The ABC’s of tires

For many the process of choosing the right size tires for your vehicle can be a real mystery. Learning the basics before walking into your local tire shop will give you an advantage that could keep you safe this season.

Size does matter:

When purchasing tires, your retailer should ask for your vehicles’ tire size. That long, complex string of letters and numbers can be confusing and few consumers know how to read them or understand how important tire size is to safety.

“It may seem like a small thing, but ensuring that you have the right size tire is crucial to your vehicle’s stability and your safety,” states tire expert Bill Hume, vice-president of Hankook Tire Canada. “Just as a well-made and well-fitting pair of shoes is designed to protect your feet and allow for proper balance, tire size is engineered by auto manufacturers to provide optimum safety, fuel economy, and performance.”

Knowing the purpose of each letter and number will make tire size easier to decipher. Here’s an example using the Hankook Optimo H725 in a size of 195/65 R15:

• The first number, 195, is the tire width in millimetres.

• The second number, 65, is the sidewall aspect ratio, the height of the tire expressed as a percentage of the tire’s width.

• The second letter indicates internal construction. In this case, “R” stands for radial. This letter may be preceded by an additional letter indicating the tire’s speed rating.

• The third number, 15, is the rim size in inches

• Learning the ABC’s of tires is easier than you think. For more information, visit or speak to your local tire retailer.

Learning the ABC’s of tires can keep you safe on the roads this season.