What Does H Tire Rating Mean
H is a rating given to the tire according to its maximum speed limit. H is the most common tire rating worldwide, as most vehicles need H-rated tires. The H here means high performance. The H-rated tires mean that they can best perform at speeds below 130mph.
Tire Basics: Sidewall meaning, speed ratings, load ratings
These tires can be fitted into vehicles with a maximum speed of 130 mph. Thus, you commonly find H-rating tires, such as sedans, in most cars.
H rating tires are usually manufactured especially for vehicles that need high-speed performance.
The main idea behind this rating is that it can take a maximum load for the minimum speed limit. So you will find that H-rating tires have a high load-carrying capability. However, these tires can also be used in extreme conditions.
It is, therefore, essential to know why H-rated tires are chosen over other types of tires. Thus, selecting the tire according to its maximum speed limit becomes crucial.
There are various factors which often used for determining the need for H-rated tires as well as being used in all kinds of vehicles with the highest speed value of 130 mph.
These factors include road construction, surface conditions, and safety from the front and rear sides.
Why Was Tire Speed Rating Created
After years of tires failures and accidents caused by drivers flying down Germanys Autobahn at top speeds, a global tire speed rating system was created to remind drivers of their tires limits. In the 1960s, there were only three ratings now there are 14.
Today, those ratings indicate so much more about how a tire performs.
Tire Speed Rating Chart
A speed rating chart is used to indicate the standard maximum speed capacities for different types and sizes of tires under optimal operating conditions. Speed ratings are designated using alphabetic symbols, A to Z, with the exclusion of I, O, and U. A rating corresponds to maximum performance speeds of 3 mph, and Z corresponds to speeds above 186 mph.
There are 15 speed ratings for cars, and youll be able to find each in the chart below. Keep in mind that the letters are not in order, and if you notice some of them out of place, its not a typo that is how the ratings are marked.
|Above 300||Above 186|
Also Check: Tire Pressure For Honda Civic
What Are Z Rated Tires
Before explaining the ZR designation, first, lets look at the other ratings. The speed rating ranges from 75 mph and goes over 186 mph. Each increase is several miles per hour higher than the previous one and gets a letter that helps you identify the rating quickly.
The ZR designation is aimed at higher-performance cars that can reach maximum speeds over 149 mph. This is a separate category consisting of 3-speed ratings: 168, 186, and above 186 mph.
Z rating is a designation that may appear in the middle of the tires information, adopted for high-performance tires. Z rating is adopted for tires with maximum speed capabilities of over 149 mph. High-performance tires are wider and smoother compared to regular tires, providing an increased contact surface area. ZR designation must be included for tires whose maximum speed capability exceeds 186 mph.
H Vs T Speed Rating For Tire Replacement
I have a 4+ year old Subaru with high miles but that I will continue to drive for a few more years. It needs new tires, and currently has H rated touring tires. I no longer have a long highway commute, and was considering replacing my worn out H rated tires with a slightly cheaper T rated tire. Is this a good idea? How much difference in handling / performance might I expect during normal around town driving and occasional highway use?
As you probably already know, T tires are rated up to 118 mph and H tires are good to 130 mph. Theres really not that much difference, is there? We might wonder why your car currently has the H tires but thats immaterial. Maybe Subaru Corp. has a sweetheart deal with the tire manufacture.
Since it does not seem likely that you will exceed 118 mph in the library parking lot, I recommend saving a few bucks and going with the T tires. Handling & performance? Youd never notice a difference.
More information from TireRack over here:
H rated tires have stronger construction than T rated tires. The concern may not be speed although a Subaru can exceed 118 MPH hence those tires however it may be load rating of the tires. Lessor speed rated tires must be able to handle the listed load of your vehicle properly. Confirm this, a good tire shop will.
With the prior comment of not noticing the difference I highly disagree in all cases.
A T rated tire is more than sufficient for almost any normal passenger car in the USA.
Also Check: 2020 Chevy 2500hd Max Tire Size
Why Were Tire Speed Ratings Developed
The speed rating system used today was developed in Europe in response to the need to control the safe performance of tires at standardized speeds. When the rating system was originally developed, the “Unlimited V” category of over 210 km/h was the top speed rating possible.
As manufacturers developed bigger and better tires, it became necessary to regulate performance at standardized speeds to ensure safety. The “Limited V” category of 250 km/h was then created, and eventually the “Z” speed rating was added as the top speed rating.
Mud And Snow Markings
Some tire brands would have M+S markings to indicate that they have met minimum requirements to work decently on these types of terrains. Usually, this is the case with 4WD and 2WD tires with extra spaces between their tread blocks. However, note that no tire actually works seamlessly on either mud or snow except for those with the three-peak mountain snowflake icon on them.
Read Also: What Should Psi Be In Tires
Best For Performance: Michelin Pilot Sport
Pirelli may be synonymous with motor racing, but when it comes to on-road performance, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is king. Multiple media outlets regard it as the best performance tires you can buy, period.
If you have a sports car, made significant modifications to your car, or any sort of performance-focused car, consider this Michelin. It will fit wheels as small as 17 inches, to as large as 23 inches. All of them come with a Y speed rating, meaning its safe for you to go up to 186mph.
Downsides? Well, theyre not ideal in winter conditions, and they can be prone to hydroplaning in heavy rain. If you want better all-season performance, the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 is probably for you.
Of course, a max-performance tire like this isnt cheap. The smaller ones start at a somewhat reasonable $209 each. However, larger ones will easily cost somewhere between $300 $400, with some costing as high as $568.
One more thing to note, if you want the best, no-compromise performance tire for track use, you have to consider the Pilot Sport Cup 2. These have even poorer performance in the wet, but they will provide ultimate grip and performance in the dry. Definitely necessary if youre driving a supercar of sorts.
Load Rating And Index
This is often overlooked while buying tires, but you also need to understand the maximum load your tires can carry, especially if you often carry a lot of things such as for work or family trips.
Tires have a load rating and load index. The load rating is the maximum amount of tire pressure the tires can handle while carrying their maximum load. For Passenger-type tires its quite simple, theyre either Standard Load or Extra Load .
Tires with an SL rating have a maximum inflation pressure of 35psi, while XL-rated tires can handle up to 41psi. You can inflate the tires to higher than that, but it wont be safe for a prolonged period. If the tires dont say SL or XL, then it means its an SL-rated tire.
However, LT or Light Truck tires have a slightly wider rating range. This is because LT tires are stronger and are made out of 6 plies/layers or more. While Passenger tires have an industry standard of 4-ply. To learn more about Light Truck tires and load rating, read here.
Meanwhile, the load index is a numeric code that indicates the maximum amount of load the tire can carry. It ranges from 0 to 150, the higher the number the more weight it can carry. In our case, its 99 which means it can carry 1,389lbs. Multiply that by four , the tires on your car can handle up to 5,556lbs.
Read Also: How Much Do Tire Patches Cost
What Does Speed Rating On Tires Mean
The tire speed rating is the maximum mph a tire can maintain while functioning correctly. The manufacturer sets this recommendation to help increase the tires life and reduce the risk of a tire failure. The faster a tire travels, the more heat it produces.
Excessive heat can cause the tire to break down prematurely.
Tires with a higher speed rating will often provide better handling, especially at higher speeds. However, these tires arent always the best option as they offer a less comfortable ride and less performance in cold conditions and have a much shorter tread life.
What Is The Difference Between Speed Rating V And H
V-rated tires have a sturdier sidewall and a somewhat harder feel than H-rated tires to accommodate the faster speeds.
An H-rated tire will provide a more pleasant ride in typical driving situations, while the V-rated tire will provide somewhat superior handling.
From H-rated to V-rated tires, youre moving from good passenger vehicle tires to handling-focused performance tires.
Rubber compositions and tread patterns on H-rated tires are developed for all-weather performance and long tread life.
Many V-rated tires, as well as performance tires, are designed for dry road grip and handling.
V-rated tires would suit a motorist who enjoys driving aggressively and pushing the limits of his vehicle. H-rated tires are best for drivers who want a long tire life as well as a smooth, safe ride.
Also Check: Best One Tire And Service
How To Choose A Speed Rating
Remember, you must choose the speed rating that is specified by you vehicle manufacturers specifications. Additionally, make sure all 4 tires have the same rating. Speed ratings are not under true driving conditions, but a representation of how the product handles in laboratory settings . Call Shamrock Tire & Auto Repair for assistance with your tires Contact or visit us online.
What Is A Speed Rating
A tires speed rating is determined by the manufacturer andlets you know what speed you can safely drive at. Keep in mind that these speed ratings are designed under favorable conditions, so try not to push the limits of your tire if you dont need to.
Tire speed rating starts all the way down at 3 mph with aspeed symbol of A1 and go all the way above 186 mph with a speed symbol of ZR. For the most part speed symbols are in alphabetical order, with the exception of H. H is found in-between U and V due to it being referred to as the highway speed tire.
Also Check: Custom Wheels And Tire Packages
What Are The Most Common Tire Speed Ratings
Most commuters and consumers will want either an H, S or T tire. Light trucks may need a tire between the N and T ratings. Sports cars may get better handling with a ZR tire.
- H-Rated Tires: This is a perfect, average tire for most sedans and commuter vehicles. It might not seem to fit in our chart, but the tire speed rating H is rated for up to 130 mph.
- T-Rated Tires: This tire is often recommended for family sedans and vans. Its rated for up to 118 mph. Thats well below the speed limit of most states, unless youre planning on bringing your commuter on the Autobahn.
- ZR-Rated Tires: The ZR rating indicates anything above the V rating , so it includes both the Y and W speed rating. Sports cars will often get the best handling with these tires.
Its not necessarily the case that the higher the speed rating, the better the tire there are exceptions. For instance, many off-roading tires are powerful and girthy, working perfectly in mud and sand, but they might only have a speed rating of L, meaning that youll not want to bring those tires on the highway.
Places To Look For Tire Speed Rating
The speed rating is usually simple to identify as it appears as the last item in the tires size code. Car manufacturers recommend specific speed ratings that are included in the car manual. Speed ratings can be found on other locations that bear tire size codes for the car, including the drivers side door jamb, gas tank hatch or inside the glove door hatch. Speed ratings on tires are usually inscribed on the sidewall of the tire. For instance, for a tire coded as 225/70R16 85S, S represents the speed rating, with maximum speed capabilities of 112 mph.
The tire speed rating will mostly depend on your vehicle, so the first place to look is the user manual. Alternatively, you can look at the maintenance stickers at the door or in the glovebox.
If your previous tires were purchased per the manufacturers requirements, you could use them as a guide. You can find the tire speed rating on the sidewall right next to the size and load index. For example, if the sidewall says: 195/70R13 75M, the tire speed rating is the last letter M.
Recommended Reading: Ford F150 Tire Size Chart
Can I Mix Speed Ratings On My Vehicles Tyres
If you are going to mix speed ratings, which we dont recommend, make sure the lower rated tyres are on the front axle, regardless of whether your vehicle is front-, rear- or four-wheel drive. This is to prevent a potential oversteer scenario. Bear in mind that all tyres must be appropriate for the vehicle and you should drive no faster than your lowest rated tyres.
We would always recommend that the same size and type of tyre, with the same speed ratings, are fitted on all tyres.
Why Is Speed Rating So Important
The speed rating essentially reflects the ability of a tire to withstand or dissipate heat at high speeds. Running a tire at speeds higher than its rating can shorten the tires life and potentially lead to a tire damage which could result in an accident, so it is important to follow the manufacturers speed rating recommendations when you are choosing tires.
The speed rating should never be taken as the safe maximum speed of your vehicle, or as a recommendation that you should travel faster than the legal speed limit. The actual safe driving speed depends on many other factors, such as laws, weather and road conditions, and your cars mechanical capabilities and condition. If a tire is old, worn down, underinflated or overloaded, the speed rating is no longer relevant.
You May Like: Goodyear Viva 3 All Season Tire
What Does H Mean On A Tire
As stated above, each letter coincides with the maximum speed a tire can handle under its required load capacity, and H has an approved speed value of 130 mph.
Tires with the letter H on the sidewall can be seen on sedans, SUVs, and crossover SUVs. These cars have a lot of horsepower, which means they can go faster.
They can also be seen in high-end automobiles. H tires, according to experts, are on the lowest end of the sports vehicle spectrum.
Because of their low-speed support value, these tires are suitable for amateur racing or rookie stages.
Ply Rating And Load Information
If you have been buying tires for a long time, you have seen the letters P, LT, ST, or XL attached to either the tire width or rim diameter portion of a sidewall marking. These letters indicate ply rating and should not be confused with a tires load index or construction type.
Having no letter or a P with the tire size means a standard-load passenger-type tire with a 4-ply rating. The letters LT or ST pertain to tires with heavier weight capacities and 6- to 14-ply ratings . These tires are standard for pickups and SUVs, with ST tires strictly for use with trailers. One best practice is not to go lower than 8-ply-rated tires if you own a vehicle with a load capacity from 3/4 to 1 ton.
Read Also: 4.80 4.00 X 8 Trailer Tire
Tire Speed Rating System Has Change
The modern speed rating system uses letters A through Z. Each letter corresponds to a specific speed. A tires ability to handle faster speeds goes up as the rating advances alphabetically. For example, a tire rated A is good for a lower maximum sustained speed than one rated B.
It should be noted since this is a European rating system there are some things that are out of order, like the letter H, which falls between U and V, I, O, X dont exist.
Comparison Chart Tire Speed Rating T Vs H
|T Speed Rating|
|Gives slower miles per hour||Gives faster miles per hour|
|It gives 118mph|
|Suitable for those who drive cars slow||Suitable to those who drive the car in the mid-range speed|
|Not so good in cornering, sudden brake and handing||Good enough in cornering, sudden brake and handling|
|Not suitable for higher friction||Suitable for mid-range friction|
|Less heat resistant than the H speed rating||More heat resistant than T speed rating|
|Not appropriate in direction changing||More appropriate in direction changing|
Read Also: Air Pressure Gauge For Tires