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There are numbers that appear on the sidewall of your car tire, and all of these numbers contain valuable information about the tire. The complete description of the tire can be found in the alphanumeric code, and this becomes very helpful for the drivers to decide whether or not a specific tire is suitable for their vehicle.

It is worth noting that tires have a spot in the speed ratings and load index. An alphabetic character varies from L-Z that pronounces how high the speed the tire is ranked for in the tire speed rating chart. The key on the sidewall of the tire has all of the data, including manufacturing details and the speed rating.

What is the meaning of speed rating?

The speed rating of a tire can indicate the right speed that the tire can safely maintain over time. In other words, it is known to be the fastest speed that the tire can handle before it is not able to perform as designed. Therefore, if your tires have a higher speed rating, you will be able to manage and control the vehicle at higher speeds.

The speed rating chart's main idea was to help control the safe performance of your tires at standardized speeds. The certified speed rating is given a letter that ranges from 5 km/h to more than 300 km/h. The rating chart is able to show the top speed for which the tire has been certified, and it doesn’t indicate the performance capability of a tire.

The tire speed rating chart

The top speed of the tire at which it is able to function safely is displayed in the speed rating. When the speed tends to go past this, it cannot be reliable to use the tire and may still rupture it. If there is a 'Q' on the tire's sidewall, it would be indicating a top speed of 99 miles per hour.

The speed ratings that can be seen on the tires are essentially from the L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, H, V, W, and Z. The tires that hold a grade among M and W are created to operate at the speeds between 130 mph and 180 mph. It is also worth noting that the tires meant for automobiles with a speed of higher than 149 mph are allocated to a Z speed rating.

Speed rating

Miles per hr

Kilometers per hr

N

87

140

P

93

150

Q

99

160

R

106

170

S

112

180

T

118

190

U

124

200

H

130

210

V

149

240

Z

Above 150

Above 240

W

168

270

Y

186

300

Conclusion

You have to keep in mind that the tire speed rating chart doesn’t resemble the speed limit that can be seen on the highway signs. The speed rating is completely based on the lab simulations and isn’t about the real-life factors that happen to determine the actual capability of the tire.

The rating should never be used as a guideline for the top speed that one can drive. Therefore, it is important to keep the momentum at the posted speed limit or below it, especially when the weather or road conditions are not ideal.

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