What Do Tire Size Numbers P205 55R16 Mean?

by Philip McIntosh
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Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of doug wilson

Automobile tires are marked with a series of letters and numbers that provide information about tire structure and dimensions. Understanding this code is important when selecting tires for a particular vehicle or application.


The P indicates the tire is for use on a passenger car.


This number indicates the section width--the maximum width in millimeters from the outer sidewall to the inner sidewall; in this case 205 millimeters.


This is the sidewall height-to-width aspect ratio given as a percent. The 55 means that the sidewall height is 55 percent of the tire width.


The letter after the aspect ratio indicates the style of construction. R means it is a radial tire.


The number following the construction code is the wheel size in inches. This tire is designed to fit a 16-inch diameter wheel.

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