A "B" in place of the "R" would mean the tire is of belted bias construction. A "D" in place of the "R" means diagonal bias construction.
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The maximum load is shown in lbs. (pounds) and in kg (kilograms), and maximum pressure in psi (pounds per square inch) and in kPa (kilopascals). Kilograms and kilopascals are metric units of measurement.
The letters "DOT" certify compliance with all applicable safety standards established by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Adjacent to this is a tire identification or serial number. This serial number is a code with up to 11 digits that are a combination of numbers and letters.
The sidewall also shows the type of cord and number of plies in the sidewall and under the tread. The DOT requires tire manufacturers to grade passenger car tires based on three performance factors: treadwear, traction and temperature resistance.
TREADWEAR 220 TRACTION A TEMPERATURE A
The treadwear grade is a comparative rating based on the wear rate of the tire when tested under controlled conditions on a specified government test track.
A tire graded 200 would wear twice as long on the government test course under specified test conditions as one graded 100.
It is wrong to link treadwear grades with your projected tire mileage. The relative performance of tires depends upon the actual conditions of their use and may vary due to driving habits, service practices, differences in road characteristics and climate.
Traction grades, from highest to lowest, are A, B and C. They represent the tire's ability to stop on wet pavement as measured under controlled conditions on specified government test surfaces of asphalt and concrete.
The temperature grades, from highest to lowest, are A, B and C. These represent the tire's resistance to the generation of heat when tested under controlled conditions on a specified indoor laboratory test wheel.
Some typical information on the sidewall of a light truck tire:
- "LT" stands for Light Truck. "LT235/85R16" is the size designation for a metric light truck tire.
- "LOAD RANGE D" identifies the load and inflation limits.
- "RADIAL" indicates that the tire has a radial construction.
- "MAX LOAD SINGLE 2623 lbs. AT 65 psi COLD" indicates the maximum load rating of the tire and corresponding minimum cold inflation pressure for that load when used as a single. For normal operation, follow pressure recommendations in owner's manual or on vehicle placard;
- "MAX LOAD DUAL 2381 lbs. AT 65 psi COLD" indicates the maximum load rating of the tire and corresponding minimum cold inflation pressure when used in a dual configuration. Other markings on the sidewall have the same meaning as described for the passenger car tire.
Tire inflation pressures are printed on a placard attached inside the driver's door. These pressures are the recommended pressures for your vehicle with original equipment tires. Never exceed the maximum pressure ratings listed on the tire.
Determining the age You can tell the week and year a tire was manufactured by looking on the inner ring, right where the rubber meets the wheel. There will be the letters "DOT" followed by a bunch of numbers and letters. The last four numbers give the week and year the tire was made.
For example the 12 character series concluding with the numbers 1502, would mean the tire was made in the 15th week of 2002.
When tires should be replaced based on age varies with who you listen to. But Ford and DaimlerChrysler recommend that tires be replaced after six years, regardless of their mileage.
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