Any - Tyre loading - kerbed enthusiasm

I need a new set of tyres for my car. Previously, I've just quoted tyre size but having looked online I'm increasingly aware of the tyre loading. The original tyres are rated as 91 but all of the recommended tyres are indicated as 87. I understand that this is more than suficient for the weight of the fully loaded vehicle but wonder whether it would be an insurance issue as the tyres would be less than the manufacturer's preference.

Any - Tyre loading - Mike H

The only answer is to read the handbook, where the appropriate tyres will be listed. The original fitments may have had the higher load rating because those were the best deal for the manufacturer at the time.

Any - Tyre loading - kerbed enthusiasm

Thanks, Mike. I've just questioned a tyre fitting service who stated that their database says the lower rating is fine. They've advised me to check my insurance though so presumably they're not all that confident!

Any - Tyre loading - kerbed enthusiasm

Hmm. No recommendation in the handbook. The only information on the vehicle (door pillar) is the name and size of the tyres originally fitted. Off to the Citroen forum...

Any - Tyre loading - Engineer Andy

Hmm. No recommendation in the handbook. The only information on the vehicle (door pillar) is the name and size of the tyres originally fitted. Off to the Citroen forum...

Probably the best thing to do, or check a few dealership or (via the national website) manufacturer approved used car ads which often (for you car's specific model [including engine size/type] and build date) have close-ups of the tyres on the photos. If the car is less than 3 years old, then supersites like Motorpoint might stock the car, and they definitely take close-up photos of the tyres for you to check.

Any - Tyre loading - Engineer Andy

The only answer is to read the handbook, where the appropriate tyres will be listed. The original fitments may have had the higher load rating because those were the best deal for the manufacturer at the time.

...especially if those tyres were of the 'XL' type with stiffer sidewalls. HJ's much-vaunted Michellin Cross Climate all season tyre only (as far as I know) comes in this format as far as I know, for example (my std summer tyres are 91 rated, the XL versions are 94). Also if the tyre fitted was wider (but still fitted the wheel and not obstructing the brake discs etc) than the standard manufacturer's recommended fitment size.

Any - Tyre loading - kerbed enthusiasm

This question has already been asked on the Citroen forum. The respondent suggested that a lower rating may invalidate insurance. Before the internet i just let tyre fitters get on with their job!

'Much-vaunted' is correct! I've almost stopped reading the advice columns because I can predict the answers.I should just stop messing about thinking about replacing tyres and buy a Peugeot 2008 with GripControl...

Any - Tyre loading - gordonbennet

Goodness yes, Pugs with Puretech Grip Control and Mich Cross Climates will be pulling snowed in Defenders out all over the place.

I look at tyre loading same as speed ratings, OK to go up from spec but better not go down, however those higher rated could well have a slightly harder ride, but to balance that out should stand up to kerbing or pot holes better.

Any - Tyre loading - kerbed enthusiasm

Thank you. Always a pleasure to read your comments.

Any - Tyre loading - veloceman
Hilarious Mr Bennett!
Any - Tyre loading - badbusdriver

You don't say what citroen you have, but a 91 load rating equals 615kg per tyre, or a maximum of 2460kg. So unless the citroen in question is a C8, C6, or possibly a C5 estate, the lower rating of 87 (even that is 545kg per corner, or 2180 max) will be perfectly fine. Incidentally, your reg document should tell you the maximum permissable weight (GVW).

But for a comparison, my LWB ford transit connect has a 900kg payload and a GVW of just over 2300kg (i think it is 2320kg). In theory, i could legally put tyres with a 91 rating on it, but being a van with that payload, the rear, when fully loaded, is obviously going to be dealing with a greater percentage of the overall weight, so in practice, it wouldn't work. When i put on new tyres, i buy ones with a 95 load rating (that is 690kg per corner, or 2760kg max), to give me plenty of leeway.

Any - Tyre loading - RT

Cars usually have a much higher load rating than absolutely necessary, typically 30% more than axle loading maximum - quite different to commercial vehicles.

Any - Tyre loading - catsdad
I have fitted Michelin CCs to my Civic and my understanding is that you need to increase the pressures above standard tyres. In fact at standard tyre pressures their load capacity is less than standard tyres. Neither Honda nor Michelin would state a pressure for the Civic.

In the end I found a thread on another site (Pistonheads?) which had a load table. From that I calculated that an extra 10% pressure was appropriate.

I wonder if some of those who praise CC comfort are actually running at standard (underinflated) pressures?
Any - Tyre loading - kerbed enthusiasm

It's a C3 Picasso. Amazingly, for such a small car it has a GVW of 1747kg. I know that a tyre load of 87 would easily support this weight but it was really a question of the insurance implications of deviating from the original when they can get uppity about using winter tyres.

Michelin seem to be offering a £10 per tyre discount so I've found some crossclimates that aren't exorbitant. Let's hope that they live up to their expectations!


Any - Tyre loading - badbusdriver

It's a C3 Picasso. Amazingly, for such a small car it has a GVW of 1747kg. I know that a tyre load of 87 would easily support this weight but it was really a question of the insurance implications of deviating from the original when they can get uppity about using winter tyres.

Michelin seem to be offering a £10 per tyre discount so I've found some crossclimates that aren't exorbitant. Let's hope that they live up to their expectations!


It is michelin crossclimates i have on the van at the moment, 195/65x15. Bought them off ebay and had a local garage fit them. I can't remember exactly how much they were, but i think it was around £220 for the 4 (+£40 for fitting and balancing).

As for the weight of your picasso, it's no lightweight, but it isn't too bad. Not as light as a nissan note, but our 2011 vauxhall meriva (1.7 turbo diesel) had a kerbweight of 1547kg and a GVW of 2040kg!. The difference between the 2 figures of the meriva suggest's the picasso kerbweight would be somewhere around 1300kg

Any - Tyre loading - kerbed enthusiasm

Bang on for the kerbweight! £220 for 4 Michelin is incredible value. I was almost relieved when I searched ebay for my size and coudn't find any!

Any - Tyre loading - badbusdriver

On reflection, that does seem rather cheap, I may have got my numbers crossed!. If I remember, I will check later on today!.

Any - Tyre loading - Engineer Andy

On reflection, that does seem rather cheap, I may have got my numbers crossed!. If I remember, I will check later on today!.

I just checked on Black Circles, and the fitted price (not including £25 total discount for buying 4 tyres) was about £285 for four.

Edited by Engineer Andy on 27/10/2017 at 10:51

Any - Tyre loading - kerbed enthusiasm

Excellent price - I can't get close to it, especially not on Black Circles. Presumably, it's all about tyre size and supply/demand.

Any - Tyre loading - badbusdriver

Checked my account and i was wrong re. what i thought i paid for my set of 4 crossclimates, but not by that much. The total price was £243.96 from a place called 'roundtriptyres' (through ebay, as i said). I ordered them pretty much exactly a year ago, 29/10/16.

What size are the tyres you need?

Any - Tyre loading - kerbed enthusiasm

195/55 r16. Roundtrip's version (with admittedly a higher speed rating) comes in at £113 per tyre. Yikes!

Any - Tyre loading - argybargy

I never cease to be amazed at how mch more complicated driving is than I thought it was.

For 30 years I've bought tyres for my cars based on nothing but the size of the old ones and tyre fitters' recommendation, and in latter times a preference for Michelin over any other brand.

Then someone mentions "loading", how the wrong "loading" might affect your insurance, and all my preconceptions are cast to the four winds. What a way to start a Saturday morning.

Any - Tyre loading - RT

There weren't any Load Indexes in the olden days - just 4-ply, 6-ply, 8-ply and C (commercial) - but equally in the olden days every car used 13" wheels unless it was a Rolls-Royce, Bentley or similar - and all cars were much lighter.

It's even more complicated on SUVs - the wheels themselves need to be load-rated - my winters are 17" but that size can be found on many small cars these days with quite different load requirements.

With load ratings, it seems to be normal that if you go up above your car's minimum requirement, the ride will be harsher but the tyre will be tougher and resist punctures better.

Any - Tyre loading - Wackyracer

It's even more complicated on SUVs - the wheels themselves need to be load-rated - my winters are 17" but that size can be found on many small cars these days with quite different load requirements.

If I remember correctly RT, Commer Imp vans had a thicker guage of steel for their wheels than the car versions had.

My little van (2 tonnes) has XL tyres and a couple of times I've had tyre fitters trying to sell me lower rated car tyres for it, one obviously uneducated in his profession was trying to tell me that the load index number on the tyre was a speed rating and it didn't matter. Needless to say I left without buying his tyres.

One thing I have noticed is the cheaper budget brand tyres of the size I need are nearly always the higher load rating for some reason.

Any - Tyre loading - Engineer Andy

195/55 r16. Roundtrip's version (with admittedly a higher speed rating) comes in at £113 per tyre. Yikes!

Its because its a far less popular size of tyre: of the R16s, the deeper 205/55s (which I have fitted to my Mazda3 mk) are the most common/popular, fitted on most mid-spec small and medium family cars by a factor of 10x. Look on the Tyre reviews website for the user reviews (by size) and you'll see what I mean.

A similar thing would occur if I had replaced my car with a brand new Mazda3 - it has the less common (at least at the moment) 205/60 R16s (slighly higher sidewall, perhaps a bit more cushioned ride) which, when I looked them up, have a lot less available and are about 20% or so more expensive than the 205/55 R16s which aren't compatable.

Any - Tyre loading - badbusdriver

195/55 r16. Roundtrip's version (with admittedly a higher speed rating) comes in at £113 per tyre. Yikes!

Its because its a far less popular size of tyre: of the R16s, the deeper 205/55s (which I have fitted to my Mazda3 mk) are the most common/popular, fitted on most mid-spec small and medium family cars by a factor of 10x. Look on the Tyre reviews website for the user reviews (by size) and you'll see what I mean.

A similar thing would occur if I had replaced my car with a brand new Mazda3 - it has the less common (at least at the moment) 205/60 R16s (slighly higher sidewall, perhaps a bit more cushioned ride) which, when I looked them up, have a lot less available and are about 20% or so more expensive than the 205/55 R16s which aren't compatable.

Cheapest i can see on ebay for a set of 4 crossclimate's your size are these, which are still pretty costly.

www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4X-New-195-55-16-MICHELIN-CROSS...3

That is with the 91 load rating, but that does seem to be an unusual combination, as there are few other 'big names' offer that size of all weather tyre in that size with that load rating. As i said before though, the 87 would be absolutely fine with your car and i can't imagine any reason why anyone would think or suggest that doing so would invalidate your insurance. To put it another way, in order to exceed the weight limit on the 87 tyre you WOULD be exceeding the GVW of the car.

Any - Tyre loading - kerbed enthusiasm

Thanks for the link, BBD. Fortunately, I've got them quite a bit cheaper than this fully-fitted. Given our mileage it's likely that they'll outlive the use of the car so I'm seeing it as a one off cost.

Any - Tyre loading - argybargy

Yesterday, and in reponse to this thread I checked the load rating on my tyres for the first time ever. 88H front and rear.

Blackcircles says they should be T88. Is the difference between the T and the H crucial in any way?

Any - Tyre loading - kerbed enthusiasm

The letters presumably are speed ratings: T is 118mph: H is 130mph. That would mean that your current tyres exceed BlackCircle's recommendation.

Any - Tyre loading - RT

T-rated tyres are limited to 118mph, H-rated to 130mph - forget the UK limit, they need to be rated above the car's maximum speed.

However, car makers often have bulk prices for the fastest tyre they may buy in that size - so not uncommon to find V-rated OE tyres on a model where T-rated would be enough.

Any - Tyre loading - badbusdriver

T-rated tyres are limited to 118mph, H-rated to 130mph - forget the UK limit, they need to be rated above the car's maximum speed.

However, car makers often have bulk prices for the fastest tyre they may buy in that size - so not uncommon to find V-rated OE tyres on a model where T-rated would be enough.

That is presumably the same for the load rating as there is absolutely no reason the OP's C3 picasso would need a 91.

I don't really need to worry about speed rating for my van tyres due to the lack of aerodynamics coupled with less than 90bhp!

Any - Tyre loading - Engineer Andy

T-rated tyres are limited to 118mph, H-rated to 130mph - forget the UK limit, they need to be rated above the car's maximum speed.

However, car makers often have bulk prices for the fastest tyre they may buy in that size - so not uncommon to find V-rated OE tyres on a model where T-rated would be enough.

Indeed, though it also depends upon the trim level as well, even if the engine doesn't change from one car to another.

For example, my previous car, a mid 90s Nissan Micra 1.0L 'S' had 175/60 R13 H rated tyres on it - the car has the same 1 litre engine as all the other lower models using that engine which have 155/70 R13 T rated tyres. The Micra with that engine has a rated top speed of (if I recall correctly) 93mph.

T rated tyres would've been fine, its just Nissan were pretending that the S was somehow 'sporty'. They weren't, it was just for cosmetic reasons. I had to pay 30-40% more for replacement tyres as a result at the time (the 175/60 tyres are now very rare and are either very expensive or you buy ditch-finders), but even so 'only' cost £50 tops back when they were more widely available.

Any - Tyre loading - argybargy

Thanks for the responses to my "T and H" query. Had absolutely no idea about any of that till I ventured upon this thread, nor had I ever even noticed those letters and numbers on my tyres.

Fascinating stuff.

Any - Tyre loading - RobJP

Personally, I view the T/H/V etc speed ratings and the numbered load ratings as absolute minimums.

Fine to go higher, and put (for example) a 94 rated tyre where the manufacturer specifies a 91, or to put a 'V' rated tyre when a 'H' is specified, but I'd not want to go lower.

Having seen a blowout happen at speed on the motorway in front of me, I can safely say I'd not want to be behind the wheel when it happened.

I'd also not want to be answering the potentially awkward questions from police or insurance about it all.

The car and tyre manufacturers know more than I do. They specify those ratings for a reason.

Any - Tyre loading - Manatee

Personally, I view the T/H/V etc speed ratings and the numbered load ratings as absolute minimums.

I don't think anybody would argue with that. Higher than required speed or load ratings will increase the safety margin so 'must' be OK.

I am very fussy about tyres: I won't use different front to rear, and I like to wear them evenly and replace 4 at once.

I try to avoid using XL tyres. Most cars have so much headroom in the load rating that there is no need, and XL tyres need slightly higher pressures for the same actual load. They are heavier and have a stiffer carcass. In general I don't want a harder ride or to change the handling.

My MX-5 for example has a permitted gross weight of 1215Kg, an average of about 300Kg per tyre. The 84V tyres are rated at 500Kg each which seems ample to me. The Outlander has 98H tyres, rated at 750Kg each, total 3000Kg and has a permitted gross weight of 2260Kg.

My exceptions to this would be where the margin is low or possibly for towing. The Outlander is a good tower of my 1200Kg caravan and very stable, but if I had any doubts then I would use XL tyres to help reduce compliance at the rear, and at the front of course to keep things in balance.

The caravan does now have XL tyres because it came with 91 rated ones, only 615Kg per tyre, which is no margin at all. There's also the point that it's much harder for the driver to detect a tyre problem on a trailer so the beefier the better.

Higher speed ratings IMO are desirable, although again the recommended tyres may already have a big margin. Higher speed ratings are achieved through stronger construction. That will increase safety margin generally - at higher speed, higher temperatures, excess weight, with age deterioration, underinflation, pothole damage, or whatever.

I take what I read on the internet from unknown sources with a pinch of salt, but the following advice seems to be fail safe.

www.barrystiretech.com/speedratings.html

I have a personal theory that most blow-out-type failures are caused by underinflation. Clearly they can be caused by debris but there isn't much we can do about that. I've never had one, which doesn't prove anything but I do check tyre pressures.

Any - Tyre loading - SteVee

I've had two blowouts. The first on an Austin Mini, I heard the rear n/s tyre blow through the open window and picked a place to stop. The tyre had a hole in the sidewall I could stick a finger through. I couldn't believe how little difference it made to the Mini's handling/ride !

The second was the o/s front on my Lancia Monte Carlo, this again was very undramatic and I could chose my point to stop. This tyre had been incorrectly fitted, or damaged during the fitting and was wrecked.

Very recently I was in the middle lane of M25 in roadworks when the A6 estate to my right blew its o/s front - I saw the air blast under the car and decided to give him some room - sure enough a left indicator came on and he moved into lane 1 - with a completely flat front.

In all these cases the tyre stayed on the rim - and that's probably the most important consideration.

Any - Tyre loading - Manatee

Very recently I was in the middle lane of M25 in roadworks when the A6 estate to my right blew its o/s front - I saw the air blast under the car

Sounds as if it might have had damage on the inner sidewall.

I have been astonished in the past to see that tyres seem to gather inner sidewall damage so easily, more so than with the outer side - can't imagine how it happens.

Any - Tyre loading - RobJP

Very recently I was in the middle lane of M25 in roadworks when the A6 estate to my right blew its o/s front - I saw the air blast under the car

Sounds as if it might have had damage on the inner sidewall.

I have been astonished in the past to see that tyres seem to gather inner sidewall damage so easily, more so than with the outer side - can't imagine how it happens.

Straddling road humps - at speed.

Any - Tyre loading - Manatee

Straddling road humps - at speed.

I don't do that any more. At any speed.

About 15 years ago 'they' built some square cushions out of tarmac that were actually higher than the recommended spec - truly horrible things. I had a Scorpio estate at the time and I discovered the track was wide enough to make them bearable, so I centred up and carried on using the route (this wasn't a rat run BTW).

After about 6 months of doing this daily, I had an MoT. The tyres were well buried in the wheel arches on those, but to all appearances there was plenty of tread. When they got it up in the air the inside edges were so worn that wires were exposed.

If I am forced to negotiate such things now, I slow right down and have one side on and one side off.

The cushions BTW were lowered eventually following complaints from residents, with knackered tyres presumably.

Any - Tyre loading - RobJP

I have a personal theory that most blow-out-type failures are caused by underinflation. Clearly they can be caused by debris but there isn't much we can do about that. I've never had one, which doesn't prove anything but I do check tyre pressures.

I think I'd entirely agree with that. Underinflation, leading to excess heat and flexing, which then means any weak spot is highly vulnerable to just simple failure.

I had a puncture on the front driver side on my BMW the other week - the car is fitted with runflats. I noticed something 'felt wrong' with the steering a minute or 2 before the TPMS warning came on. Stopped, checked it, obviously low pressure. Fortunately I was only 5 minutes from home, so drove back there very carefully. Trolley jack, wheel off. Knackered tyre with a lovely big nail in the 'edge' of the tread, so not repairable.

Car just felt horrible to drive - not very stable, if you went on a painted line on the road you could feel the wheel 'twitch' in your hand. The difference in road noise was considerable too.

I'm constantly astounded by the number of people I see with what are obviously very under-inflated tyres, who seem oblivious to the fact. On any number of occasions I've jumped out of my car when waiting at traffic lights to knock on the window of a car in front of me to inform them of a flat.

Any - Tyre loading - Avant

" have been astonished in the past to see that tyres seem to gather inner sidewall damage so easily, more so than with the outer side - can't imagine how it happens."

Also, if there's a bulge or a crack in an outer sidewall you'll probably see it and do something about it. But how many of us can claim to inspect our cars' inner sidewalls regularly, or at all?

 

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