How to read the wheel markings? » (2023)

Located on the inside of the wheel, wheel markings are a series of numbers and letters that provide coded information about the wheel such as its diameter, width or offset. However, you need to know how to read them - and once you do, you will see there is much important information left for you.

How to read the wheel markings? » (1)

The sequence of numbers and letters help to identify not only the appropriate car wheels, but also other attributes and features. Have you ever wondered what the mysterious letter “J” means (the one placed after the number indicating the rim width, in inches)?

Likewise, not many drivers know what the “H2” at the end of the size symbol stands for. Read on to find out what structure or parameters of the wheel they symbolise.

(Video) Rim markings decoding ● Hints from Oponeo™

How to read the wheel markings? » (2)

Wheel markings explained

To better illustrate the meaning of the markings, let's take a look at the following example: "7.5Jx16H2 ET35.” In this case:

  • 7.5 is the wheel size, meaning it is 7.5 inches wide (1 inch = 25.4mm)

  • 16 is the wheel diameter, also expressed in inches

  • ET35 is the offset - the distance of the hub mounting surface to the wheel’s symmetry axle expressed in millimetres.

How to read the wheel markings? » (3)

(Video) Decoding tyre dimensions marks ● Hints from Oponeo™

The letters J and H2 in the letter and number combination

The letter “J” means a tyre bead profile. This is the marking used to define the wheel collar profile you should never ignore. Wheel collars and tyres must be compatible. There are various types of wheel edges listed as follows:

How to read the wheel markings? » (4)

The edges of these different types may sometimes differ from one another. It's important to remember that some types of cars and wheels can come under more than one profile.

Why collar profiles always matter

The key thing is compatibility - take a look at an example illustrating a cross-section of the popular 6-inch wide wheel. The example shows the difference between “J” and “B” collar profiles.

Despite the fact that both wheels are designed for use with a passenger car, it’s forbidden to use car tyres designed for “J” with wheels using the “B” profile. You should make sure that your wheel collars and tyres match at all times.

(Video) Speed index markings - decoding ● Hints from Oponeo™

How to read the wheel markings? » (5)

Profile cross-section in detail

“H2” is a wheel rim section profile symbol. It's usually found at the end of the alphanumeric symbols stamped on the wheel. In order to obtain the required stiffness, manufacturers strengthen the wheel structure with humps.

How to read the wheel markings? » (6)

Wheel contour production designs

As for the wheel collars, there are certain contour design options for wheels. The following table shows all the possible shapes of a passenger car wheel rim interior. A 5° rim wall tilt is required.

How to read the wheel markings? » (7)

(Video) Dunlop wheel markings - Every mark tells a story

Profiles no longer used in passenger cars

The following wheel profiles are no longer used in passenger cars:

  • Semi-drop
  • Flatbase
  • Divided
  • Drop-centre
  • 15° drop centre

While they can still be found in trucks, vans and agricultural vehicles, they are not used in any passenger car any more. As such, you are highly unlikely to come across them for your own car tyres and wheels. For the purposes of information, we will still present you with their shapes so that you can have a basic idea of the profiles discussed.

How to read the wheel markings? » (8)

Apparently, the code engraved on your car wheels isn't that mysterious. If you know what the symbols mean, you can easily find out all you need to know to have the perfect tyres mounted. As long as you know what size and profile your car wheels are, you can use our website to choose the best tyre sizes. Choosing an ideal set for your vehicle and driving style is only a few clicks away.


How do you read wheel markings? ›

Wheel Size and Offset - The wheel/tire size and offset are typically written as diameter x width and the offset would be the ET. For example, 16x7 ET 0 means it is a 16" diameter wheel x 7" width and an offset of 0mm. Manufacturing Date - This is the month and year of manufacture.

What does 7Jx17 ET45 mean? ›

For example, size 7Jx17 ET45 translates as follows: “17” is the wheel diameter. “7” is the wheel width between the bead seats. “J” is a classification of the rim shape. “ET45” is the offset; in this example it's 45 mm positive.

What do the codes on wheels mean? ›

As an example, if a tire size has two sets of numbers (6-12, 5.00-15, 11.2-24), then the first number (5.00-15) is the approximate width in inches, and the second number (5.00-15) is the rim diameter in inches. If a tire size has three sets of numbers (15x6. 00-6, 26x12.

What does 7j mean on a wheel? ›

Rim Width (6j, 7j, 7.5j..)

There is another number that comes with the alloy wheels for e.g. 17" 7j, 16" 6j etc. This is nothing but the width of the alloy wheels in inches. According to the width of the tires used, the width of the alloy wheels should be chosen and it should ideally stay within the recommended width.

What does J mean for wheels? ›

The letter “J” means a tyre bead profile. This is the marking used to define the wheel collar profile you should never ignore. Wheel collars and tyres must be compatible.

What does et55 mean on a wheel? ›

In practice, the ET-value is the number in millimetres that the centre line of the wheel deviates from the mounting surface (on the wheel hub). As a rule of thumb: the higher the ET, the more a wheel is positioned inwards; the lower the ET, the more a wheel protrudes outwards.

What is ET 40 on wheels? ›

This is a number stamped on the rear spokes or mounting face of an alloy wheel. The ET of a wheel is the measurement in mm of how far the wheel's centre line is from its mounting face.

How do you decode a tire code? ›

When the tire was made: Every tire has a Department of Transportation (DOT) number after the letters on the sidewall. The last four digits determine the week and year the tire was made; for example, the digits 2321 would signify that the tire was made during the 23rd week of 2021.

How do you read wheel offset numbers? ›

Offset is measured in millimeters and can be positive, zero or negative.
  1. Positive offset wheels: the mounting surface is further away from the centerline, sitting closer to the face of the wheel.
  2. Zero offset wheels: the mounting surface is even with the centerline of the wheel.

How do you read a 3 digit tire code? ›

Tires built before 2000 featured a three-digit date code at the end of the Tire Identification Number. The first two digits of the date code tell you the week that the tires were built, and the last digit tells you the year.

What does JJ mean on a rim? ›

What does the letter J after the wheel width mean?
JPassenger cars
P,KAntique cars such as Bentleys and old Jaguars
S,T,V,WUtility vehicles
6 more rows

What does V mean on wheels? ›

The heavier your vehicle and intended load, the bigger the number. Some vehicles may have “XL” tires, meaning extreme load. “V” — the speed rating. “V” is the highest you'd find on a normal car and has a rating of 149mph. Most vehicles will have “S” or “T” or around 112mph or 118mph.

What does the Z mean in tires? ›


While it nearly always means a high performance tire for high-performing sports cars, “Z” may actually appear in the middle of a tire's size information. When it does, it represents either a maximum speed of more than 149 mph (240 kph) or 186 mph (300 kph).

How do you figure out tire numbers? ›

Find the information in your vehicle owner's manual in the glove compartment or on the tire information sticker on your driver's side door. Usually those elements contain all the information related to your tire size and specifications as well as the appropriate tire pressure.

What is the format of a dot number? ›

A USDOT number example would be USDOT1523020, and this number would likely be printed on every truck in the fleet belonging to the company. The number is always painted on the cab of the truck and is typically located on the driver's door.

What is dot code on Tyres UK? ›

Tyres in the UK are manufactured with a DOT stamp on the sidewall. The DOT code holds the key information about where and when the tyre was manufactured. The last 4 numbers of the DOT code represent the week and year the tyre was made.

How do you read a tire and loading information sticker? ›

If the tire size is 255/60 R16, the width of the tire is 255 millimeters. Tire Aspect Ratio: The two digit number after the slash mark is the aspect ratio which measures the tire's cross-section to it's width. If the tire size is 255/60 R16, the 60 means that the height is 60% of the tire's width.

What does R mean on wheels? ›

“R” stands for the construction method of the tyre indicating the tyre is a radial tyre. The following two numbers (16) indicate the diameter of the wheel rim in inches. The next two or three numbers (94) indicate the load index of the tyre.

What does CB mean on wheels? ›

Centering (mm): also called “Center Bore” (CB), it indicates the diameter of the center hole where the car's hub gets seated.

What is 8.5 J on wheels? ›

Different Measurement on an Alloy Wheel

The format for typical alloy wheel measurement for example is 20 x 8.5J, where 20 stands for wheel diameter and 8.5J is the wheel width.

What does 6.5 J mean on wheels? ›

When you're looking into the sizing of alloys you'll see it shown like this: 15 x 6.5J. The first half (15) is your wheel diameter, simple enough, while the second half (the 6.5J) is the wheel width. By width we mean the section between the mounting flanges on the wheel.

What does 0 offset mean? ›

Offset refers to how your car's or truck's wheels and tires are mounted and sit in the wheel wells. Zero wheel offset is when the hub mounting surface is in line with the centerline of the wheel.

What does et 25 mean on wheels? ›

You will most often find this measurement moulded or stamped on your wheel, for example et25 or 25p. This would mean your mounting face is 25mm towards the outside of your rim from half of the wheel's width.

How much is too much wheel offset? ›

The perils of bad offset

Tire rub is even worse, as it will very quickly rip up the inside sidewall of the tire, an area where the damage is very hard to detect until the tire blows out. This is why that ideally, you don't want the new offset to be more than 5 millimeters away from the old offset in either direction.

What does +20 offset on wheels mean? ›

The higher the number, the less lip there is on the wheel and the more forward the wheel face will be. A 20mm offset means the wheel face is more toward the outside of the vehicle than a 1mm offset.

How do you read wheel dimensions? ›

The first number to appear in your tire size information is the width, in millimeters, of the correct tires for your vehicle: P225/70R16 91S. Tire width always refers to the measurement from one sidewall to another.

What does C stand for on tires? ›

The C-Type tire, on the other hand, is specifically meant as a commercial-rated tire, with a higher load rating for a given size than many LT tires. These C-Type tires will show the letter “C” immediately after the wheel diameter in the tire code.

What do the 3 sets of numbers on a tire mean? ›

Tire Width

Is the width of the tire measured in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall. The first three-digit number in the tire size refers to the tire width. For instance, in a size P215/65 R15 tire, the width is 215 millimeters.

What does 5j wheel mean? ›

The 5 means that the wheel is 5 inches wide from bead to bead (not overall width). The J indicates the design of the wheel bead seat but it is nothing you need to be concerned with as this is the most common shape for all trailer tires.

What is a 3 piece rim? ›

A three-piece wheel consists of three distinct parts, a forged center, spun aluminum inner barrel and a spun aluminum outer barrel (lip). These three components are sealed together creating the final product.

What is a 2 piece rim? ›

2-piece wheels consist of two separate components: the barrel (the rim) and the face (center piece and spokes). 2-piece wheels offer more customization and a wide variety of offset and width options.

What does V and W mean on tires? ›

H: 130mph. V: 149mph. Z: 150+ mph. W: 168mph. Y: 186mph.

What does 255 35r19 mean? ›

You might be confused by the following string of letters and numbers: "255/35 ZR19 (96Y)." That looks like someone's email password, doesn't it? 255/35 indicates that the tire is 255 millimeters wide, with a 35-percent sidewall aspect ratio. In other words, the height of the sidewall is 35 percent of the tread width.

Which tires are better Zr or R? ›

The ZR rating indicates that a tire is capable of high-speed operation, while an R rating indicates that a tire is rated for speeds up to 106 mph. ZR tires are typically used on high-performance vehicles, while R-rated tires are more common on passenger cars.

Which is better H or T rated tires? ›

All these ratings cover speeds well above legal limits. The most popular, S, T, and H, are rated for 112, 118, and 130 mph, respectively. Traditionally, most family cars have used S- and T-rated tires, while tires rated H and higher have mostly been available only in sports cars or upscale sports sedans.

What do the symbols on tires mean? ›

There are two common grading systems for tires to help identify winter tire traction capabilities. All tires that pass certain winter tire traction tests can be marked with a symbol molded onto the side of the tire. One is the M+S (mud and snow) symbol, and the second is the mountain/snowflake symbol.

What do wheel alignment numbers mean? ›

Positive or Negative Numbers

A positive number for example, means that the wheel has too much camber, caster, or toe. A negative number means that there is not enough in the angle of camber, caster, or toe. Both numbers indicate the adjustment needs to be made in the opposite direction.

What do the numbers mean for wheel bolt pattern? ›

Given in a two number system, a bolt pattern, also known as the lug pattern, is the measurement of an imaginary circle formed by the lug holes at the center of your wheel. The first number indicates how many bolt holes the wheel has. The second number is the diameter of the imaginary circle around the holes.

What are Hot Wheels codes? ›

The letter refers to the year of manufacture, while the number refers to the week-number (1-52) within that year. For example, if the code is M36, the letter "M" indicates that the car was manufactured in 2019, and the number "36" indicates the car was manufactured on the 36th week of that year.

What do the 4 numbers on a tire mean? ›

This 12-digit identifier shows what factory the manufacturer built the tire, and the week and year it built the tire in. This date code will be the last four digits in the code. The first two digits represent the manufacture week and the second two represent the manufacture year.

What do tyre markings mean UK? ›

The number after the rim diameter represents the load index. In our example, “95” is a code for the maximum load a tyre can support when fully inflated. Passenger tyres have load indices spanning from 75 to 105, where each numeric value corresponds to a specific load capacity.

How do you read an alignment reading? ›

Many alignment reports are printed in full color to help the reader identify which angle is too positive or too negative. Just like a stop light, green means go, yellow means caution, and red means stop. So, too, does the alignment report.

What are the 3 types of wheel alignment? ›

There are 3 different types of wheel alignments you should know about; Front-end, Thrust and Four-wheel.

What are the 3 alignment adjustments? ›

Front-End, Thrust Angle and Four-Wheel Alignment

The different types of alignments offered today are front-end, thrust angle, and four-wheel. During a front-end alignment, only the front axle's angles are measured and adjusted.

What are common 5-lug bolt patterns? ›

The most common 5 bolt pattern is 5 on 4-1/2. However, 5 bolt patterns also come 5 on 4-3/4, 5 on 5, and 5 on 5-1/2. It is important to know the bolt pattern before you buy new wheels to ensure a proper fit.

What is the most common lug pattern? ›

5-Lug Bolt Patterns

4-lug patterns consist of the following: 4×98, 4×100, 4×108, 4×110 and 4×114.3. 5-lug bolt patterns are typically manufactured for mid-size, standard, full-size and luxury vehicles. It is by far the most commonly used pattern, making finding aftermarket wheels and lug nuts convenient.

How can you tell rare Hot Wheels? ›

These rarities are different from normal Hot Wheels in several ways. Super Treasure Hunt tell-tale signs are the «TH» on them, rubber wheels and Spectraflame paint. In addition, there's a golden flame on the packaging behind the car. Features of a Super Treasure Hunt.


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