Getting the tire that will fit the rim you're putting it on is easy once you know what measurements to take of the rim and how to read tire size specifications. If you're not sure what kind of tire to get for your vehicle after sizing, the owner's manual will specify what kind of tire and what size rims you should use.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Tape measure
On the back of the rim, measure the distance from one edge to the opposite edge. This will give you the rim's diameter.
Measure the distance between the flanges of the rim. The flanges are the part of the rim that the tire beads actually come in contact with. This measurement is rim width.
Measure the bolt pattern. For four-lug rims, measure the distance from the centre of one hole to the centre of the hole on the opposite side. For five-lug start at the centre of one hole, skip the next hole and measure the distance to the centre of the third hole. Six-lug and eight-lug rims can be measured using the same process as four-lug rims.
Match tires that meet your rim's measurements. Specifications will list tire size in a series of letters and numbers. The first value in a tyre's size will be a letter, depending on the type of tire. You'll commonly see "M+S" for mud and snow and "P" for passenger. The first number is the tire width in millimetres. The width will be followed by a slash. The number after the slash is the tyre's aspect ratio, which is the ratio of the tyre's height to its width. After the aspect ratio number, there will be another letter. This will denote the type of tire: "R" for radial tires, "B" for belted bias tires and "D" for cross-ply tires. The last number will be the inside diameter in inches, which is the number you match to the rim diameter. For example, P175/65R14 tells you that this tire is designed for passenger vehicles, is 175mm wide, its height is 65 per cent of its width, it's a radial tire, and the rim size is 14 inches.
Tips and warnings
- The same size notation that will be on a tire specification list at a store can often be found on the side of the tire as well.
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