What Are Speed Ratings for Tires?

Tire Speed Ratings

Have you ever wondered what the speed ratings on your tires mean? You aren’t alone. Many drivers of Atlantic City and Egg Harbor, NJ, are looking to get the inside scoop.

Boardwalk Honda has put together this helpful tire speed ratings guide to answer this very question. Read ahead to see what your tires’ speed ratings mean.

What Do Tire Speed Ratings Mean?

Car Tires

A tire’s speed rating indicates the fastest speed a tire can maintain over time. The higher your tire’s speed rating, the better control and handling you’ll have at higher speeds.

Although your tires provide you with a maximum speed rating, it doesn’t mean your tires are meant to be constantly driven at this speed. It’s better to drive at a slower speed, especially in harsh road conditions, to prevent accidents or damage to the tires.

Tire speed ratings were first used in Europe. The ratings are especially important for the Germany Autobahn, a speed-limitless highway. The ratings help keep people driving at a safe speed despite the lack of speed limits.

How to Locate a Tire’s Speed Rating

Locating a tire’s speed rating is simple. First, look at the tire’s speed code, which can be found in several different places, including:  

  • Sidewall of your tire
  • Vehicle’s owner manual
  • Driver’s side door jam
  • Glove box door
  • Gas tank hatch

Measuring a Tire’s Speed Rating

Tire Rating

Once you’ve found the tire’s speed code, take a look at the last character of the code, which represents the speed rating. A tire’s certified speed rating is given a letter from A to Z, which ranges from 3 MPH to 186 MPH. For example, if the last character in the code is an “R,” your tire’s max speed rating is 106 MPH. If your character is an “S,” then your tire’s maximum speed rating is 112 MPH.

How do you get these numbers based on the characters, you ask? The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) sets the rating scales. However, tire manufactures can choose to select their own speed based on several factors. Some factors include the application of the tire, compounds used to create it, and failures at speeds too excessive for the tires.

Our Tire Center

At our tire center, we know everything there is to know about tires. If you have any questions regarding your tires’ speed ratings, we have you covered.

Aside from being mindful of their speed rating, it’s important to perform additional maintenance on your tires. Some of the things you can do include ensuring correct tire pressure at all times. Plus, getting a tire rotation roughly every 5,000 miles will keep your vehicle running smoothly and efficiently.

How We Can Help

We hope this detailed tire speed rating guide was helpful for drivers of Atlantic City and Egg Harbor, NJ. If you need new tires or have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team at Boardwalk Honda is happy to assist you!