What are the speed and load index of a tire?

The speed ratings of the tires are rated base on the maximum speed capability of a tire in an ideal condtion.

The load index of a tire tells us how many pounds a tire can safely carry. Together, they make up the service description.

Knowing this information is recommended whenever you are replacing your tires. Even if you do not intend to push the limits in speed or load categories, keeping the same speed and load index allows you to keep the same vehicle’s characteristics.

Example: P 215/65R15 95H

In the above example, we now focus on 95H. 95 Indicates the load index and H tells us the speed rating.

How do we determine the speed rating?

The table below helps you to decode the speed rating of a tire.

Speed RatingMiles/HourKM/HourTypical Application(s)
L75120Trailer tires
M81130Spare tires
N87140Spare tires
P93150
Q99160Select winter tires
R106170Passenger and light truck tires
S112180Passenger and light truck tires
T118190Passenger and light truck tires
U124200
H130210Passenger sedans, coupes, SUV and CUV’s tires
V149240Performance sedans, coupes, and sports cars tires
W168270Performance sedans, coupes, SUV and CUV’s tires
Y186300Exotic sports cars tires
Z149+240+High-Performance vehicle tires
Speed Rating Table

Going back to our example, we can see that in ideal conditions, the tire can perform up to 130mph. However, that does not mean that the vehicle can travel at that speed. It is just the capability of the tire.

How do we determine the tire load index?

The tire index tells us how many pounds a tire can carry safely. With the above example 95H, 95 refers to the load index.

Load IndexPounds (lbs)Kilograms (kg)Load IndexPounds (lbs)Kilograms (kg)Load IndexPounds (lbs)Kilograms (kg)
70739335891,2795801082,2051000
71761345901,3236001092,2711030
72783355911,3566151102,3371060
73805365921,3896301112,4031090
74827375931,4336501122,4691120
75853387941,4776701132,5351150
76882400951,5216901142,6011180
77908412961,5657101152,6791215
78937425971,6097301162,7561250
79963437981,6537501172,8331285
80992450991,7097751182,9101320
811,0194621001,7648001192,9981360
821,0474751011,8198251203,0861400
831,0744871021,8748501213,1971450
841,1025001031,9298751223,3071500
851,1355151041,9849001233,4171550
861,1685301052,0399251243,5271600
871,2015451062,0949501253,6381650
881,2355601072,1499751263,7481,700
Load Index

Looking at the above table, we can see that our tire can carry 1521 lbs or 690 kg of weight.

You should never change your tires with a load rating that is lower than the original equipment tires. You can however, replace it with a higher load rating without any problem.

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