What is Speed Rating for Tires

how to read tire sizeYour tires are one of the most important components on your vehicle. The proper tires allow your vehicle to perform correctly and keep you safe in low-traction situations. To help you better understand your tire’s performance, Faulkner Mazda created this helpful breakdown of tire speed rating. Read on to learn the importance of knowing your rating as well as what speed rating for tires is. If our friends in Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, and Carlisle have any further questions, they can contact our service center.

What Is a Tire Speed Rating?

What Is a Tire Speed RatingTire speed ratings indicate the maximum speed a tire can safely handle before it no longer performs as desired. The higher the speed rating of your tires, the more control you can enjoy at higher traveling speeds. Your tires are giving a certified speed rating in the form of a letter from A to Z with speeds ranging from 3 MPH to above 186 MPH. With the exception of H-rating, the higher in the alphabet the rating, the better a tire can manage heat and friction created at higher speeds.

It is important to note that your actual speed capacity may be lesser than the designated tire speed rating. This rating indicates the maximum speed for a new tire, and your actual maximum capacity depends on tire condition, pressure, cargo capacity, and road conditions. Always pay attention to weather conditions and adhere to speed limits to ensure you and your car stay protected.

Speed Ratings for Tires

You can locate your tire’s speed rating in your owner’s manual. You may also be able to find it on your driver’s side doorjamb, glove box door, or gas tank hatch. In most instances, your maximum speed will be listed alongside your speed rating. In case there’s no speed posted, the following chart indicates the most common speed ratings and their corresponding speeds.

Speed Symbol

Maximum Speed (MPH)





















In some cases, tires that have a maximum capacity of 149 MPH or above may have a ZR appear in the size designation. If you’re ever unsure about your tire’s speed rating it is best to consult your manufacturer or local tire center.

Which Tire Speed Rating Do I Need?

Wheel Alignment Increases the Lifespan of Your TiresWhen it comes to choosing new tires, you want to ensure you’re selecting tires that offer the correct speed rating for your vehicle. Sedans and minivans typically have a speed rating of an S or T, while trucks usually require an N, P, Q, or R tire rating. More high-performance cars like sports cars and coupes can expect to have H, V, W, or Y ratings.

When it comes time to replace your tires, trust experienced technicians to locate the correct tires that your vehicle needs.

Visit Our Tire Center

Faulkner Mazda is proud to offer an on-site tire center staffed with experienced and knowledgeable technicians who can help you find the correct tires for your car. We will analyze different factors like driving habits, weather and road conditions in your area, and tired speed rating and then find you the proper tires. Drivers in Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, and Carlisle can contact us today to schedule their next appointment.