Tire terminology and definitions

Air Pressure: The amount of air inside the tire pressing outward on the tire. Air pressure is expressed in pounds per square inch (psi) or kilopascal (kPa).

Accessory Weight: This means the combined weight of optional accessories. Some examples of optional accessories are, automatic transaxle, power seats, and air conditioning. Aspect Ratio: The relationship of a tire's height to its width.

Belt: A rubber coated layer of cords that is located between the plies and the tread. Cords may be made from steel or other reinforcing materials. Bead: The tire bead contains steel wires wrapped by steel cords that hold the tire onto the rim.

Bias Ply Tire: A pneumatic tire in which the plies are laid at alternate angles less than 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread.

Cold Tire Pressure: The amount of air pressure in a tire, measured in pounds per square inch (psi) or kilopascals (kPa) before a tire has built up heat from driving.

Curb Weight: This means the weight of a motor vehicle with standard and optional equipment including the maximum capacity of fuel, oil and coolant, but without passengers and cargo.

DOT Markings: A code molded into the sidewall of a tire signifying that the tire is in compliance with the U.S. Department of Transportation motor vehicle safety standards. The DOT code includes the Tire Identification Number (TIN), an alphanumeric designator which can also identify the tire manufacturer, production plant, brand and date of production.

GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

GAWR FRT: Gross Axle Weight Rating for the Front Axle.

GAWR RR: Gross Axle Weight Rating for the Rear axle.

Intended Outboard Sidewall: The side of an asymmetrical tire, that must always face outward when mounted on a vehicle.

Kilopascal (kPa): The metric unit for air pressure.

Load Index: An assigned number ranging from 1 to 279 that corresponds to the load carrying capacity of a tire.

Maximum Inflation Pressure: The maximum air pressure to which a cold tire may be inflated. The maximum air pressure is molded onto the sidewall.

Maximum Load Rating: The load rating for a tire at the maximum permissible inflation pressure for that tire.

Maximum Loaded Vehicle Weight: The sum of curb weight; accessory weight; vehicle capacity weight; and production options weight.

Normal Occupant Weight: The number of occupants a vehicle is designed to seat multiplied by 150 pounds (68 kg).

Occupant Distribution: Designated seating positions.

Outward Facing Sidewall: The side of a asymmetrical tire that has a particular side that faces outward when mounted on a vehicle. The outward facing sidewall bears white lettering or bears manufacturer, brand, and/or model name molding that is higher or deeper than the same moldings on the inner facing sidewall.

Passenger (P-Metric) Tire: A tire used on passenger cars and some light duty trucks and multipurpose vehicles.

Recommended Inflation Pressure: Vehicle manufacturer's recommended tire inflation pressure and shown on the tire placard.

Radial Ply Tire: A pneumatic tire in which the ply cords that extend to the beads are laid at 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread.

Rim: A metal support for a tire and upon which the tire beads are seated. Sidewall: The portion of a tire between the tread and the bead.

Speed Rating: An alphanumeric code assigned to a tire indicating the maximum speed at which a tire can operate.

Traction: The friction between the tire and the road surface. The amount of grip provided.

Tread: The portion of a tire that comes into contact with the road. Treadwear Indicators: Narrow bands, sometimes called "wear bars," that show across the tread of a tire when only 2/32 inch of tread remains.

UTQGS: Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards, a tire information system that provides consumers with ratings for a tire's traction, temperature and treadwear. Ratings are determined by tire manufacturers using government testing procedures. The ratings are molded into the sidewall of the tire.

Vehicle Capacity Weight: The number of designated seating positions multiplied by 150 lbs. (68 kg) plus the rated cargo and luggage load. Vehicle Maximum Load on the Tire: Load on an individual tire due to curb and accessory weight plus maximum occupant and cargo weight.

Vehicle Normal Load on the Tire: Load on an individual tire that is determined by distributing to each axle its share of the curb weight, accessory weight, and normal occupant weight and dviding by 2.

Vehicle Placard: A label permanently attached to a vehicle showing the original equipment tire size and recommended inflation pressure.

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