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Want to get the most out of your tires? Take care of your tires and they’ll reward you with better gas mileage and improved handling and performance. It’s really pretty simple. Tires need just two things: proper care and maintenance (by you) and tire services from BEST BUY. Start with our free tire inspection. This will give you a great idea of where you can start improving your tire care.



Tires have a wealth of information encoded on their sidewalls. When replacing them, we recommend staying with the size and speed rating of your car’s original tires. Consult your owner’s manual for additional information.


On the tire at right, “215” is the cross-section width in millimeters; 60 is the ratio of sidewall height to its width (60 percent); R indicates radial-ply construction; and 16 is the wheel rim’s diameter in inches.

Load index

'Shorthand for the weight each tire can carry safely. The 94 here means 1,477 pounds per tire­—pretty typical for a midsized car tire. That’s the maximum tire load at the maximum pressure.


Speed rating

A letter denoting the tire’s maximum speed when carrying the load defined by the load index­—and not how fast you should drive! Standard all-seasons are usually rated S (112 mph) or T (118 mph). Climbing up the scale are the letters H (130 mph), V (149 mph), ZR (149+ mph), W (168 mph), and Y (186 mph). Winter tires may carry the letter Q (99 mph) or higher.


Treadwear grade

A government-required number that indicates a tire’s expected wear. A grade of 300 denotes a tire that will wear three times as well as a tire graded 100. But the numbers are assigned by tire manufacturers, not an independent third party.


Traction and temperature scores

Those scores denote a tire’s wet-stopping ability and temperature resistance. For traction, AA is best, C is worst. For temperature resistance, scores range from A (best) to C.

Tire wall graphic


The amount of tread on a tire is critical in determining how well it will vacate water to maintain contact with the road in the rain. If your tires wear out quickly, your safety may be at risk.


Research tells us that when people shop for tires, their primary considerations are price, availability, and treadwear. Prices are easy to find. But until now, consumers had to rely on the

government’s treadwear ratings or mileage warranty claims from manufacturers­—if available­—to judge how well tires would wear.


A treadwear grade is found on most new tires. But that tread wear grade is a comparative tool, and it does not tell in miles how long any one tire might last. Further, manufacturers use different methodologies in making tread wear mileage claims, which in turn makes comparing tire mileages across tire brands challenging.

Here’s a visual guide to help determine the different types of treadwear and their causes.

Over-inflated tire tread wear
Under-inflated tire tread wear


Proof: Fast center wear


Proof: Fast shoulder-wear

Misaligned tire tread wear


Proof: Fast wear on one side of the tire

Properly inflated tire tread wear

Properly Maintained

Proof: Even wear across tire

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