How to Choose Road Tires

How to Choose Road Tires


Finding the right tires for your car, truck, van or SUV requires comparing a number of factors including size, width, construction, speed rating and other considerations. With all of this information in hand, you can make a more informed purchasing decision when shopping for a new set of tires.

Sidewall Information

The type of tires you want for your car should match what is already on your vehicle. The sidewall of your tires includes important data, information which can help you as you shop for tires.

Alphanumerical Deciphering

All modern tires contain similar service type information essential to help the consumer compare tire sizes.

For example, a tire with the 245/50R17 95S on the sidewall can be understood by breaking down this coding.

The first three digits represents a tire’s cross section or section width. The two digits after the slash is the tire’s “aspect ratio” or sidewall height followed by a letter, usually an R, for radial tires. The next two digits represent the tire’s size, in this case 17-inch tires. Lastly, the two numbers followed by a letter is the tire’s load index and speed rating.

Bottom Line

When replacing tires, you have enough information on the sidewalls to help you with your purchase of new tires. Follow original equipment manufacturer guidelines found in your owner’s manual or through your tire dealer.

Replace all four tires at once, if possible. Otherwise, replace your tires in pairs and put the new tires on the rear wheels, moving the older tires to the front wheels. Always try to use the same tires on your vehicle — radials with radials or bias-ply with bias-ply. Radials, however, offer the best overall grip for your vehicle.

Resources NHTSA Proposes Consumer-friendly Tire Efficiency Labeling

How to Determine Car Tire Age Tire Tech Information/General Tire Information


end of post idea for home improvement


Helpful article? Leave us a quick comment below.
And please give this article a rating and/or share it within your social networks.

facebook linkedin pinterest

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to The commission earnings are used to defray our cost of operation.

View our FTC Disclosure for other affiliate information.

Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".