tiresThere are many factors that contribute to how your car performs when you drive it. However, few factors have as direct an influence on how your car actually handles the road as your tires. Because of this, it’s definitely in your best interest to have a good understanding of your tires’ capabilities and more importantly, their limitations. Driving too fast or overloading your vehicle can have a negative impact on your tires. That’s where tire service descriptions come in. Service descriptions let you know your tires’ load limit and speed rating.

About Tire Service Description

Tires are built to withstand more abuse than most of the other parts of your car. After all, your tires are the only part of your car that actually comes into contact with the roads you drive on. Therefore, it’s important that you understand them as much as possible. Fitting a vehicle with tires that have a load rating lower than recommended or loading up your car with too much weight can strain your tires, causing them to wear out faster or even potentially have a blowout. By the same token, driving your car too fast can also put more strain on your tires than they can withstand. So just how much weight is too much weight and how fast is too fast? It varies depending on the tires. Your tires’ weight and speed limits are indicated by the tire service description; a short code located on the sidewalls of your tires that. This short code, which consists of a two or three digit number along with a single letter, designates just how much weight your tires are capable of carrying safely and the maximum speed the tires are designed for.

Understanding Tire Service Descriptions

The numbers in a tire service description designates the tire’s load index. The number doesn’t indicate the actual weight the tire is capable of supporting. Rather, it’s a code that corresponds with an actual weight. You can decode this number with a load index chart. The higher a specific tire’s load rating is, the greater its capacity for carrying loads. Typical load indexes on passenger cars and light trucks range from 70-110, which as you can see below indicate weight from 739-2337 pounds.
Load Index Max Weight (lbs)
70 739
71 761
72 783
73 805
74 827
75 852
76 882
77 908
78 937
79 963
80 992
81 1019
82 1047
83 1074
84 1102
85 1135
86 1168
87 1201
88 1235
89 1279
90 1323
Load Index Max Weight (lbs)
91 1356
92 1389
93 1433
94 1477
95 1521
96 1565
97 1609
98 1653
99 1709
100 1764
101 1819
102 1874
103 1929
104 1984
105 2039
106 2094
107 2149
108 2205
109 2271
110 2337
The letter that follows this number designates a tire’s maximum speed rating, providing the tire hasn’t been damaged, overburdened, under-inflated, or altered in any way. While a given tire’s speed rating may be higher than the speed limit, tire manufacturers strongly advise that their products only be used within the legal speed limit. This table illustrates speed ratings for most tires intended for passenger use.
Speed Rating Max Speed (mph)
L 75
M 81
N 87
P 93
Q 99
R 106
S 112
T 124
H 130
V 149
W 168
Y 186
Speed ratings are first determined in kilometers per hour and then converted to mph, which is why the intervals are somewhat irregular. If you have questions about your tire service description you can always consult Northboro Car Care the next time you bring your vehicle in for service.
Paul D'Anello
Paul D'Anello
08:57 20 Oct 16
Tony quickly diagnosed a repair on my car that all the big box repair shops (NTB, Sears, Meineke, etc.) failed to do and wanted to charge me for guesswork and unnecessary repairs. His quality workmanship is far superior compared to the inexperienced labor you get at those retailers. And the best part is his hourly labor rate is 1/2 of what anyone else charges. For quality honest work, look no further!
Michele chapdelaine
Michele chapdelaine
14:12 19 Dec 15
Tony and his team always provide professional, high quality service. Cars are always done on time and running perfectly. He is honest and stands by his work. Not to mention very fair pricing. Thanks Tony!
Lori G
Lori G
01:56 29 Oct 15
I have been taking my cars to Northboro Car Care for 9 years and I wouldn't think of going anywhere else. I live in CT and commute to work everyday so I need my car and I can always count on Tony, Francois and George to do a great job!! They are honest and fair and they treat you like family!
Annmarie Vermes
Annmarie Vermes
21:33 28 Oct 15
The Northboro Car Care crew: Tony, Francois, and George are experienced, honest, reliable, automotive engineers. They are not your average mechanics, they are highly experienced within all makes and models. I have taken many cars to them where dealerships had advised expensive repairs, and the team has offered quality, cost effective alternatives. The team is extremely responsive, and makes every effort to get the job done in a quick and timely manner. I have confidently recommended the team to co-workers and family members who have been so pleased with their services and quality of work that they too Northboro Car Care life-long partners.
Chuck Lundberg
Chuck Lundberg
15:55 16 Oct 15
Honest Professional Service. Top notch skilled mechanics who explain what your car needs in a language anyone can understand. Work done quickly and at a fair price.
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