United Kingdom

Tyre Basics

Speak fluent ‘tyre’ in one minute

Michelin 18 May 2010

How to read a tyre sidewall

The language of the tyre is alien to most people. It's buried in mysterious numbers, letters, symbols and codes found on the side of each tyre. Actually, they contain a lot of useful and important information about the capabilities of each tyre. So if you don't know your tyre section width from your speed symbol-or if you do and you want to expand your knowledge-here's the important stuff that's helpful when it comes to choosing the right tyre for you.

How do I read a tyre?

Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake:

Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake symbol (3PMSF). Additional marking on M+S tyres indicates they are designed for severe snow conditions.

Three Peak Mountain snow flake

GREEN X:

A GREEN X marking on the sidewall of a MICHELIN tyre is proof of energy efficiency that is amongst the best in the market. This marking indicates MICHELIN's pledge to reducing vehicle fuel consumption and lowering CO2 emissions. A MICHELIN tyre with the GREEN X marking is unique because it delivers enhanced energy efficiency while benefiting from the widely recognised safety and longevity of all MICHELIN tyres.

Green XIf your tyres are marked with Extra Load (XL) or Reinforced (Reinf), the tyre has a higher load rating than would normally apply to this size. You should take account of these tyre markings when replacing your tyres.

ZP: Zero Pressure:

ZP identifies MICHELIN run flat tyres that have reinforced sidewalls. These Self Supporting Tyres (SST's) allow you to continue your journey when your tyre is flat.

ZP: This marking indicates that you can continue your journey with a flat tyre for up to 50 miles at speeds up to 50 mph.

ZP SR: This marking indicates that you can continue your journey with a flat tyre for up to 20 miles at speeds up to 50 mph.

Car Maker Specific Tyre Markings


E.g. MICHELIN Primacy HP MO      MO is a Mercedes specific marking
E.g. MICHELIN Pilot Sport PS2 N3  N is a Porsche specific marking
E.g. MICHELINTM ENERGY Saver *        * (star) is a BMW specific marking

Some (mainly high performance) Michelin tyres have specific markings which show that the tyre has been developed to provide optimum performance on models from certain vehicle manufacturers.

Michelin tyres with these specific markings are made differently from the equivalent standard tyres. These tyres are not better or worse than the equivalent standard tyre, but they differ in the way they behave on the car. These markings can be found on the sidewall of the tyre, and also on new tyre labels.

Specific Markings Car Makers / Vehicles
K1, K2 Specific marking for FERRARI vehicles
C1 Specific marking for the CHRYSLER Viper

N0, N1, N2, N…
Specific marking for PORSCHE vehicles (+Volkswagen Touareg)
* (BMW M) Specific marking for BMW M vehicles (M3, Z4M, M5, M6…)
MO1 Specific marking for Mercedes-AMG vehicles

RO1
Specific marking for AUDI QUATTRO GmbH vehicles (RS6, RS4, TT 19"…)
* Specific marking for BMW and MINI vehicles
MO Specific marking for MERCEDES vehicles
AO Specific marking for AUDI vehicles
VO Specific marking for VOLKSWAGEN vehicles (Touareg)
G1 Specific marking for various car manufacturers (Renault, Mercedes…)
A Specific marking for TOYOTA (Auris)
Other Sidewall Markings Technical information related to the tyre category
XL or Extra Load Tyres designed for loads and inflation pressures higher than the standard version.
ZP "Zero Pressure" Michelin self supporting run flat tyres
Michelin's recommendations
When you decide to change your tyres, Michelin recommends complying with the vehicle manufacturer's specifications.
For example, if your original tyres are marked XL or Extra Load, specify this when replacing your tyres.
Michelin do not recommend mixing tyres with different specific markings on an axle.
For further details, or assistance on specific cases, please contact Michelin Technical Services on 0845 366 1535.


Contact your tyre dealer, or Michelin Technical Services for more information on car maker specific tyre markings.
  • car
  • 4x4 / suv
  • van / motorhome
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