Have you ever questioned what the alphabet and numbers on the side of your car tire mean? These numbers contain valuable specifics about the tire. Every vehicle owner needs to learn about some crucial specifications, such as tire load index.
With this information, it will be easy for you to buy a tire for your car. Vehicle tires do not last forever. At one point, they will wear out, and you will need to replace them with a new tire. One of the simplest ways to buy a tire is by online shopping.
The tire service description helps you to get the right tire for your car and your needs. Therefore, let us learn more about the tire load index, why it is important, and how to use the tire load rating chart.
What Is the Tire Load Index?
The tire load index shows the load-carrying capacity of a tire when it is properly inflated. It shows you the amount of weight that your tire can support. This means that tires with a high tire load index hold more weight. A vehicle will not support its original weight if you buy a tire with a lower tire index.
The tire load index is written on the side of the tire next to the load range. It is mainly displayed in kilograms or pounds. Most people confuse tire load index vs. load range. Load range shows the construct of the tire. The range is ambiguous, but the tire load index gives a precise specification. Depending on the load range alone to get the capacity of a tire can be misleading.
For instance, some tires with a load range E may have a similar or lower load index than one with load range D. A load range chart will assist you in understanding the range of your vehicle tires. The load index is represented in numbers. Each of the letters and numbers at the side of the tire represents something. For example, P195/60R15 87S:
- P- Tire Class
- 195- Section Width
- 60- Aspect Ratio
- R- Tire Construction
- 15- Tire Diameter
- 87- Tire Load Index (Maximum Carrying Capacity)
- S- Speed Rating (Maximum Speed Capacity)
It is important to note that a tire’s maximum load capacity is not necessarily its normal capacity. Tire load index ratings are based on the maximum fill pressure and not the air pressure level recommended by the manufacturer. A load index chart will help you translate the tire’s load index to weight.
For instance, a tire with a tire load index of 116 can carry up to 2756 lbs. When replacing your tire, choose one with a higher or similar load index to the OE tire. If the vehicle does not have Original Equipment tires, check the load rating recommended by the manufacturer on the owner’s manual.
Unlike passenger tires with one load index, light truck tires feature two load indexes indicated on the tire’s side. Their tires have two load indexes because they are used for cars with dual rear wheels.
For instance, a truck tire with 120/116 has a 1386 pounds load capacity for one tire and 2756 load capacity for dual tires. The load capacity of the two tires is lower than that of a single tire to ensure that the truck can still carry the load if one tire fails.
Why Is Tire Load Index Important?
The tire load index is important since it tells you the maximum weight the tire can safely carry when it’s well inflated. This number found at the side of the tire will help to prevent you from overloading your vehicle. The load index is also quite crucial when buying new tires for your vehicle.
With this info, it becomes very easy for you to buy the right tire for your needs. When buying a tire, consider one with the same or more load index. Putting a tire with a lower load index than the original will most likely lead to an overload. Overloading could result in the tire wearing out prematurely or complete failure.
Using the Tire Load Index Chart
Manufacturers consider the tire rating before they develop their tires. After manufacturing, the tire is then tested in the real- world to ensure that it meets and exceeds the selected load capacity. When the tire passes all tests, it is assigned a three or two load index number which denotes its maximum load rating.
The load index is among the other tire descriptions on the side of the tire. Tires with load index numbers have a greater load-carrying capacity. To know the definite weight a tire can carry in pounds, consult the tire load index chart.
For example, tire load index 105 means the vehicle can support 2039 pounds at maximum pressure. To get the maximum load-carrying capacity of the vehicle, multiply the load capacity of one tire by 4 tires. That is 2039 x 4 = 8156 pounds.
This day there is a tire load index calculator which you can use to get the load capacity. The chart, however, is easier to use. Here is a tire load index chart you should use to know the load capacity of your tires.
|Load Index||Load (lbs)||Load Index||Load (lbs)|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Is a Higher Load Index Better?
A tire with a high load index is much between because it can safely support more weight than a low load index. For instance, a tire with a tire load index 123 is better holds more weight than a tire load index 107. A tire with load index 123 has a maximum carrying load of 3417 pounds, while the one with 107 supports at most of 2149 pounds.
When replacing a tire for your vehicle, it’s recommendable to get one with the same or higher tire load index. Replacing a tire with one with a lower load index may result in overloading. This means that it will not support the weight, which could cause it to wear or blow out.
Q: Does Tire Load Index Affect Ride?
The tire load index affects the performance of your ride. This will mostly affect the vehicles you use for towing and hauling, boats and trailers. Remember that the tire load rating will only be accurate if it is well inflated. Therefore, you should check the tires and ensure that they are properly inflated all the time.
Q: What’s Better Load Range D or E?
Load range defines the toughness and allowable air pressure of a tire. Tires are designed to specifically hold the weight of your vehicle irrespective of whether it is a heavy truck, light truck, or passenger vehicle. Every set of car tires has a unique load range which is represented by letters.
Load range E has a higher carrying capacity than load range D when the tires are well inflated. A tire with an E-load range is built to carry a capacity of 1,520 pounds at 80 psi. On the other hand, load range D tires carry 1,220 pounds capacity at 65 psi. However, larger D tires may have the same or more load capacity compared to smaller E tires.
Q: Is Load Range E or F Better?
Load range F tires offer more carrying capacity when well inflated compared to the load range E tires of the same size. It is crucial to understand that tires work best when they are inflated to the maximum. Wider tires, however, feature different load ranges. For instance, an F2 tire can have a load index equivalent to an E1 tire.
Q: How Much Weight Can an E-Rated Tire Carry?
Most cargo vans and full-sized pickups use the load range E tires. Load range is represented alphabetically from A to F. Alphabets represent load pressure and ply rating. An E-Load range tire has an 80 psi load pressure and 10-ply rating. Load range E tires support at least 3000 pounds. Therefore, if your truck has 6 wheels, it will comfortably tow 18,000 pounds.
The load capacity of the tires depends on their size. While E1 has a maximum load pressure of 80 psi, E2 tires have 65 psi. E2 tires are wider than E1 but have lower pressure, but they can handle the same weight.
Q: Why Do Tires Have 2 Load Ratings?
Tires for light trucks have dual load index ratings. This is because the tires are mainly used on vehicles with two rear wheels. The carrying capacity of two tires is less than that of a single tire. This ensures that the truck will still safely carry the load in case one of the tires fails.
For instance, a tire will have a rating of 104/101. The first number (104) is the load capacity of a single tire, while the second number (101) is the load-carrying capacity of dual tires.
Q: Is Load Range D Better Than C?
Load range D tire has a higher load-carrying capacity than load range C when well inflated. Some load range D tires can carry approximately 1,610 pounds at 65 psi, while the C tire carries a capacity of 1,360 pounds at 50 psi.
Therefore, if the OE tires of your vehicle are load range D, you should only replace them with D tires or an upper range. Load range D tires have an 8-ply rating, while load range C has a 6-ply rating.
As a vehicle owner, you can attest that you have changed your car’s tires at least once. A tire is not just a tire. Different vehicles use tires with specific descriptions. Some things you need to know when buying a tire are the tire load index, load range, speed rating, rim diameter, radial construction, tire width, and aspect ratio.
All this information is written on the tire sidewall. The tire load index shows the maximum capacity a tire can carry comfortably. This information helps us buy tires that will safely hold the weight of our car and the things inside. The higher the load index, the higher the load-carrying capacity.