What Do Speed Ratings Mean On Tires

What do speed ratings mean on a tire? Where can I find the speed rating? Are speed ratings important? All great questions that most people do not know. If you are doing your homework, here is a short video and brief article to help you understand.

Speed Ratings

The tire speed rating is indicated by a letter on the side wall of a tire. In the example on the video, the speed reading is rated as a W. This W designation means the tire is rated for speeds up to 168 miles per hour. Just because the tire is rated for 168 miles per hour doesn’t mean your vehicle is safe at that speed.

Going Fast

You might ask, why do I need a tire that can go that fast? I never drive over the speed limit. The higher the tire speed rating the better handling and braking of your vehicle. It is a combination of speed and construction that drive the speed rating.


When a vehicle is manufactured, engineers use tires as an important design aspect. Why tires? Tires are a major consideration because the tires and suspension work together to define handling characteristics. A poor handling vehicle will not be a good selling vehicle. Manufacturers invest great amounts of resources to ensure the right tires meet their vehicles specs.

Tire Discounters Can Help

At Tire Discounters, we can help. Simply stop in a local Tire Discounters location and let our tire experts guide you to the best tires.