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How to Read a Tire Sidewall

Diagram of how to read a tire sidewall

What is the definition of a traction tire?
An approved traction tire, whether on a four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicle or a standard vehicle, must have at least an eighth of an inch of tread and be labeled M&S, All Season, or have a Mountain/Snowflake symbol. These tires can be used year round. When you install approved chains, any tire becomes a traction tire. For more information on your specific vehicle and its traction tire options, contact your local tire dealer.

  1. This is the peaked mountain with snowflake symbol
  2. M+S (Mud and Snow)
  3. P stands for Passenger vehicle (or you may find L for Light-Duty Vehicle)
  4. 195 is the width of the tire in millimeters.
  5. 60 is the "aspect ratio" - the ratio of the height of the sidewall to the width, expressed as a percentage.
  6. R Means the tire has radial construction
  7. 15 represents the wheel diameter in inches.
  8. 87 is the load index.
  9. Q is the speed rating.