Why are tyres markings so important?

People often make the mistake of understanding tyres as just round black circles. That’s why they hardly pay attention to the make and design of the tyres. But that shouldn’t be the case at all. Tyres are one of the most critical parts of our vehicles. With one look at the tyres, we feel that all tyres are the same. They are all black, and all are made of rubber. In fact, all tyres seem to be just like inflated rubber tubes. However, the fact is completely opposite. 

There are some areas which are common among all the tyres. But, the fact is, tyres are very different from each other. They have their categories and sizes, and each category is different from the other. The point is that we must be apt enough to recognize those differences. All tyres have some markings, which most people fail to understand. The manufacturer itself does these markings to become easy for the customers to know which type of tyre they are buying. 

However, neither people read those markings nor seem to be interested in comprehending those markings. If you’re one of them, then you’ve landed at the right place. This blog is going to educate you about tyre specifications and how you can read them. Every car manufacturer creates tyres that suit its vehicles. Whether it’s the design or the size of the tyre. These tyres are crafted after years of research, and you should try and stick to the specifications recommended by the manufacturer. Take a look below and understand how the markings are read. 

Tyre size

The first thing that we should be concerned about is the tyre size. You can find your ideal tyre size in the owner’s manual. Your manual is the best source to seek information for the tyres of your vehicle. You will find every relevant information in the manual. Or, tyre size can also be found on the placard of the tyre towards the driver’s side of the door. This placard will also have information about the required tyre pressure to be maintained at all times. 

Code on the sidewall

Check for the sidewalls. They have a code embedded in them, which talks about the technicalities of the tyre. This code also lets you decide the kind of tyre you’ll need again if you plan to switch to a new tyre.  

To cite an example, suppose the code you read says 202/65R 16 90H

  • Here 202 signposts the width of the tyre in millimetres. 
  • 65 refers to the aspect ratio. It’s nothing but comparing the tyre with its width.
  • R tells us that it’s a radial-ply tyre.
  • 16 refers to the diameter of the tyre in inches
  • 90 is the maximum load capacity a tyre can bear, and H is the speed at which it can manoeuvre. The only condition here being, the fitment of the tyre should be correct, it should be in good condition, and the tyre pressure should be according to the recommended figure by the manufacturer. 

Some other markings on the tyre


It refers to mud + snow. This symbol you’ll mainly find on the tyres that can run on mud and snow both.


Tyres that are to be sold in the European market must carry an E mark in agreement with the regulation. 

Snowflake symbol

Tyres, at times, sport a mountain with three peaks. It’s a snowflake symbol that clearly tells that such tyres are typically meant for the winter season when there’s heavy snowfall, and the temperature falls below 7°C. 

Even if you plan to buy car tyres online, you must pay attention to these specifications.

Some other important facts to consider about tyres

Air pressure

It’s one of the most important things to maintain in the tyre. The main function of the tyre is to take you to your destination safely and carry the load of the vehicle. All this becomes possible due to the accurate tyre pressure. Both under-inflation and over-inflation are harmful to the tyre. You’re at the risk of accidents if you aren’t maintaining it well. Always maintain the tyre pressure as asked by the manufacturer. 

Wheel alignment 

Your tyres go through a lot on a daily basis. Rough roads, potholes are some of the reasons why your tyres go out of alignment. Other indicators include harsh noise and vibration in the vehicle. Get that fixed as soon as the problem starts building. 

Tread depth of the tyre

The legal limit for the depth is 1.6mm or above. As a user, you should be aware of this and replace your tyres with new ones, as soon as the limit goes down. In the case of winter tyres, the same limit goes up to 3mm. That’s because the winter tyre needs to bite hard into the snow to maintain the grip. 

Avoid mixing of tyres of different sizes

Never ever do that. This makes it all the more important for you to know the tyre specifications and stick to them religiously. You’re inviting grave trouble for yourself if you’re mixing tyres of different sizes. 

So, all you need to do is, read the sidewall of the tyre properly and make an informed choice about your tyres. 


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