Tire Guide

Tire Pressure

There's no question that buying new tires can be confusing. There are several factors that influence the life of your tires, including:

  • How the tires are used
  • Your style of driving
  • Type of vehicle
  • Where you drive
  • Vehicle maintenance

Tire size is very important because putting an undersized tire on your car can overheat or overload the tire, while using an oversized tire can rub parts of the vehicle. To find the proper tire size for your vehicle, look in your vehicle owner's manual or the label inside the glove box. Can find the owner's manual? Call the vehicle manufacturer, dealership or a tire dealer to ask what tire size you should use.

You can also visit the Transport Canada website for information on tire safety.

When looking for tires, always use a reputable dealer. Find a CAA approved tire dealer in your area.

How to read a tire sidewall
Tire Guide

This diagram will help you decode the information on a tire sidewall.

  1. The peaked mountain with snowflake indicates it's a snow tire.
  2. M + S (mud and snow) indicate an all-season tire.
  3. P stands for passenger vehicle. You may find L for light-duty vehicle.
  4. 195 is the width of the tire in millimeters.
  5. 60 is the aspect ratio. This is the percentage ratio of the height of the sidewall to the width.
  6. R means the tire has radial construction.
  7. 15 represents the wheel diameter in inches.
  8. 87 is the load index.
  9. Q indicates the speed rating.

Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) is a system that provides useful information on tread wear, traction and temperature. The ratings are based on standard tire tests, under controlled conditions following the United States Department of Transport standards. All tires for sale in North America have their grades branded on the sidewall. The grade designations are used for comparison purposes only between tires.

Common tire terms

Tread wear: The tread wear is a comparative rating based on the wear of the tire, when tested in a controlled environment. For example, a tire graded 400 wears two times as well as a tire graded 200. Grades range from 50 to more than 600, increasing in 20-point increments. The actual life and performance of a tire depends upon the conditions of its use.

Traction: Grades indicate the measurement of a tire's ability to stop a car in a straight-ahead motion on a wet test surface pavement. Traction ratings are assigned to the tires tested, and range from AA (highest) to C (lowest). Tests are performed only for straight-ahead sliding and do not apply to cornering traction acceleration.

Temperature: Grades range from A (highest) to C and represent a tire's resistance to heat and its ability to dissipate heat under controlled conditions. Tires that receive a "C" grade meet minimum performance standards. The higher the grade, the better the performance. Grades are based on tires that are properly inflated and not overloaded.


Are you unsure about what type of tires to buy? Go online to research what the experts are saying. Check out these reputable websites:

Proper tire maintenance is critical to the safe operation of your vehicle. It will also help improve your fuel efficiency, extend the life of your tires and provide better vehicle handling. Link: Find a CAA approved tire dealer.