driver's side if your car doesn't have OE tires.

Tire speed rating

The tire speed rating is similar to the load index rating as it can help you understand how fast a tire can go when the conditions are ideal. It is worth noting that letters are used in alphabetical order rather than numbers in tire speed rating.

The H speed rating stands for the vehicles with speeds of 130 mph, while the V category stands for a maximum of 149 mph. The Z speed rating covers the maximum speed capability of more than 149 mph, whereas W indicates that the maximum speed of a tire can reach 168 mph.

Determining the tire load capacity

You have to take the vehicle's gross weight and then divide it by four if you would like to manage the load range capacity of every tire. If the gross weight appears to equal 4,500 pounds, then it means that your tire can support a minimum of 1,125 pounds easily.

It is worth noting that the gross vehicle weight doesn't mean taking an additional load like the driver's weight. Therefore, it is always recommended not to go for the tire that is able to meet the minimum weight capability. Always go for the one with a higher or a reserve load capacity to accommodate the vehicle weight and counter any of the emergencies when fully loaded.

Final Words

The tire load index can best be explained as an assigned number corresponding to the maximum supported by the tire when it is inflated properly. The tire can have a greater load-carrying capacity if its load index number is higher. If you happen to choose a tire with a lower load index than its original equipment specifications, it will mean that the tire will not be able to carry the actual load capacity.

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