When choosing new tires for your passenger car, there are various factors to consider, and the tire’s speed rating is one of them. All vehicle tires have a speed rating. A tire speed rating impacts the safety and handling of vehicles. Apart from knowing the all-season tire rating speed, you must also understand winter tire rating. Below is a quick guide on the rating of winter tires.

What is the Tire Speed Rating?

Tires rating shows the speed a tire can maintain over time. A higher speed rating means better control and handling at higher and slower speeds. This also means the tire handles the extra heat.

Generally, on the sidewall of every tire, there is always a different speed rating code. This is the maximum speed of tires; here is an overview of each code.

What is the maximum speed rating?

Vehicle tires have different speed ratings that must match the car’s speed capabilities. This is evident from the codes on the tire sidewall. For instance, if the car is properly inflated and not overloaded, the tire sidewall will have the code A V, which means its maximum speed is 240 km/h.

For winter tires, you can fit a tire with a lower speed rating and display a label with the maximum speed limit in the driver’s field of vision. Here is the rating system used on different tires.

  • Q-160km/h
  • R-170km/h
  • S-180km/h
  • T-190 km/h
  • U-200 km/h
  • H-210 km/h
  • V-240 km/h
  • W-270 km/h
  • Y-300 km/h
  • ZR-Capability beyond 300 km/h

Winter Tires Speed Rating

Though it’s rare to reach the maximum speed rating of any vehicle tire in America, tire speed rating also indicates a tire’s handling ability.

A winter H-rated tire or higher is more responsive when the road conditions are good. But its tread design also won’t bite in deep snow.

The best winter or snow tires for bad weather have speed rating codes of Q, R, S and T-rated at times. The high-powered all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive vehicles such as Mercedes Benz, BMW, Sedans and Audi often feel squishy on lower speed rating tires.

It’s also a good compromise for vehicles moving down from V or W-rated summer tires to H-rated winter tires.

Safety and Speed Rating Tips

When getting new tires, choose a tire that aligns with your car’s rating or the manufacturer’s recommendation. The owner’s manual should have this information. It’s okay to choose high speeds rated tires than going lower.

The speeds indicated are test speeds and not the actual recommended speeds. Consider highway speeds, load rating, and tire load index. So, for a safe ride, avoid top speed and always obey speed limits.

Speed-rated tires have an impact on your safety. If you are considering changing your passenger car’s season tires to winter tires, always consider tire size and tire speed by checking the owner’s manual or tire sidewall. For winter tire replacement, installation and tire size guidelines, contact Tread Nation today, regardless of vehicle type.