Understanding proper tire selection, maintenance, and safety for you Chevrolet vehicle starts with understanding the basics: Why are tires important? How do I choose the right set of tires for my Chevrolet car, truck, or SUV?
Tires are a driver's first and only contact with the road, assisting in steering, braking and accelerating. They are specially chosen for each vehicle, making tires one of the most important safety features on your vehicle.
Many manufacturers require that their tire suppliers to identify their tires with symbols and codes branded on the sidewalls. Most people have no idea what these symbols and codes mean, so we are going to break it down for you. These symbols are important in identifying your tires and making the best choice for the size and type of tire you should replace them with.
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.
B. Department of Transportation (DOT)
The DOT code indicates that the tire is in compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
C. Tire Identification Number (TIN)
The letters and numbers following the DOT code make up the 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. Tire Ply Material
The type of cord and number of plies in the sidewall and under the tread.
E. Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG)
A tire information system that provides consumers with ratings for a tire's traction (from AA to C) and for temperature (from A to C). The treadwear rating is a measurement of the tire's durability, but not the projected tread life. It is important to remember that road surfaces, driving habits, and other factors determine actual tread life. Ratings are determined by tire manufacturers using government-prescribed test procedures and are molded into the sidewall of the tire.
F. Maximum Cold Inflation Load Limit
This information tells the maximum load that can be carried and the maximum pressure needed to support that load.
G. Tire Performance Criteria Specification (TPC Spec)
Most OE tires designed to GM's specific tire performance criteria have a TPC spec code molded onto the sidewall. GM's TPC specs meet or exceed all federal safety guidelines.