Car/Driving and Tire Tips/How To Read/Tire Load Index & Chart

TIRE LOAD INDEX & CHART

A tire’s load index is a number that can be used to look up the maximum amount of weight a tire can bear at its speed rating when inflated to its maximum PSI.

This number, which is usually between 75 and 100 for passenger cars, is not stated in pounds or any other unit of measurement.
It is used to find the actual rated value in pounds on a standardized chart.

HOW TO FIND THE LOAD INDEX ON A TIRE

The load index is the second-to-last component of the seven-part tire size code molded into the sidewall of your tire. It is a two or three digit number that precedes the tire speed index letter at the very end of the code.
In the example size code in the image, the load index is 96. You can find the load index on your tire, and then use this chart to find the maximum weight each tire can withstand:

Load Index

TIRE LOAD INDEX CHART

Each load index number is tied to a real weight, measured in pounds, on the chart. A tire with a load index of 96, for example, is rated to hold 1565 pounds at max PSI and at its rated speed.

Load Index Load (lbs)
75 852
76 882
77 908
78 937
79 963
80 992
81 1019
82 1047
83 1074
84 1102
85 1135
86 1168
87 1201
88 1235
89 1279
90 1323
91 1356
92 1389
93 1433
94 1477
95 1521
96 1565
97 1609
98 1653
99 1709
100 1764
Load Index Load (lbs)
101 1819
102 1874
103 1929
104 1984
105 2039
106 2094
107 2149
108 2205
109 2271
110 2337
111 2403
112 2469
113 2535
114 2601
115 2679
116 2756
117 2833
118 2910
119 2998
120 3086
121 3197
122 3307
123 3417
124 3527
125 3638
Load Index Load (lbs)
126 3748
127 3858
128 3968
129 4079
130 4189
131 4289
132 4409
133 4541
134 4674
135 4806
136 4938
137 5071
138 5203
139 5357
140 5512
141 5677
142 5842
143 6008
144 6173
145 6393
146 6614
147 6779
148 6844
149 7165
150 7385

WHY IS TIRE LOAD INDEX IMPORTANT?

The load index is something you should pay attention to because overloading your tires can damage them and cause them to wear out quickly. In more severe cases, excess weight on a tire could lead to life-threatening blowouts. Your car’s manufacturer states the recommended load index for your tires on the placard on the doorjamb on the driver’s side.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPEED AND LOAD INDEX

The load index and speed index appear together at the end of the tire size code. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is that the load index is a two or three digit number, while the speed index is a single letter. In the example above, the load index is 97, while the speed index is V.

LIGHT TRUCK TIRE LOAD INDEX

The load index on light truck tires is different from that of passenger cars: it usually has two ratings separated by a slash. This is because most light truck tires are designed to be used in a dual back wheel system with two tires side by side. The first number is the load rating when the tire is used alone, and the second is the rating when it is used as a dual tire. The dual rating is usually lower to cover situations where one tire in the pair fails and the other has to carry the full load.

HOW TO READ YOUR TIRE

Aside from the load index, your tire’s sidewall contains lots of other useful information about its size, safety, and performance. Here you can find full information about your tire code.

FAQs

CAN I USE A HIGHER LOAD INDEX TIRE?
Using a load rating that is higher than the recommended one should not pose any problems for your vehicle. But you should never fit tires on your car that fall short of the recommended load index.
DOES LOAD INDEX AND SPEED RATING MATTER?
Though they may receive less attention than the height, width, and rim diameter in a tire’s size code, load index and speed rating are crucial. They affect the tire’s performance, durability, and safety. A tire that doesn’t meet load specifications could wear out quickly or lead to bad accidents.
DOES THE TIRE LOAD INDEX AFFECT RIDE QUALITY?
The tire load index is not directly correlated to ride quality. While major increases in load index will often mean taller, stiffer sidewalls and higher PSIs, and therefore a stiffer ride, there are many other factors such as suspension, tread, and correct inflation that have more noticeable effects on ride quality.

FIND YOUR TIRES

Now that you understand more about tire specs, you can browse Pirelli’s catalog to find tires for your size and weight requirements.

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