Your car needs regular tire maintenance, and sometimes you have to replace the old tires with new ones. Or, that vintage car from your prized collection may require a tire replacement! In both cases, you’ll need a reliable tire conversion chart to compare tire sizes and find the correct measurement. However, if you are a noob to the automobile world, reading a tire size conversion chart could be quite confusing. Let’s check the brief guide to understating a tire size comparison chart:
What Is a Tire Size Conversion Chart?
A tire size conversion chart helps you figuring out the correct measurement of a tire or the right replacement to your vintage car’s original tires. However, no tire conversion chart will give you the perfect measurements as the correct size depends on a couple of factors such as wheel size and diameter.
The safe bet is to compare outside diameters and the tread footprint to figure out how close a match they are. Your local tire dealer is supposed to have all the necessary information. So, ask for his advice before making the purchase.
Understanding Tire Sizes
The first step of purchasing tires is to check your car’s manual to confirm the size. Now, check the sidewall of a front tire to find a number sequence such as 185/60R-14, 225/50R-16. Suppose the sequence reads 225/50R-16. Here, ‘225’ describes the width of the tire in millimeters, means that the width is roughly 8.9 inches.
Photo Credit: 1010 Tires
Now, the part ‘50R’ carries two types of information. The numeric part ‘50’ means that the sidewall height (or aspect ratio) is 50% of the tire’s width. So, the height of the tire, in this case, is nearly 4.45 inches. The letter ‘R’ indicates that the tire’s speed rating is less than 150mph. Tires rated to run at speeds more than 150mph will carry the letter ‘ZR’.
Lastly, ‘16’ indicates the compatible wheel size. It means that this tire is compatible with a wheel that has a 16-inch diameter.
You can follow the similar process to find out the correct size of the rear tires if it’s different from the front tires.
How Important Are Correct Tire Measurements?
It is important that the size of your new tires matches to the old ones. Every single dimension such as width, speed rating, height, and wheel diameter should be similar to ensure safety and driving performance. For example, a mismatched tire diameter will affect speedometer accuracy. If the width and height are larger than the original requirement, your car’s body or chassis will frequently bump with the road surface. Besides, an incorrect size can affect the wheel speed sensors, leading to causing trouble to the anti-lock braking system (ABS).
So, before scanning the tire size conversion chart and placing an order, you should take your time to find out if the size of the tires you are going to purchase matches to the recommended tire size of your car’s manufacturer.