This indicates what type of vehicle or service that the tire is intended to be used for. The "P" Stands for "P-Metric" or Passenger. This means that it is a North American tire sizing designation, as European tires typically don't have the "P" attached to the size.
"LT" stands for "Light Truck," which is found on tires with higher ply ratings. Tires with an "LT" rating are designed to be used on vehicles that will carry heavy cargo or towing large trailers. It is very common for light trucks and SUVs to come with "P"-rated tires, but you should never substitute a "P-metric" tire for an "LT metric" tire, even if all other dimensions are the same. You can check your vehicle manual to verify what rating is appropriate for your vehicle.
You may also come across vehicle sizes that begin with a "T", which designates the tire as a "Temporary Spare." As the name suggests, "Temporary Spares" should only be driven briefly, until the flat is repaired or replaced.
The "215" is the width of a tire, also known as the "section width". This is the width of the tire in millimeters at its widest point from sidewall to sidewall when mounted on the recommended rim width. The actual tire width can vary depending on the rim width it is mounted on.
The "65"is known as the Aspect Ratio. It is calculated by dividing the section height by the section width and multiplying by 100. (In this example, the sidewall will be 65% of 215).
This indicates the construction type. In this example, the "R" stands for Radial, meaning it has a radial construction. Radial tires have ply cords that extend to the beads and are laid at 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread, the carcass being stabilized by a circumferential belt. Other possibilities include "B" for belted construction and "D" for diagonal construction. This means the ply cords extend to the beads and are laid at alternate angles less than 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread.
The "15" stands for the diameter of the wheel in inches. This is the exact size that this tire will fit. There are some older rims called "TRX" which are metric measurements like 390. You CAN NOT mix TRX rims with regular tires or vise-versa.
The "89" is the load index. The load index indicates the amount of weight that each tire is able to support. See our Load Ratings page for more information.
The "H" is the speed rating symbol. This represents the top safe speed that the tire was designed for, which is also a good indicator of how the tire will perform at lower speeds. See our Speed Ratings page for more detailed information, including all current speed rating symbols.