Change a Tire Safely

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    Tire speed rating chart

    Below is a tire speed rating chart. The origin of tire speed rating chart is the Autobahn, a road in Germany without speed limit. The speed ratings are indicated by an alphabatic letter. However, it is not in order. Letter H stands for "High performance" and therfore after the letter U. Below is the rating chart that is consider by tire manufacturers.

    Tires with higher speed rating provide better

    Speed RatingMax Speed (mph)Max Speed (kp/h)Typical Application
    L 75 mph 120 km/h Off-Road & Light Trucks
    M 81 mph 130 km/h Temporary Spare Tire
    N 87 mph 140 km/h Temporary Spare Tire
    Q 99 mph 160 km/h Winter 4X4
    R 106 mph 170 km/h Heavy Duty Light Trucks
    S 112 mph 180 km/h Family Sedans & Vans
    T 118 mph 190 km/h Family Sedans & Vans
    U 124 mph 200 km/h Sedans & Coupes
    H 130 mph 210 km/h Sport Sedans & Coupes
    V 149 mph 240 km/h Sports Cars
    Z 149+ mph 240+ km/h Sports Cars
    W 168 mph 270 km/h Exotic Sports Cars
    Y 186 mph 300 km/h Exotic Sports Cars
    (Y) 186+ mph 300+ km/h Exotic Sports Cars

    Source: Michelin U.S. website

    Make sure to follow the owner's manual recommednations for tire pressure, and other info about your vehicle.

    Buying new tires can be tricky; different prices and milage warranty. However, it is important to understand the real difference between different tire models and brands. Tire speed rating is an important aspect that could affect price. Majority of brands offer tires with a max that high for most drivers. Those who take their cars to the track should consider tire speed ratings chart to avoid any accident from happening. Also, light truck owners should be aware of the tire speed rating index chart for their tires. Light trucks are sometimes equipped with tires that has an L, which means that the maximum speed would be 75 mph. This sounds low considering that speed limit for some HWYs in Texas are over 80 mph. Definitely check the speed rating as well load index for the tires you are buying to be more informed of your vehicle, or tires, capabilities.