Tire Load Index: What Is It And How to Read It?

In a world full of technical jargons, it’s not easy to get familiar with all of them at once. Hence, there is a manual provided with every product. It’s the same when it comes to tires.

Don’t need an explanation? Jump straight to the tire load index.

Manufacturers provide information about a vehicle so you can customize your vehicle based on those specifications. One such component is the car’s tires. They handle all the weight of the entire vehicle. Hence, they should be exactly according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

If you want to change tires, you need to know about things like the tire’s load index and why it’s so important. Each tire has its own load code which tells you the amount of weight a tire can bear. We will learn more about it in the following paragraphs.

What is a Tire Load Index?

The tire load index tells you the amount of weight a tire can bear. If you go over the limit of the prescribed load index for your tire, it might disintegrate or worse burst into pieces. Every tire has one specific code imprinted on its side.

These calibrations can range from 0 to 150. The higher the calibration you have the more weight your car’s tire can bear. As such, the bearing weight can range from 99 lbs to 7385 lbs. For example, a tire load index of 102 means your tire can bear 1874 pounds of weight. If you multiply 1874 pounds with 4, you will get the tire load index for all your tires and in turn, you will get the maximum weight your car should carry. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always best to go for a tire that has a tire load index of 100 above. The higher the tire load index number the better it’s for you.

Where to Find Tire Load Index Numbers?

The tire load index code can usually be found on the side of the tire. If you look closely to the rim you will find a code which tells you the tire’s dimensions as well as the tire load index. You will have to look for a code which is something like 195/50R15 79S.

Tire Load Numbers on the tire

How to Use a Tire Load Index?

Tire load index is pretty easy to read. A load index number is usually stated on one side which is followed through with the code’s weight tolerance in pounds. For example, a tire load index rating of 90 will handle 1,323 pounds of weight. For your ease, the weight tolerance number is also provided in kilograms.

Tire Load Index Chart

Load Index Pounds Kilograms Load Index Pounds Kilograms Load Index Pounds Kilograms
70 739 335 89 1,279 580 108 2,205 1,000
71 761 345 90 1,323 600 109 2,271 1,030
72 783 355 91 1,356 615 110 2,337 1,060
73 805 365 92 1,389 630 111 2,403 1,090
74 827 375 93 1,433 650 112 2,469 1,120
75 853 387 94 1,477 670 113 2,535 1,150
76 882 400 95 1,521 690 114 2,601 1,180
77 908 412 96 1,565 710 115 2,679 1,215
78 937 425 97 1,609 730 116 2,756 1,250
79 963 437 98 1,653 750 117 2,833 1,285
80 992 450 99 1,709 775 118 2,910 1,320
81 1,019 462 100 1,764 800 119 2,998 1,360
82 1,047 475 101 1,819 825 120 3,086 1,400
83 1,074 487 102 1,874 850 121 3,197 1,450
84 1,102 500 103 1,929 875 122 3,307 1,500
85 1,135 515 104 1,984 900 123 3,417 1,550
86 1,168 530 105 2,039 925 124 3,527 1,600
87 1,201 545 106 2,094 950 125 3,638 1,650
88 1,235 560 107 2,149 975 126 3,748 1,700

Download tire load index in .pdf

How to Read Tire Load Info?

Take a code such as P205/65R16 89S. The 89 at the end is actually the tire load index. This means that the tire can take 1279 pounds of weight. To know the exact weight tolerance of the tire based on the tire load index rating you look at the tire load index table below.

There are a few extra pointers you should look at such as the speed capability of a tire. From the example we took here, you can tell that the numbers show the dimension of the tire, but there are some alphabets as well. They are important as well before ascertaining the type of tire you will install in your car. The ‘S’ in 89S tells you the speed rating of the tire. In other words, it lets you know how fast your tires can go.

The S means a car’s tire can go till 112 mph. If there was an ‘H’ instead of an ‘S’ that would mean your tire would be able to withstand speeds of up to 130 mph. Similarly, a ‘V’ would show that your tire could handle speeds more than 130 mph. The most extreme tire ever built comes with a ‘Z’ rating. This type of tire can handle extremely fast speeds. That means that Z tires come only in exotic cars that can reach speeds in excess of 150 mph. The Bugatti Veyron and Koenigsegg Agera RS are a few examples of cars that can reach such extreme speeds.

Conclusion

The tire speed rating and the tire load index are both important numbers. Both of which should be kept in mind before making any decisions of buying a new tire. Fortunately, reading and understanding the tire load index rating is not a difficult job.

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