Understanding the Markings on your Tire – Tire Rating 101

There are over 2400 lines of tires, so how do you know what is best. You look at the information right there on your tire and read the rest of this post to know what it means. Another great article to be learn more about the things that go into your garage.

The tire grading system, known as the Uniform Tire Quality Grading System (UTQGS), allows consumers to compare tire treadwear, traction performance, and temperature resistance. The federal government requires tire manufacturers to grade their tires in these three areas and place the information on the sidewall of the tire.

[su_heading size=”20″]So lets see what the three main areas of tire ratings are:[/su_heading]


Number 1 is Treadwear

Treadwear grades are an indication of a tire’s relative wear rate. The higher the treadwear number is, the longer it should take for the tread to wear down. A control tire is assigned a grade of 100. Other tires are compared to the control tire. For example, a tire grade of 200 should wear twice as long as the control tire.

Of current tires:

  • 15% are rated below 200
  • 25% are rated 201 – 300
  • 32% are rated 301 – 400
  • 20% are rated 401 – 500
  • 6% are rated 501 – 600
  • 2% are rated above 600
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Number 2 is Traction

Traction grades are an indication of a tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement. A higher graded tire should allow a car to stop on wet roads in a shorter distance than a tire with a lower grade. Traction is graded from highest to lowest as “AA”, “A”, “B”, and “C”.

Of current tires:

  • 3% are rated “AA”
  • 75% are rated “A”
  • 22% are rated “B”
  • only 1 line of tires rated “C”
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Number 3 is Temperature

Temperature grades are an indication of a tire’s resistance to heat. Sustained high temperature (for example, driving long distances in hot weather), can cause a tire to deteriorate, leading to blowouts and tread separation. From highest to lowest, a tire’s resistance to heat is graded as “A”, “B”, or “C”.

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So here is the most important thing you can do before buying new tires, check the tire rating guide of over 2400 lines of tires as regulated by the federal government and make sure your tires will perform well.


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