Ford Taurus Owners Manual: Tire care

Information About Uniform Tire Quality Grading

Tire Quality Grades apply to new


Tire Quality Grades apply to new pneumatic passenger car tires. The Tire Quality Grades can be found where applicable on the tire sidewall between tread shoulder and maximum section width. For example:

Treadwear 200 Traction AA Temperature A

These Tire Quality Grades are determined by standards that the United States Department of Transportation has set.

Tire Quality Grades apply to new pneumatic passenger car tires.

They do not apply to deep tread, winter-type snow tires, space-saver or temporary use spare tires, light truck or LT type tires, tires with nominal rim diameters of 10 to 12 inches or limited production tires as defined in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 575.104(c)(2).

U.S. Department of Transportation-Tire quality grades: The U.S.

Department of Transportation requires Ford Motor Company to give you the following information about tire grades exactly as the government has written it.

Treadwear

The treadwear grade is a comparative rating based on the wear rate of the tire when tested under controlled conditions on a specified government test course. For example, a tire graded 150 would wear 11⁄2 times as well on the government course as a tire graded 100. The relative performance of tires depends upon the actual conditions of their use, however, and may depart significantly from the norm due to variations in driving habits, service practices, and differences in road characteristics and climate.

Traction AA A B C

WARNING:

The traction grade assigned to this tire is based on straight-ahead braking traction tests, and does not include acceleration, cornering, hydroplaning or peak traction characteristics.

The traction grades, from highest to lowest are AA, A, B, and C.

The grades represent the tires ability to stop on wet pavement as measured under controlled conditions on specified government test surfaces of asphalt and concrete. A tire marked C may have poor traction performance.

Temperature A B C

WARNING:

The temperature grade for this tire is established for a tire that is properly inflated and not overloaded. Excessive speed, underinflation, or excessive loading, either separately or in combination, can cause heat buildup and possible tire failure.

The temperature grades are A (the highest), B and C, representing the tires resistance to the generation of heat and its ability to dissipate heat when tested under controlled conditions on a specified indoor laboratory test wheel. Sustained high temperature can cause the material of the tire to degenerate and reduce tire life, and excessive temperature can lead to sudden tire failure. The grade C corresponds to a level of performance which all passenger car tires must meet under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 139. Grades B and A represent higher levels of performance on the laboratory test wheel than the minimum required by law.

Glossary of Tire Terminology

Tire label:

A label showing the OE (Original Equipment) tire sizes, recommended inflation pressure and the maximum weight the vehicle can carry.

Tire Identification Number (TIN):

A number on the sidewall of each tire providing information about the tire brand and manufacturing plant, tire size and date of manufacture. Also referred to as DOT code.

Inflation pressure:

A measure of the amount of air in a tire.

Standard load:

A class of P-metric or Metric tires designed to carry a maximum load at 35 psi [37 psi (2.5 bar) for Metric tires]. Increasing the inflation pressure beyond this pressure will not increase the tires load-carrying capability.

Extra load:

A class of P-metric or Metric tires designed to carry a heavier maximum load at 41 psi [43 psi (2.9 bar) for Metric tires].

Increasing the inflation pressure beyond this pressure will not increase the tires load-carrying capability.

kPa:

Kilopascal, a metric unit of air pressure.

PSI:

Pounds per square inch, a standard unit of air pressure.

Cold tire pressure:

The tire pressure when the vehicle has been stationary and out of direct sunlight for an hour or more and prior to the vehicle being driven for 1 mile (1.6 kilometers).

Recommended inflation pressure:

The cold inflation pressure found on the Safety Compliance Certification Label (affixed to either the door hinge pillar, door-latch post, or the door edge that meets the door-latch post, next to the drivers seating position) or Tire Label located on the B-Pillar or the edge of the drivers door.

B-pillar:

The structural member at the side of the vehicle behind the front door.

Bead area of the tire:

Area of the tire next to the rim.

Sidewall of the tire

: Area between the bead area and the tread.

Tread area of the tire:

Area of the perimeter of the tire that contacts the road when mounted on the vehicle.

Rim:

The metal support (wheel) for a tire or a tire and tube assembly upon which the tire beads are seated.

INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THE TIRE SIDEWALL

Both U.S. and Canada Federal regulations require tire manufacturers to place standardized information on the sidewall of all tires. This information identifies and describes the fundamental characteristics of the tire and also provides a U.S. DOT Tire Identification Number for safety standard certification and in case of a recall.

Information on P Type Tires

P215/65R15 95H is an example of a


P215/65R15 95H is an example of a tire size, load index and speed rating. The definitions of these items are listed below. (Note that the tire size, load index and speed rating for your vehicle may be different from this example.)

A. P: Indicates a tire, designated by the Tire and Rim Association, that may be used for service on cars, sport utility vehicles, minivans and light trucks.

Note: If your tire size does not begin with a letter, this may mean it is designated by either the European Tire and Rim Technical Organization or the Japan Tire Manufacturing Association.

B. 215: Indicates the nominal width of the tire in millimeters from sidewall edge to sidewall edge. In general, the larger the number, the wider the tire.

C. 65: Indicates the aspect ratio which gives the tires ratio of height to width.

D. R: Indicates a radial type tire.

E. 15: Indicates the wheel or rim diameter in inches. If you change your wheel size, you will have to purchase new tires to match the new wheel diameter.

F. 95: Indicates the tires load index. It is an index that relates to how much weight a tire can carry. You may find this information in your owners manual. If not, contact a local tire dealer.

Note: You may not find this information on all tires because it is not required by federal law.

G. H: Indicates the tires speed rating. The speed rating denotes the speed at which a tire is designed to be driven for extended periods of time under a standard condition of load and inflation pressure. The tires on your vehicle may operate at different conditions for load and inflation pressure. These speed ratings may need to be adjusted for the difference in conditions. The ratings range from 81 mph (130 km/h) to 186 mph (299 km/h). These ratings are listed in the following chart.

Note: You may not find this information on all tires because it is not required by federal law.

H. U.S. DOT Tire Identification Number (TIN): This begins with


H. U.S. DOT Tire Identification Number (TIN): This begins with the letters DOT and indicates that the tire meets all federal standards.

The next two numbers or letters are the plant code designating where it was manufactured, the next two are the tire size code and the last four numbers represent the week and year the tire was built. For example, the numbers 317 mean the 31st week of 1997. After 2000 the numbers go to four digits. For example, 2501 means the 25th week of 2001. The numbers in between are identification codes used for traceability. This information is used to contact customers if a tire defect requires a recall.

I. M+S or M/S: Mud and Snow, or

AT: All Terrain, or

AS: All Season.

J. Tire Ply Composition and Material Used: Indicates the number of plies or the number of layers of rubber-coated fabric in the tire tread and sidewall. Tire manufacturers also must indicate the ply materials in the tire and the sidewall, which include steel, nylon, polyester, and others.

K. Maximum Load: Indicates the maximum load in kilograms and pounds that can be carried by the tire. See the Safety Compliance Certification Label (affixed to either the door hinge pillar, door-latch post, or the door edge that meets the door-latch post, next to the drivers seating position), for the correct tire pressure for your vehicle.

L. Treadwear, Traction and Temperature Grades

Treadwear: The treadwear grade is a comparative rating based on the wear rate of the tire when tested under controlled conditions on a specified government test course. For example, a tire graded 150 would wear one and one-half (11⁄2) times as well on the government course as a tire graded 100.

Traction: The traction grades, from highest to lowest, are AA, A, B, and C. The grades represent the tires ability to stop on wet pavement as measured under controlled conditions on specified government test surfaces of asphalt and concrete. A tire marked C may have poor traction performance.

Temperature: The temperature grades are A (the highest), B and C, representing the tires resistance to the generation of heat and its ability to dissipate heat when tested under controlled conditions on a specified indoor laboratory test wheel.

M. Maximum Inflation Pressure: Indicates the tire manufacturers maximum permissible pressure or the pressure at which the maximum load can be carried by the tire. This pressure is normally higher than the vehicle manufacturers recommended cold inflation pressure, which can be found on the Safety Compliance Certification Label (affixed to either the door hinge pillar, door-latch post, or the door edge that meets the door-latch post, next to the drivers seating position), or Tire Label which is located on the B-Pillar or the edge of the drivers door. The cold inflation pressure should never be set lower than the recommended pressure on the vehicle label.

The tire suppliers may have additional markings, notes or warnings, such as standard load or radial tubeless.

Additional Information Contained on the Tire Sidewall for LT Type Tires

LT type tires have some additional


LT type tires have some additional information beyond those of P type tires. These differences are described below.

Note: Tire Quality Grades do not apply to this type of tire.

A. LT: Indicates a tire, designated by the Tire and Rim Association, that is intended for service on light trucks.

B. Load Range/Load Inflation Limits: Indicates the tires load-carrying capabilities and its inflation limits.

C. Maximum Load Dual lb (kg) at psi (kPa) cold: Indicates the maximum load and tire pressure when the tire is used as a dual, defined as four tires on the rear axle (a total of six or more tires on the vehicle).

D. Maximum Load Single lb (kg) at psi (kPa) cold: Indicates the maximum load and tire pressure when the tire is used as a single, defined as two tires (total) on the rear axle.

Information on T Type Tires

T type tires have some additional


T type tires have some additional information beyond those of P type tires. These differences are described below.

T145/80D16 is an example of a tire size.

Note: The temporary tire size for your vehicle may be different from this example. Tire Quality Grades do not apply to this type of tire.

A. T: Indicates a type of tire, designated by the Tire and Rim Association, that is intended for temporary service on cars, sport-utility vehicles, minivans and light trucks.

B. 145: Indicates the nominal width of the tire in millimeters from sidewall edge to sidewall edge. In general, the larger the number, the wider the tire.

C. 80: Indicates the aspect ratio, which gives the tires ratio of height to width. Numbers of 70 or lower indicate a short sidewall.

D. D: Indicates a diagonal type tire. R: Indicates a radial type tire.

E. 16: Indicates the wheel or rim diameter in inches. If you change your wheel size, you will have to purchase new tires to match the new wheel diameter.

Location of the Tire Label

You will find a Tire Label containing tire inflation pressure by tire size and other important information located on the B-Pillar or the edge of the drivers door. See the payload description and graphic in the Load Carrying chapter.

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