Chevrolet Cobalt Owners Manual: Tire Sidewall Labeling

Useful information about a tire is molded into its sidewall. The examples below show a typical passenger vehicle tire and a compact spare tire sidewall.

Passenger (P-Metric) Tire Example
Passenger (P-Metric) Tire Example

(A) Tire Size: The tire size is a combination of letters and numbers used to define a particular tire's width, height, aspect ratio, construction type and service description. See the “Tire Size” illustration later in this section for more detail.

(B) TPC Spec (Tire Performance Criteria Specification): Original equipment tires designed to GM's specific tire performance criteria have a TPC specification code molded onto the sidewall.

GM's TPC specifications meet or exceed all federal safety guidelines. If your vehicle has 205/55R16 size tires, they meet the GM TPC Spec rating, but the TPC Spec code has not been molded onto the tire's sidewall.

(C) DOT (Department of Transportation): The Department of Transportation (DOT) code indicates that the tire is in compliance with the U.S. Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

(D) Tire Identification Number (TIN): The letters and numbers following DOT (Department of Transportation) code is the Tire Identification Number (TIN). The TIN shows the manufacturer and plant code, tire size, and date the tire was manufactured. The TIN is molded onto both sides of the tire, although only one side may have the date of manufacture.

(E) Tire Ply Material: The type of cord and number of plies in the sidewall and under the tread.

(F) Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG): Tire manufacturers are required to grade tires based on three performance factors: treadwear, traction and temperature resistance. For more information see Uniform Tire Quality Grading.

(G) Maximum Cold Inflation Load Limit: Maximum load that can be carried and the maximum pressure needed to support that load.

Compact Spare Tire Example
Compact Spare Tire Example

(A) Temporary Use Only: The compact spare tire or temporary use tire has a tread life of approximately 3,000 miles (5 000 km) and should not be driven at speeds over 65 mph (105 km/h).

The compact spare tire is for emergency use when a regular road tire has lost air and gone flat. If your vehicle has a compact spare tire, see Compact Spare Tire and If a Tire Goes Flat.

(B) Tire Ply Material: The type of cord and number of plies in the sidewall and under the tread.

(C) Tire Identification Number (TIN): The letters and numbers following the DOT (Department of Transportation) code is the Tire Identification Number (TIN). The TIN shows the manufacturer and plant code, tire size, and date the tire was manufactured. The TIN is molded onto both sides of the tire, although only one side may have the date of manufacture.

(D) Maximum Cold Inflation Load Limit: Maximum load that can be carried and the maximum pressure needed to support that load.

(E) Tire Inflation: The temporary use tire or compact spare tire should be inflated to 60 psi (420 kPa). For more information on tire pressure and inflation see Inflation - Tire Pressure.

(F) Tire Size : A combination of letters and numbers define a tire's width, height, aspect ratio, construction type and service description.

The letter T as the first character in the tire size means the tire is for temporary use only.

(G) TPC Spec (Tire Performance Criteria Specification): Original equipment tires designed to GM's specific tire performance criteria have a TPC specification code molded onto the sidewall.

GM's TPC specifications meet or exceed all federal safety guidelines.

Tire Size

(A) Passenger (P-Metric) Tire: The United States


(A) Passenger (P-Metric) Tire: The United States version of a metric tire sizing system. The letter P as the first character in the tire size means a passenger vehicle tire engineered to standards set by the U.S. Tire and Rim Association. A tire size without the letter P as the first character is certified to European standards.

(B) Tire Width: The three-digit number indicates the tire section width in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall.

(C) Aspect Ratio: A two-digit number that indicates the tire height-to-width measurements.

For example, if the tire size aspect ratio is 60, as shown in item C of the illustration, it would mean that the tire's sidewall is 60 percent as high as it is wide.

(D) Construction Code: A letter code is used to indicate the type of ply construction in the tire.

The letter R means radial ply construction; the letter D means diagonal or bias ply construction; and the letter B means belted-bias ply construction.

(E) Rim Diameter: Diameter of the wheel in inches.

(F) Service Description: These characters represent the load index and speed rating of the tire. The load index represents the load carry capacity a tire is certified to carry. The speed rating is the maximum speed a tire is certified to carry a load.

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    See also:

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