Kia Optima: Uniform Tire Quality Grading - Tires and Wheels - Maintenance - Kia Optima MS/Magentis 2000-2005 Owners ManualKia Optima: Uniform Tire Quality Grading

The following information relates to the tire grading system developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for grading tires by tread wear, traction and temperature performance.

Tread Wear

The tread wear 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-a-half 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, performance may differ from the norm because of variations in driving habits, service practices and differences in road characteristics and climate.

These grades are molded on the side-walls of passenger vehicle tires. The tires available as standard or optional equipment on Kia vehicles may vary with respect to grade.

Traction  A, B & C

Traction A, B & C

The traction grades, from highest to lowest, are 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

The temperature grades are A (the highest), B and C. The grades represent the tires resistance to the generation of heat and its ability to dissipate heat when tested under controlled conditions on a specified 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. Grade C corresponds to a level of performance which all passenger vehicle tires must meet under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 109. Grades A and B represent higher levels of performance on the laboratory test wheel than the minimum required by the law.

WARNING - Tire Temperature WARNING - Tire Temperature

The temperature grade for the tire on your vehicle 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 build-up and possible sudden tire failure. This can cause loss of vehicle control and serious injury or death.

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The chart below shows many of the different speed ratings currently being used for passenger car tires. The speed rating symbol is part of the tire size designation on the sidewall of the tire. Th ...

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