Tire Safety and Transport Canada
All new tires sold in Canada must meet safety standards set under the Motor Vehicle Tire Safety Regulations. Transport Canada administers these regulations and tests tires to ensure they conform to the safety standards. These tests confirm that tires purchased in Canada are designed and manufactured to function safely on your vehicle.
Reading a Tire
Taken from Kal Tire website
The side of your tire, known as the sidewall, contains all the information you will need to know about your tire.
“Tire Type” defines the proper use of the tire. P means this is a passenger car tire. If the tire had an LT then the tire would be for a light truck. Winter Tires — To identify a true winter tire look for the pictograph of a peaked mountain with a snowflake inset, this symbol represents tires that are designed specifically for use in severe snow conditions. If your tire has the “M + S” or mud and snow designation it is known as an “all-season” tire, they provide good all-weather performance, but may not be suitable for sever snow conditions.
“Tire Width” is the width of the tire measured in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall. This tire is 215 millimeters.
“Aspect Ratio” is the ratio of the height of the tire’s cross-section to its width. 65 means that the height is equal to 65% of the tire’s width.
“Construction” tells you how the tire was put together. The “R” stands for radial, which means that the body ply cords, which are layers of fabric that make up the body of the tire, run radially across the tire from bead to bead. A “B” indicates the tire is of bias construction, meaning that the body ply cords run diagonally across the tire from bead to bead, with the ply layers alternating in direction to reinforce one another.
Wheel Diameter” is the width of the wheel from one end to the other. The diameter of this wheel is 15 inches.
“Load Index” is a number corresponds to the maximum load in pounds that a tire can support when properly inflated.
You will also find the maximum load in pounds and in kilograms molded elsewhere on the tire sidewall. (see appendix B)
“Speed Rating” is a number that corresponds to the maximum service speed for a tire. “H” means that the tire has a maximum service speed of 130 mph. Please note that this rating relates only to tire speed capability, and is NOT a recommendation to exceed legally posted speed limits; always drive within the legal speed limits. (see appendix B)
“DOT” means the tire is compliant with all applicable safety standards established by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Adjacent to this is a tire identification or serial number; a combination of numbers and letters with up to 12 digits.
“UTQG” stands for Uniform Tire Quality Grading, a quality rating system developed by the Department of Transportation (DOT). For more information on UTQG see the attached Tire Grades information sheet.
Maximum Load-Carrying Capacity Per Tire
|Load Index||Pounds||Kilograms||Load Index||Pounds||Kilograms|
|Rating Symbol||Maximum Speed||Application|
|L||75 mph||120 km/h||Off-Road & Light Truck Tires|
|M||81 mph||130 km/h||Temporary Spare Tires|
|P||93 mph||150 km/h|
|Q||99 mph||160 km/h||Studless & Studdable Winter Tires|
|R||106 mph||170 km/h||H.D. Light Truck Tires|
|S||112 mph||180 km/h||Family Sedans & Vans|
|T||118 mph||190 km/h||Family Sedans & Vans|
|U||124 mph||200 km/h|
|H||130 mph||210 km/h||Sport Sedans & Coupes|
|V||149 mph||240 km/h||Sport Sedans, Coupes & Sports Cars|
|W||168 mph||270 km/h||Exotic Sports Cars
Opened-ended Speed Category: *ZR
|Y||186 mph||300 km/h||Exotic Sports Cars|
*ZR rating refers to open ended speed capability
Warning: Speed ratings apply only to the tire, not to the vehicle. Putting a speed rated tire on any car does not mean the car can be operated at the tire’s rated speed.
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Know How to Read a Tire Tread?
By Bob McHugh
Senior Technical Advisor, BCAA
The first step in checking your tires’ condition is a visual inspection. Examine the tires, starting with the sidewalls. The sidewall should be relatively smooth and flat. Look for signs of bubbles, knots, gouges or cracks. If you are not sure whether you’re looking at a problem, assume it is a problem and have it examined professionally.
Then look at the tread, which should be even and fairly flat all the way across the tire. The front tires tend to wear slightly more on the edges than the back tires. That is normal, caused by the additional stress during turns. Here’s what to look for when examining the tread:
- Single Edge Wear — Indicates an alignment or suspension problem
- Extreme Double Edge Wear — Usually caused by low tire pressure
- Center Tread Wear — An uncommon problem, usually due to excessively high tire pressure
- Feathered Wear – Each tread is worn more on one edge than the other. This is an alignment problem, and the tires are scuffing down the road, causing the treads to wear this way.
- Cupping or Flat Spots –– Usually indicates a worn or loose component, or caused by a tire imbalance.
- Bubble or Tread Shifting to One Side — Probably a belt or ply separation inside the tire. This is a very dangerous condition, and you should have it checked immediately.
- Cuts, Gouges or Cracks — Road hazard damage that should be checked for safety
- A bald band evenly across the tread is probably a wear indicator, so head for the tire store. Designed to indicate when the tires are due for replacement, wear bands are raised strips of rubber through the tread groves.
- Winter Tires To identify a true winter tire look for the pictograph of a peaked mountain with a snowflake inset, this symbol represents tires that are designed specifically for use in severe snow conditions. If your tire has the “M + S” or mud and snow designation it is known as an “all-season” tire, they provide good all-weather performance, but may not be suitable for sever snow conditions.
Taken from BCAA website
Types of Tires
All-Season Tires: All-Season tires are among the most cost effective tire types available. They provide a smooth ride, long wear and adequate traction on dry and wet weather conditions. They are not however, recommended for use in snow-belt areas. If your tire has the “M + S” or mud and snow designation it is known as an “all-season” tire.
Winter Tires: To identify a true winter tire look for the pictograph of a peaked mountain with a snowflake inset, this symbol represents tires that are designed specifically for use in severe snow conditions. If your tire has the “M + S” or mud and snow designation it is known as an “all-season” tire, they provide good all-weather performance, but may not be suitable for sever snow conditions. Winter tires provide the best traction for a wide range of winter conditions such as snow, slush, ice and freezing rain. Winter tread compounds are highly siped (small slits that expel water and provide extra traction) and are made of microfilment compounds that stay pliable in cold weather. This combination provides superior traction without the need for studs. Because of this significant traction . . . only sets of 4 winter tires should be used.
All-Weather Tires: Revolutionary new product. These state-of-the-art tires have revolutionary tread designs and rubber compounds that provide maximum safety in all applications encountered in ever changing weather conditions. A true four-season tire. These tires provide high mileage and carry the severe weather problem exceeding new government snow conditions regulations. All-Weather tires eliminate the need for costly
Light Truck / SUV All-Season Tires: Light Truck All-Season tires come original equipment on many of today’s vehicles. Their tread pattern design provides a smooth, quiet ride while delivering adequate traction in most conditions for everyday use.
Light Truck / SUV All-Terrain Tires: All-Terrain tires are a “notch up” from All-Season tires in off road conditions. These tires are designed with a more aggressive open tread design which provides additional traction in on “off-road” applications, such as mud and deep snow. Their larger voids (large spaces between the lugs) expel the mud and snow providing additional traction. The tread compounds used makes the All-Terrain tire tougher and more durable in aggressive working conditions. The trade off over All-Seasons is the slightly more aggressive ride with the All-Terrain tire. Most consumers accept this in order to get the additional traction.
Mud-Terrain Tires: Mud-Terrain tires provide extreme traction in off-road conditions, while still providing an acceptable ride for highway or on road use. Their massive treadblocks provide the ultimate grip in mud, sand bog or rocky conditions. Mud-Terrain tires have the largest deepest tread designs. Their tread compounds and reinforced sidewalls are designed to expel rocks, sticks and foreign materials. These tires are not
suitable for winter driving unless they have been siped and studded.