Tire Load Rating

Load Rating: Replacing 102 S tires with 101 S

by Joan Etienne

Tire Load and Speed Rating

Tire Load and Speed Rating

My original tires were 225/70R16 102s. I had to change one tire so I now have three 101S and one 102S. Will this damage my suv?

Editorial Comment:

The number you are referring to is the load rating of the tire. In the illustration it is shown as "96" which is less that either or yours. In your case you've dropped to the next lower rating which means that your tires are capable of supporting about 25 kg less weight than what you could carry with a 102. That is EACH tire.

The "S" in both cases refers to the speed rating and since it has not changed, you need not concern yourself about it.

If you want to dig a bit deeper into the subject, read our article on Load Rating which also contains a table of the Load Ratings for the complete range of tires normally in use.

Under normal circumstances, and providing you never load up your vehicle to carry excessive weight, this change shouldn't even be noticed in any way because most original equipment is equipped with tires to meet their normal operating conditions and allow a certain margin of safety, in addition.

If, on the other hand, you are continually loading as much as you can into the vehicle, you may want to even consider stepping up to a higher load capacity for your tires, otherwise you are simply inviting problems to occur.

In any case, to answer your question about whether this change in load rating will damage your SUV, the answer is no, it won't harm your vehicle but it does reduce the amount of weight the tires can support.


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Tire weight limit issue

by James
(Chipley FL)

I have a 2000 Ford Explorer Sport.

The tires that are on it are 215/60/15. The door they should be 235/75/15.

I read service bulletins from Ford in the early productions of this truck that it was actually recommended to go to this size to lower the center of gravity to avoid rollovers. Everyone knows what happened.

Short story The tires have a load rating of 94H in the front and 96H in the back. Door states 2290 front /2650 back axel weight. Are these ok? They drive good and are brand new.

Editorial Comment:

On our Load Rating page you'll find a table which gives you the weight which each of your tires will support. Remember that you have 2 tires on each axle, so double each of the numbers from the table and you'll see that both the 94 and 96 load-ratings are more than what your door-sticker specifies, presuming that the numbers on your sticker are pounds which they likely are if your vehicle was made for sale in the USA.


Comments for Tire weight limit issue

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Here's the link to the memo
by: james

I found the link to the memo's with firestone and ford relating to the tire issue and the recommendation to change the tire size. The also talk about the separating of the tread on the tires that they put one the truck and still continued to release it.

Here's the link. I guess ford had recommended the change but was ignored

A Ford internal memo states that the stability of the UN46 [Ford Explorer prototype] is worse than Bronco II and that it can be improved by widening, lowering and using a smaller P215 tire.

Let me post the link
by: James

I will post the link if I can find it about the memo's between ford and firestone. I believe I have it in my book marks. I was surprised to see this recommendation as well. I appreciate the warning about the speedometer. I have a radar detector that gives my speed and noticed the difference in the speed. I knew it would be off from working on cars all my life. As far as the gas mileage I don't really have any complaints. The truck does pretty well. I am aware that it affects it but..... I'll check for the link and post it. Thanks for the advice.

Thank you
by: James

Thanks so much for the info. That helped my worries immensely. Take care

Your LITTLE tires
by: Wheels Etc

Lower the center of gravity they will however, if you have not driven this Explorer with these tires and these tires were put on to replace the original 235/75 R 15's I hope you are aware your speedometer will be way off and you have killed your gas mileage as well. I am surprised you report having read a Ford bulletin stating this is a good plan. I have been dealing with Ford through out the entire term of the problem they had with Explorers on which the Firestone ATX was a problem. To my knowledge the roll-over problem resulted from premature tire failure which I attribute to underinflation. I did witness Ford's effort to mitigate this problem by replacing Firestone tires with other brands and never saw or heard of any suggestion to reduce the size of the tires and clearly not to the extent you seem to have gone or the owner before you had gone. Please visit a reputable tire professional for a face to face talk about the tires you now have and how they might effect the overall performance of your SUV.

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Tire concerns: Effect of Installing 92H tires front and 94H rear

by Renei Hart
(Atlanta, GA)

My Camry 2004 LE needs tire replacement in front. I am thinking of using Optimo H417 (92H as recommended by Toyota) but my rear tires are Bridgestone Potenza G019 94H. What effect will this have on the ride? Since this is a front drive car, should I put new tires on the back?

Editorial Comment:

You have an unusual concern, but completely valid.

Let's start by explaining that the figures you have provided are the Load Rating and Speed Rating of the tires in question.

The Load Rating is the amount of weight that the tire is designed to carry, and in this case Toyota is recommending that the installed tires be capable of carrying 1,477 pounds (each) or, because you have two tires front and rear, up to 2,954 pounds on each axle.

In theory putting a tire with a higher load carrying capacity on a vehicle that doesn't need it shouldn't affect the ride because you won't normally increase the tire pressure which normally is what affects the ride more than anything else. So, unless you change the inflation pressure, you shouldn't notice any great change in the ride of your car for this reason.

If you notice some change, part of it may be a psychological difference, and another could be because of a different tread design and rubber compounds because of the different tires.

Because you have a front drive car, you're best to put the new tires on the front, because these are subject to the greatest wear. It is likely that you are having to replace the front tires only because you may not have rotated your tires as frequently as you should have to ensure that you're having a similar rate of wear all around.

Under ideal circumstances, rotating your tires at least every 3,000 miles will even out the wear and result in all tires being worn out at the same time. You can also expect to get as much as 25% longer tire life by doing frequent rotation. In any event, you can do no damage to the car or tires by rotating too often.

The "H" refers to the Speed Rating, which, in this case means the tire is designed for use at speeds up to 130mph or 210km/h.

So that you understand what this rating is, it does not mean that you must never exceed that speed or the tire will fall apart, or something like that. It means that the tire has been designed and tested to be able to be driven continuously for a certain minimum length of time at the rated speed without failure. In practice, if you were to momentarily pass this limit --supposing you were passing another vehicle-- and then reduce your speed again to below that rated maximum, you would not have to be concerned.

Given the design of the car it is not likely that drivers will be constantly driving at more than the speed which this tire is rated for.


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