emoji

10% discount on $500+ orders*

emoji

Promo code :

emoji

Expires on Jun 24th

emoji
shopping_cart
Cart
2024-05-30

Tire Load Index: Explanation and Importance

Banner

When choosing the right tires for your vehicle, one of the most crucial factors is the load index. This often overlooked number plays a vital role in the safety and performance of your vehicle. This article explains what the tire load index is, why it is important, and how to choose tires with the correct load index for your car.

What is the Tire Load Index?

The tire load index is a numerical code that indicates the maximum load a tire can support. This code is usually found on the tire's sidewall, along with other important information such as size and speed rating. For example, a tire marked "205/55 R16 91V" has a load index of 91.

Load Index Table

Here is a table of common load indices and their corresponding load capacities:

Load IndexPounds
79963
80992
811019
821047
831074
841102
851135
861168
871201
881235
891279
901323
911356
921389
931433
941477
951521
961565
971609
981653
991709
1001764
1011819
1021874
1031929
1041984
1052039
1062094
1072149
1082205
1092271
1102337
1112403
1122469
1132535
1142601
1152679
1162756
1172833
1182910
1192998
1203086
1213197
1223307
1233417
1243527
1253638
1263748
1273858
1283968
1294079
1304189
1314289
1324409
1334541
1344674
1354806
1364938
1375071
1385203
1395357
1405512
1415677
1425842
1436008
1446173
1456393
1466614
1476779
1486844
1497165
1507385

Why is the Load Index Important?

Safety

One of the most critical aspects of the load index is safety. Using tires with an incorrect load index can lead to severe risks. If the tire is overloaded, it can overheat and potentially burst, which can cause accidents.

An overloaded tire may also see its structure compromised, leading to a sudden tire failure at high speed. This can be particularly dangerous on highways, where high speeds increase the risk of losing control of the vehicle. By choosing tires with the correct load index, you reduce these risks and ensure safer driving for you and your passengers.

Vehicle Performance

Tires with the correct load index also contribute to the overall performance of your vehicle. They ensure good road handling, better stability, and even tire wear, extending their lifespan.

When tires adequately support the vehicle's weight, they maintain a uniform contact pressure with the road. This results in better traction, improved maneuverability, and reduced braking distance. Properly rated tires also help distribute the load evenly across the tire surface, preventing uneven wear and extending tire life.

Legal Compliance

Moreover, using tires with the correct load index is a legal requirement in many countries. Not only could you be penalized for non-compliance, but it could also affect your car insurance in the event of an accident.

Insurance companies may refuse to cover damages caused by inappropriate tires, leaving you with significant out-of-pocket expenses. Additionally, during a road inspection, authorities may fine you if your tires do not meet the manufacturer's specifications.

Complying with the recommended load index is not only a matter of safety but also of legal compliance and financial protection.

How to Choose the Right Load Index?

Consult the Vehicle Manual

The vehicle owner's manual is the first source of information for choosing the right load index. The manufacturer usually specifies the recommended tire specifications.

Door Labels

Another method is to check the labels located on the driver's side door post or inside the fuel tank cover. These labels contain information about the tires, including the recommended load index.

load_rating.png

In this example (Ford F-150 Lightning), the number to remember is 116.

Practical Examples

Passenger Car

For a passenger car like a sedan, the appropriate load index is often between 85 and 95. For example, a Honda Civic might require tires with a load index of 91, meaning each tire can support up to 615 kg.

Passenger cars are primarily designed for transporting passengers on urban and intercity roads. They are generally lighter than SUVs or utility vehicles, meaning their tires do not need to support extremely heavy loads. However, it is essential not to underestimate the importance of the load index even for passenger cars. An inadequate load index can affect not only safety but also the performance and driving comfort.

When choosing tires for your passenger car, ensure they conform to the manufacturer's recommendations. Using tires with too low a load index can lead to premature tire wear, reduced fuel efficiency, and poor road handling. Conversely, choosing tires with too high a load index can make the ride stiffer and less comfortable.

SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle)

For an SUV, which is generally heavier, a higher load index is necessary. For example, a Toyota RAV4 might require tires with a load index of 102, capable of supporting 850 kg per tire.

SUVs are popular for their capacity to carry more passengers and cargo compared to passenger cars. They are often used for activities such as towing small trailers, transporting sports equipment, or driving on rough terrains. Due to their additional weight and higher center of gravity, SUVs require tires with a higher load index to ensure stability and safety.

Choosing tires with an appropriate load index for your SUV is crucial for maintaining the vehicle's performance and durability. Inadequate tires can lead to handling issues, increased risk of rollover, and reduced braking capacity. Additionally, tires with a good load index can improve traction on various surfaces, essential for an SUV often used off paved roads.

Utility Vehicles

Utility vehicles, due to their capacity to carry heavier loads, require tires with a very high load index. For example, a Ford Transit might require tires with a load index of 115, supporting 1215 kg each.

Utility vehicles are designed to transport heavy loads, often in demanding driving conditions. They are used by businesses for delivering goods, transporting heavy equipment, and other commercial activities. Due to these demands, utility vehicle tires must be robust and capable of supporting significant loads without compromising safety.

Using tires with an adequate load index for utility vehicles is essential to prevent tire failures under heavy loads, which can be costly and dangerous. Undersized tires can overheat and wear out quickly, leading to frequent stops for repairs or replacements. Conversely, properly sized tires allow for even load distribution, improving tire durability and overall vehicle safety.

Conclusion

The tire load index is a crucial element in ensuring your vehicle's safety and performance. By choosing tires with the correct load index, you ensure not only safe driving but also better durability and legal compliance. For more advice and assistance in choosing your tires, feel free to visit PMCtire.com or contact our team of experts.

Stay safe and take care of your tires!

Need help choosing the right tires?

Contact our experts at PMCtire.com to get personalized advice and find the perfect tires for your vehicle

contact_support
Talk with us!

Dominic Vaillancourt

Automotive expert & Spokesperson