XL Load Tires

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 by Tucker Glenn

Have you seen this message when searching for tires on our website?

The following tire you have selected has a higher load rating than the vehicle's Original Equipment (O.E.) tires. This typically results in increased ride harshness, which some customers may find undesirable.
                                                                                                                            

What does this mean? Let's look at two Max Performance Summer tires in 225/45R17, the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx and the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2. The service description on the Dunlop tire is 94Y and 91Y on the Michelin. The difference in the numbers is a difference in the weight each tire can carry. On standard load tires, once you inflate up to 35 psi, the load carrying capability reaches a peak and stops at 1,356 pounds. No matter how much more you inflate the tire, it can't carry any more weight.

The Dunlop tire, however, can. With extra load tires, you can inflate the tire up to 41 psi, and carry more weight. This particular Dunlop can carry up to 1,477 pounds at 41 psi. In certain Audi and Volkswagen vehicles, XL tires are required to carry the weight of the vehicle.

But for most vehicles, standard load tires would suffice. So why the move to XL if it's a harsher ride? I've ridden on both standard load tires and XL tires...and I can't tell a bit of difference. Everyone feels things differently, but a vast majority of the time, the difference is very subtle. The warning is there just so there are no surprises.

So next time you're looking at a Hankook Ventus V12 evo V110, or a Continental ExtremeContact DWS, and you see the XL, have no fear! These tires will still work (and work well) for your vehicle.

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