Fall 2004 Forward to a Friend




Studying a tire’s sidewall provides information concerning its composition and capabilities. Learning what the markings mean can help you make decisions that impact safety, reliability, durability and handling.

Replacing Your OE Tires
Subaru has partnered with the Tire Rack to simplify handling your original equipment (OE) tire needs. Tire Rack supplies OE tires through participating Subaru dealerships, providing you with:

Competitive pricing
Availability (one- to two-day delivery if not in stock)
A one-stop shop for all OE tire replacement for vehicles up to five years old
Centralized warranty support and claims processing system by Subaru dealers
Subaru Road Hazard Program
Check with your dealer for complete program details

Remember: Mixing tires of different types, sizes or degrees of wear can result in damage to an AWD vehicle’s powertrain.


With the tire size 195/60R15 87H as an example, here’s what the different numbers and letters mean:

195 – tire width in millimeters
60 – aspect ratio – sidewall height as a percentage of tire width (i.e., 60 percent of 195 millimeters = 117 millimeters)
R – radial construction
15 – wheel diameter in inches (typically 15 inches through 18 inches)
87 – weight load code – maximum weight capacity
H – speed rating – maximum speed a properly inflated tire will withstand for a determined amount of time

For a list of weight load, speed rating and UTQG codes, see Drive’s online exclusive.




Brand – who makes it
Model – tread type
Size – code that indicates dimensions, load limit and speed rating
Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG)
DOT serial number
Construction type
Construction details
Maximum load information
Maximum inflation
Original equipment approval code



Over- or under-inflated tires cost you money and can adversely affect the environment and safety. So regularly check tire air pressure in order to:
Save money – under-inflation by only four or five psi can reduce gas mileage by 10 percent
Reduce emissions – burning extra gasoline unnecessarily adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere
Maintain handling – when tuning chassis systems for safe and consistent handling behaviors, specific tire sizes and inflation pressures are part of the engineering specifications