The Differences in the 94H & 94T Tiresby Tim Plaehn
The codes 94H and 94T printed on the sidewall of a tire are standardized indicators of its load-carrying capacity and speed rating. These codes allow consumers to compare tires and select the appropriate ones for a particular car.
The "94" part of the 94T and 94H tire codes indicates load capacity, which is the same for both types of tires. A 94 load rating indicates that the tire can safely carry a load of 1,477 pounds. The rating is based on individual tires, so four 94T or 94H tires could support a car weighing up to 5,908 pounds, fully loaded.
The T or H part of the code indicates the speed rating of the tires. A speed rating of T indicates that the tire can be safely driven up to 118 mph. A tire with an H rating has a higher limit -- 130 mph -- which means it can be safely driven faster than the tire with the 94T code. Manufacturers may produce identical tire models with different speed ratings. Tires with an H speed rating are often mounted on sport or sport sedan cars. The T speed rating is more commonly found on family sedans or minivans. H-rated tires may provide a firmer, more sporting ride and handling than similar T-rated tires.
Automobile manufacturers recommend that replacement tires have at least the same load capacity and speed rating as the original equipment tires. If the original tires on a car were rated at 94H, someone replacing a tire with one rated 94T should be aware that the replacement tire has a lower speed rating than the original tires on the car. A 94T tire will usually cost less than a comparable 94H tire, but using the lower-rated tire might compromise the safety of the car.
Tim Plaehn has been writing financial, investment and trading articles and blogs since 2007. His work has appeared online at Seeking Alpha, Marketwatch.com and various other websites. Plaehn has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the U.S. Air Force Academy.