Glossary of Wheels and Tires Terminology

Tire related term



Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)





Under emergency braking using conventional braking systems the wheels can lock up, making the car un-steerable. ABS systems provide continuous monitoring and control of the braking force and in some circumstances can reduce the braking distance while maintaining full car steer ability.



Specialized chemicals designed to retard ozone contamination of rubber preventing premature aging, brittleness and retention of suppleness and pliability.

Anti-slip-control (ASR)


ASR is fitted to vehicles to prevent wheels slipping, spinning on slippery or uneven surfaces.


Rubber degrades when exposed to heat, oxygen, ozone, and other elements.

Air Pressure

The amount of air inside the tire pressing outward on each square inch of tire, which is expressed in pounds per square inch (psi) or kiloPascals (kPa), the metric designation for air pressure.

Airtight Synthetic Rubber

Formulated with virtually impermeable butyl rubber, this material replaces the inner tube in modern, tubeless tires. Check you air pressure monthly, as some air loss occurs over time.



When all wheels on the vehicle are adjusted so that they are pointed in the optimum direction relative to the road and each other.

All-season tires

Tires that provide a good balance of traction in rain or snow with good tread life and a comfortable, quiet ride.



A term for describing the size of a tire (H78-15, for example) where both letters and numbers are used.


An extremely dangerous situation where water builds up in front of the tires resulting in the tires losing contact with the road surface. At this point, the vehicle is skimming on the water surface and is completely out of control. Also called hydroplaning.

Aspect Ratio

The relationship of a tire’s sidewall height to its section width.




The state in which a tire and wheel spin with all their weight distributed equally. To correct an imbalance, a trained mechanic will add weights on the interior or exterior of the wheel.


An anti-friction device that commonly uses balls or rollers held between inner and outer races. Designed to reduce friction between moving parts while providing support for the shaft. Common types of bearings are roller bearings and ball bearings.



A rubber-coated layer of cords that is located between the body plies and the tread. Cords are most commonly made from steel but may also be made from fiberglass, rayon, nylon, polyester or other fabrics.

Belt Wedge

A tire component used by most manufacturers to prevent tread separations. A belt wedge is a piece of rubber inserted inside the tire at the belt edges. 


The part of the tire that is made of steel wires. Wrapped or reinforced by ply cords and that is shaped to fit the rim.

Bias ply tire

A pneumatic tire in which the ply cords that extend to the beads are laid at alternate angles substantially less than 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread.

Bleeding a tire

Releasing air to reduce pressure in tire.



A bursting of a tire and inner tube., usually associated with a loud popping noise.

Braking distance



The distance required for braking depends on the speed of the vehicle, the condition of the road surface and the condition of the tires, in particular the tread. Check the tires tread depth regularly and change your tires when worn down to the "tread wear indicators" located at the bottom of the tread grooves.




A wheel’s inward or outward tilt from vertical, measured in degrees. The camber angle is adjusted to keep the outside tires flat on the ground during a turn.

Camber Thrust


Side or lateral force generated when a tire rolls with camber, which can add to or subtract from the side force a tire generates.

Carbon Black


This is a reinforcing filler which, when incorporated into the tire rubber compound, gives it a high resistance to wear.

Carcass (Casing)

The tire structure, except tread and sidewall rubber which, when inflated, bears the load.

Carrying Capacity



At a given air pressure, how much weight each tire is designed to carry. For each tire size, there is a load inflation table to ensure the inflation pressure used is sufficient for the vehicle axle load.


The angle between a line drawn vertically through a wheel’s centerline and the axis around which the wheel is steered; improves a car’s directional stability and on-center feel.



An imaginary line down the center of the vehicle. Alignment tracking is measured from this line.

Centrifugal Force



The sideways acceleration, measured in g’s, of an object in curvilinear motion. As a car traverses a curve, centrifugal force acts on it and tries to pull it outward. To counteract this, the tires develop an equal and opposite force acting against the road. Also called lateral force.



Even modern winter tires can sometimes not help when there are huge amounts of snow and steep gradients. In these situations traction, lateral control and reliable braking require tire chains


The breaking away of pieces of the tread or sidewall.



Indicates the tires ability to minimize road noise, harshness, and vibration as perceived by the vehicle occupants.

Contact Patch

The area in which the tire is in contact with the road surface. Also called footprint.


The strands forming the plies in the tire.

Cord separation

The parting of cords from adjacent rubber compounds.

Cornering Force


The force on a turning vehicle’s tires - the tire’s ability to grip and resist side force - that keeps the vehicle on the desired arc.


Any parting within the tread, sidewall, or innerliner of the tire extending to cord material.


Section between shoulders of the tires.

Curb Weight



Weight of a production vehicle with fluid reservoirs (including fuel tank) full and all normal equipment in place, but without driver or passengers.


To vulcanize; also time and temperature conditions used to vulcanize a tire.


Date of Manufacture

The date of manufacture of a tire is indicated on the tire's sidewall at the end of the DOT serial number.



The tread and sidewall flexing where the tread comes into contact with the road.

Direction of Rotation

On standard tires with symmetrical tread patterns, it does not matter which way the tire is fitted on the rim and in which position it is fitted on the car.

Some tire manufacturers have, however, started producing tires with specific directions of rotation in order to improve wet grip and optimize noise generation.

The direction of rotation is marked on the side of the tire with an arrow. This side of the tire must be on the outside, and the tire must roll forwards in the direction of the arrow for optimum tire performance.

Directional Stability



The ability of a vehicle to be driven safely and with confidence in a straight line and at high speed without being affected by pavement irregularities, crosswinds, aerodynamic lifting forces, or other external influences.

Directional tread


Tread design in which performance is dependent upon direction of rotation.

Dog Tracking



Track is the width between the outside tread edges of tires on the same axle. Tracking, or more specifically "Dog Tracking", refers to a condition in which the vehicle is out of alignment, and the rear wheels do not follow in the path of the front wheels when the vehicle is traveling in a straight line. Also called tracking.

DOT Markings

A code molded into the sidewall of a tire signifying that the tire complies with U.S. Department of Transportation motor vehicle safety standards.



Drift refers to a vehicle deviating from a straight-line path when no steering input is given. Also called pull.


Tires placed side by side on an axle to increase both carrying capacity and traction capability; four tires across an axle.

Dynamic Balance



Exists when the weight is equally distributed both around its circumference and on either side of its centerline. A tire and wheels assembly that is out of dynamic balance will produce a wobble effect or a shaking from side to side.


Flat spot

Irregular wear in an isolated spot or spots around the tire tread. Flat spotting can also result from abrasion of the tire resulting from brake lock.



The portion of the tire that makes contact with the surface of the road.

Fore-and-Aft Weight Transfer



Transfer of weight from the front axle to the rear axle (or vice versa) caused by acceleration or braking. Acceleration causes weight transfer from the front axle to the rear axle. Braking causes weight transfer from the rear axle to the front axle.


Free Radius


The radius of the tire/wheel assembly that is not deflected under load.



The resistance of one material (the tire tread) as it moves against another (the road); this is the force that causes the tire to grip to the road.


Green Tire

A tire which has not been vulcanized or cured.


The space between two adjacent tread ribs.

Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR)

The maximum weight that can be distributed among the tires on a given axle.

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)

The weight of the vehicle and its contents (fluids, passengers, and cargo).

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)


The maximum weight allowed for the vehicle and its contents. This value is established by the vehicle manufacturer and can be identified on the vehicle door placard.





Is what happens when tires lose traction as a result of worn or poorly treaded tires that can no longer effectively evacuate water away from the tread. Water accumulates under the tire footprint and creates a thin layer of water between the tire and road surface. The resulting pressure pushes upward, thus lifting the tire away from the road surface and causing it to lose traction. Vehicle speed, tread pattern and water depth all affect hydroplaning.




When rubber stretches and compresses, it does not render all the energy applied to it because energy is lost due to internal friction. The mechanical energy is transformed into thermal energy and the heat produced leads to both damage and energy loss.





The condition that exists when a tire's mass is not evenly distributed around the rolling axis and centerline, causing bounce (static imbalance) or shake (dynamic imbalance).


The act of putting air into tires.

Cold tire inflation pressure

Tire pressure when the vehicle has been parked for three hours or more, or has not been driven more than 1 mile or 1.5 km under that condition.

Maximum inflation pressure

The maximum cold inflated pressure to which a tire may be inflated, shown on the sidewall of the tire.

Recommended inflation pressure

Cold tire inflation pressure recommended by the car manufacturer.


The layer(s) forming the inside surface of a tubeless tire that contains the inflating medium within the tire.

Innerliner separation

The parting of the innerliner from cord material in the carcass.


Kilopascal (kPa)

The metric unit for air pressure. One psi is equal to 6.9 kPa.


Lateral weight transfer



When a vehicle travels through a curve, weight is transferred from the wheels on the inside of the curve to the wheels on the outside of the curve. This is a result of the centrifugal force, or lateral force acting on the vehicle.

Light truck


Automotive industry term for smaller trucks, pickups, passenger vans, or SUVs.

Loaded radius


The measurement in inches from the wheel axle centerline to the ground when the tire is properly inflated for the load.

Load rating

The maximum load that a tire is rated to carry for a given inflation pressure.

Low profile tire

A tire in which the cross-section has a squat appearance. Low profile refers to the fact that the tire's cross-section height is less than 80% -85% of the section width.

Maximum load rating

Load-carrying capacity

The load rating for a tire at the maximum permissible inflation pressure requirements.

Loaded section height


The height of the section of the tire that is making contact with the road.

Load index


An assigned number ranging from 0 to 279 that corresponds to the load-carrying capacity of a tire.

Lug nut

A lug nut is a fastener, specifically a nut, used to secure a wheel on a vehicle.

Lug wrench

A lug wrench is the name for a type of socket wrench used to loosen and tighten lug nuts on automobile wheels. In the United Kingdom, this tool is commonly known as a wheel brace or wheel wrench.


M+S, M/S or

M & S


All-season rating designation for tires that can perform at certain levels in mud and snow conditions. Meets the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) definition of a mud and snow tire.




This is the act of putting a tire on a wheel and ensuring that the assembly is balanced. When you purchase new tires, they need to be professionally mounted.


Negative camber



Alignment setting where the tops of the tires are leaning toward the centerline of the vehicle; racers use a negative camber angle for maximum cornering potential.


OE and OEM


OE means "Original Equipment" and refers to the tires included with a new vehicle at the time of purchase. The vehicle's manufacturer selects these tires to provide the optimal performance based on the performance characteristics of the vehicle. "OEM" stands for "Original Equipment Manufacturer."




The distance between the plane of the hub-mounting surface of a wheel to the centerline of the wheel and tire assembly. Almost always measured in millimeters, a wheel offset can be positive, zero or negative.

Open splice

Any parting at any junction of tread, sidewall, or innerliner that extends to cord material.

Out-of Round

A wheel or tire defect in which the wheel or tire is not “perfectly” round. This usually results from a mistake or engineering problem in the tire manufacturing process.

Outer diameter

Overall diameter

The overall diameter of an inflated new tire, without any load.

Overall width

The linear distance between the exteriors of the sidewalls of an inflated tire, including elevations due to labeling, decorations, or protective bands or ribs.



The tendency for a vehicle, when negotiating a corner, to turn more sharply than the driver intends. The rear end of the vehicle wants to swing toward the outside of a turn. A handling condition in which the slip angles of the rear tires are greater than the slip angles of the front tires. An oversteering car is sometimes said to be “loose,” because its tail tends to swing wide.


Passenger car tire

A tire intended for use on passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, and trucks, that have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 lb. or less.




An option allowing drivers to customize their vehicles by mounting low-profile tires on wider rims (one or two inches greater in diameter), usually enhancing vehicle appearance, handling, and performance.


A layer of rubber-coating parallel cords.

Ply Rating

This letter indicates the load carrying capacity of the tire in terms of its construction. A "C" indicates the tire has a 6-ply load carrying capacity. The tire is not actually built with 6 plies, but contains one or two plies of equivalent strength. A "D" is an 8-ply rating, and an "E" is a 10-ply rating. If there is no letter, the tire has a standard 4-ply rating.

Ply separation

A parting of rubber compound between adjacent plies.




Uniform designation of tire sizes, in metric measurements originally introduced by American tire manufacturers in 1977; commonly called P-metric series. A typical P-metric tire is P205/70R14 93S.

Pneumatic tire

A tire designed to be filled with air.

Positive camber



Alignment angle that makes the top of the tires farther apart than at the bottom; tires are tilted out from the centerline of the vehicle.

Positive caster


Alignment setting when the steering axis is inclined rearward at the top.

Pressure build up

Increase of air pressure in tire caused by temperature rise of tire.




The most common measurement unit for tire pressure that stands for pounds per square inch. PSI is intended to measure the force exerted by the air inside a tire.




A condition in which a vehicle swerves to one side without being steered in that direction, as a result of irregular tire wear, improper front and/or rear wheel alignment, or worn or improperly adjusted brakes


Any penetration of a tires air chamber by a foreign object, nail, glass, etc. resulting in the loss of air. Such loss can be rapid with the collapse of the inner tube.


Radial Ply tire

A pneumatic tire in which the ply cords that extend to the beads are laid at substantially 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread.


Another term for a retreaded tire.

Replacement tire

Any tire other than those sold as original equipment.



Refers to the practice of applying new tread to a used tire casing. Most commonly used on medium and heavy commercial trucks.

Revolutions Per Mile (RPM)


Also called rpm. Measured number of revolutions for a tire traveling one mile. This can vary with speed, load, and inflation pressure.



A pattern of tread features aligned around the circumference of a tire. There are usually multiple ribs across the tread area of a tire.

Ride height

The distance from the ground to a fixed reference point (differs by automaker) on the vehicle’s body. This dimension can used to measure the amount of suspension travel or the height of the body from the ground.


A metal support for a tire or a tire and tube assembly upon which the tire beads are seated.

Rim diameter

(wheel diameter)

Nominal diameter of the bead seat.

Rim Drop




Also called drop center, a change (drop) in the rim profile between the rim flanges in which the bead area of a tire is placed during the mounting process. This allows the tire to be mounted on the rim.

Rim flange


Surface of the rim of the wheel that contacts the side of the tire bead.

Rim size designation

Rime diameter and width

Rim type designation

The industry manufacturer’s designation for a rim by style or code.

Rim width

Nominal distance between rim flanges.

Rolling circumference




The linear distance traveled by a tire in one revolution (its circumference). This can vary with load and inflation. Rolling circumference can be calculated as follows: 63,360 divided by revolutions per mile = rolling circumference in inches.

Rolling resistance


The force required to keep a tire moving at a uniform speed. The lower the rolling resistance, the less energy needed to keep a tire moving.


The changing of tires from front to rear or from side to side on a vehicle according to a set pattern; provides even treadwear. Rotating your tires on a regular basis (every 6,000-8,000 miles) is a simple way to add miles to their life. See your tire warranty for more information on recommended rotation.

Run Flat Technology



Tires that are designed to resist the effects of deflation when punctured, and to enable the vehicle to continue to be driven at reduced speeds and for limited distances



The amount a wheel moves in and out, away from its true center as it is rotated. If runout is excessive, the wheel can be seen to wobble as it rotates.


Section height

The height of a tire, measured from its rim to its outer tread.

Section width

The linear distance between the exteriors of the sidewalls of an inflated tire, excluding elevations due to labeling, decoration, or protective bands.

Self-aligning torque





When the tire is cornering, torque created at the road contact patch acts at a point somewhat to the rear of the actual wheel center due to pneumatic trail. This has the same effect as positive caster and tends to force the wheel back to the straight-ahead position.

Semi-Pneumatic Tires

Rubber tires that have a hollow center, but do not use pressurized air for structural support.



Tires with the same aspect ratio, or relationship of section height to section width.

Service description


Numbers and letters molded into the sidewall indicating the load-carrying capacity, load index, and the speed at which the tire can carry a load under specified conditions, or the speed rating. Also known as load index and speed symbol.




Wobbling of wheels from side-to-side on a vehicle. Shimmying can be caused by a variety of factors, including improperly balanced tires, poor alignment, and bent wheels.

Shock absorber

A fluid type cylinder which stops the car from bouncing after the initial shock has been absorbed by the spring. Most cars have four shock absorbers.


The area of a tire where the tread and sidewall meet.


That portion of a tire between the tread and bead.

Sidewall separation

The parting of the rubber compound from the cord material in the side wall.


One tire mounted on each side of an axle (two tires per axle).



Special slits within a tread block that open as the tire rolls into the contact patch then close, breaking the water tension on the road surface and putting rubber in contact with the road to maintain adhesion, increasing wet and snow traction.



The combination of tire width, construction type, aspect ratio, and rim size used in differentiating tires.


To slip or slide on the road when tires lose their rolling grip.



The difference between the linear speed of the vehicle and the rotational speed of the tire. For example, if a tire is locked and sliding (e.g., not rotating) while the vehicle is still moving, then it is operating at -100% slip.


Slip angle

The difference between the direction the wheel is traveling and the direction the vehicle is traveling.

Solid Tires

Rubber tires similar in construction to semi-pneumatic tires, but without a hollow center.

Speed rating


An alphabetical code (A-Z) assigned to a tire indicating the range of speeds at which the tire can carry a load under specified service conditions.

Spider wrench

Spider wrench, is made in the shape of a cross with different sized sockets on each of the four ends. It used to loosen and tighten lug nuts on automobile wheels.

Sprung weight

The parts of a car that are supported by its springs, including the frame, engine and body.


Situation in which the driver maintains control of the vehicle.



A staggered fitment is putting larger wheels on the back of your vehicle than the front of your vehicle.

Standard load


The amount of weight a given size tire can carry at a recommended air pressure.

Star pattern

A pattern for tightening the lug nuts when mounting the tire and wheel assembly to the vehicle. This pattern assures uniform pressure, prevents misalignment, and helps keep the wheel centered.

Static balance


Exists when the weight mass is evenly distributed around the axis of rotation. Static imbalance can be detected from vibrations through the seat, floor and steering column.

Static loaded radius


Distance from the wheel axis of rotation to supporting surface at a given load and stated inflation pressure.

Steel belt


The combination of steel cords covered with rubber that forms a strip or belt placed under the tread rubber and on top of the casing (carcass); ensures uniformity when the tire is rotating and helps prevent flats.

Steering response


A vehicle’s reaction to a driver’s steering inputs. Also the feedback that drivers get through the steering wheel as they make steering inputs.


Steering system


The entire mechanism that allows the driver to guide and direct the vehicle; includes the steering wheel, steering column, steering gear, linkages, and wheel supports.




The various springs, shock absorbers and linkages used to suspend a vehicle’s frame, body, engine, and drivetrain above its wheels.


Temporary Spare Tires



Temporary spares are designed to carry the same load as the standard size tire on your vehicle and can be applied to any position. Maintain the proper inflation pressure as shown on the sidewall of the tire, it requires a higher inflation pressure than a standard size tire.

Tensile Strength

An object’s resistance to stretching or breaking when placed in tension. Steel belts in a tire are characterized and compared based on their tensile strength.



Also called pneumatic tire, a precisely engineered assembly of rubber, chemicals, fabric, and metal, designed to provide traction, cushion road shock and carry a load under varying conditions.

Tire Deflection


Situation where the tread and sidewalls flex at the point where the tread comes in contact with the road.

Tire Designation




An alphanumeric code molded into the sidewall of the tire that describes the tire’s size, including width, aspect ratio, rim diameter, load index, and speed rating. Most designations use the P-Metric system.

Tire Mixing


A situation in which tires of various brands, types, or sizes are mixed on a vehicle. This can lead to variations in the vehicle’s ride and handling characteristics.

Tire Placard


A metal or paper tag permanently affixed to a vehicle, which indicates the appropriate tire size and inflation pressures for the vehicle. The placard can ordinarily be found on either the driver’s doorpost, the glove box lid, or the fuel-filler door.

Tire Pressure Gauge

Tool used to properly measure the air pressure in a tire.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)


TPMS is an automated system that monitors the air pressure in a vehicle's tires. When air pressure in one or more tires drops 25 percent or more below the correct pressure, a warning alerts the driver.

Tire Rotation



Process of moving wheels and tires from one position on a vehicle to another in order to promote even tire wear and prolong tread life.

Tire Storage


Tires should be stored in a dry, cool place, away from sunlight and sources of ozone.


The difference in distance between the front and rear of a pair of tires mounted on the same axle.



The fronts of two tires on the same axle are closer than the rears of the tires.



The fronts of two tires on the same axle are further apart than the rears of the tires.

Toe-Out Turns


Also known as Ackerman Angle. A vehicle’s wheels on the inside of a turn follow a smaller radius than the tires on the outside of the turn, because the two front wheels steer at different angles when turning.



Turning or twisting effort, usually measured in lb-ft or Newton meters.

Torsion Bar


A long, straight bar fastened to the frame at one end and to a suspension part at the other; acts like an uncoiled spring that absorbs energy by twisting.



The distance between the outside tread edges of two tires on the same axle.



The friction between the tires and the road surface; the amount of grip provided.


A state in which a vehicle bounces up and down abnormally.


That portion of a tire that comes into contact with the road.

Tread Blocks



Raised rubber compound segments in a tire’s tread. Blocks of varying sizes, shapes, and designs are typically used for a variety of effects, such as better wet traction, or stronger rock-crawling ability.

Tread Buffing

Scraping rubber off the tread. Also known as shaving.

Tread Depth


The depth of usable tread rubber measured in 32nds of an inch. If a tire comes new with 10/32nds of rubber, you have 8/32nds of usable rubber. Tires must be replaced when the wear bars are visible at 2/32nds.

Tread Design


The pattern or layout of grooves, blocks, sipes and other tread elements.

Tread Life

The life of a tire before it is pulled from service; mileage.

Tread pattern



The arrangement of blocks, grooves, sipes, and channels designed into the tread to enhance its grip. Also called the tread design.

Tread rib

A tread section running circumferentially around a tire.

Tread separation

Pulling away of the tread from the tire carcass.

Treadwear indicators (TWI)

The projections within the principle grooves designed to give a visual indication of the degrees of wear of the tread.

Tread Width

The width of a tire’s tread.

Tread void


Areas in the tread, such as grooves and channels, that permit water to drain away from the footprint.


An airtight container placed inside tire casing to hold the compressed air.


A tire without a tube.


Ultra-Low Profile Technology


Specialized sidewall shape, bead area, and bead compound that enhance the durability and mountability of tires with very short sidewalls.



Operating a tire without sufficient air pressure to support the weight of the vehicle with occupants and additional load; could cause failure of the tire when heat is generated inside the tire to the point of degeneration of components.



The handling characteristic in which the front tires break loose because they are running a larger slip angle than the rear tires. Also known as plowing.

Uni-Directional Tread

Also known as directional tread, this is a tire designed to only rotate in one direction.

Unsprung Weight


The weight of the parts of a vehicle not supported by its springs, including wheels and tires, outboard brake assemblies, the rear axle assembly, suspension members, springs, shock absorbers and anti-roll bars.



Also known as Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards. A government-sponsored tire information system that provides consumers with ratings (from AA to C) for a tire’s traction and temperature. Treadwear is normally rated from 60 to 700.




A device that lets air in or out of a tire. It is fitted with a valve cap to keep out dirt and moisture, plus a valve core to prevent air from escaping.

Valve Cap


The valve cap, although small, has a very important job: it protects the sensitive valve internals from dust, dirt and humidity. Without a functional tire valve cap in place, the tires' air will seep out.

Vertical Bouncing



Vertical bouncing, or static imbalance, exists when the weight is not evenly distributed around the wheel’s axis of rotation. You can feel this through the floor, seat and steering column.

Viscous Planing


Can occur just after a rain shower wets down a dry road surface. Oil on the road surface migrates to the top of the layer of moisture, and can be very slippery, even when the layer of moisture is very thin. Continuing rain lessens the condition by washing the oil away.





A vehicle’s tendency to stray or wander from its intended direction of travel as a result of steering abnormalities, worn tires, suspension misalignment, crosswinds, or pavement irregularities.

Wet traction


Indicates how efficiently the tire disperses water to combat aquaplaning, and how well it grips wet roads in low-speed driving.

Wheel Alignment




Refers to the proper angle settings of suspension components as they relate to the angles of the wheels so they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other so as to help prolong tire life and provide dead straight tracking on straight and level roads. Related terms include camber, caster and toe.

Wheel Balancing


Refers to the balancing of a wheel on vertical axis by using lead weights to compensate for uneven weight distribution on a wheel and tire. Out-of-balance wheels can cause a vehicle to vibrate at certain speeds and produce uneven tire wear.


The longitudinal distance from the center of the front wheel to the center of the rear wheel on the same side of the vehicle.

Wheel Diameter



The physical diameter of a wheel expressed in inches. Whole increments (i.e. 16, 17 or 18) are the most common, however, a few manufacturers offer wheels with diameters of 17.5 inches, though this is rare

Wheel weights


Small weights attached or secured to the wheel to balance the tire and wheel assembly.

Wheel Width


The physical width of a wheel measured inside the outer lip of the wheel, usually in 1/2 increments (i.e. 7.5 or 8.5).


Zero Pressure™ Technology


Michelin® Zero Pressure™ tires feature a reinforced sidewall that is designed to support the weight of your car even after a loss of air pressure — even with no air in the tire. Michelin® Zero Pressure Technology allows you to continue driving up to 50 miles at 55 mph, so you don’t have to change a tire on the side of a busy highway. Best of all, Zero Pressure Technology has been applied to some of the best-performing Michelin® tires.

Zero toe


When tires on the same axle are parallel; the fronts and rears of the tires are equidistant.

Tire Construction & dimensions

Tire construction








Tire construction and dimensions

Tire dimensions

Rim dimensions