What Does 94W Mean on a Tire? Decoding Tire Ratings

The code “94W” signifies a tire’s maximum load (1,477 lbs) and speed capacity (up to 168 mph). Compliance with vehicle specifications and manufacturer guidelines ensures proper load capacity, handling, and safety. Selecting the correct tire based on load index and speed rating chart is vital.

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Written by: Mohammad Sameer

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Have you ever noticed the numbers and letters on the side of your tires and wondered what they mean? One common designation is “94w”, which refers to the tyre’s load index and speed rating. Understanding these markings is essential for ensuring proper tire performance and safety.

According to the Federal Register, manufacturers of tires for motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less are required to comply with certain safety standards, including Standard No. 139.

What Is The Load Index?

So, you wanna know what the load index is all about? Well, let me break it down for you. The load index tells you how much weight a right tire can handle. For example, if you drive a sports car that can reach speeds of up to 186 mph, you’ll need a tire with a high load index to support all that speed.

The load index is usually found on the driver’s side doorjamb or a placard in your car. Different tires have different load capacities, so make sure you check the tire service description to see if your tires can safely handle the weight of your car.

When you’re looking at new tires, you may also come across the speed rating. This rating tells you the tire’s maximum speed capabilities. For example, a tire with a z speed rating can handle speeds over 186 mph.

The speed rating doesn’t just apply to sports cars though – it’s important for all vehicles, especially if you regularly drive at higher speeds. The speed rating spectrum goes from Q to Z, with each letter representing a different top speed.

You can usually find the speed rating on the tire itself, or in the load index chart provided by tire manufacturers.

What Are The Load Index Ratings?

Load index ratings are important when it comes to choosing the right tires for your vehicle. These ratings indicate the maximum load capacity that a tire can safely carry. For example, a tire with a load index of 94 can support up to 1477 lbs per tire.

The speed ratings are based on laboratory testing under specific conditions and indicate the maximum speed that a tire can handle. For example, a tire with a speed rating of V can handle speeds up to 149 mph. When choosing tires, be sure to read the tire information carefully to ensure it meets your vehicle’s needs.

While z-rated tires are designed for the highest speeds, w-speed tires are rated for speeds up to 168 mph. It’s important to note that these ratings are based on ideal weather conditions and may vary in real-world situations.

Additionally, different types of vehicles may require different load index ratings. For example, trailer tires may have lower load index ratings compared to performance tires. Always consider the specifics of your vehicle and driving habits when selecting tires.

What Is The Meaning Of 94w On A Tire?

What Is The Meaning Of 94w On A Tire?
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When you see the code “94W” on a tire, it refers to the tire load index rating and tire speed rating of the tire. The number 94 indicates the maximum load a tire can carry, while the letter W denotes the tyre’s maximum speed capability.

This means the tire is rated for speeds up to 168 mph. It’s crucial to refer to the tire speed rating chart to understand the speed limits of your tire size and ensure your safety on the road.

Always check the tire sidewall for these ratings and never exceed the tire’s tread life or weight a tire can carry for your vehicle.

What Does The Number 94 Represent?

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The number 94 on a 94W tire represents the tire’s load index, which is a measure of the maximum weight the tire can safely carry.

In this case, 94 corresponds to a tire load rating of 1,477 lbs at maximum air pressure.

The tire’s load index rating is a crucial factor to consider when replacing tires, as it directly impacts the vehicle’s load-carrying capacity.

It is essential to choose tires with the same or higher load index rating than the Original Equipment (OE) tires to avoid overloading the tires, which can lead to damage, blowouts, and premature wear.

What Does The Letter W Represent?

What Does The Letter W Represent?
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The letter W on a tire represents the speed rating. It means that the tire can handle a maximum speed of 168 mph (270 kph) under specific, controlled conditions. 

It is important to note that real-life driving conditions may vary, and the tire’s performance may differ from the test conditions.

What Happens If You Use The Wrong Load Index or Speed Rating?

What Happens If You Use The Wrong Load Index or Speed Rating?

When selecting tires for your vehicle, it’s important to pay attention to the load index and speed rating.

Using the wrong load index can lead to incorrect load capacity, which increases the risk of a tire blowout. This can affect your vehicle handling and tire performance, posing a serious safety risk.

In addition, an incorrect tire rating can result in tire failure and jeopardize road safety. It’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on tire specifications to ensure the proper load-carrying capacity and tire durability.

Moreover, driving with an improper load rating can cause tire damage tire maintenance. This increases the likelihood of needing a tire replacement sooner than expected. It’s essential to consider road handling and vehicle stability when choosing tires with the appropriate speed capability.

Always abide by the speed limits set by the manufacturer to avoid tire failure risk and ensure road safety. Proper tire selection is key to maintaining vehicle stability and road safety.


What does 94w mean on a tire?

The 94W on a tire indicates the load index and the speed rating. In this case, 94 stands for the load index, which is the maximum weight that the tire can safely handle per tire. The W stands for a speed rating of up to 168 mph.

How can I find the tire speed rating on my tire?

You can find the tire speed rating by looking at the tire sidewall. The speed rating is usually represented by a letter, such as W, which indicates the maximum speed the tire can handle safely.

What is a tire speed rating chart and how to read it?

A tire speed rating chart provides information on the common speed ratings and their corresponding maximum speeds. To read it, simply match the speed rating of your tire with the corresponding speed to know the maximum speed your tire can handle.

What is a tire load index rating and how does it affect my tires?

The tire load index rating indicates the maximum weight that each tire can safely support. It is crucial to adhere to the load index to ensure your tires can handle the weight of your vehicle and passengers without any issues.

What does the letter “W” in the tire speed rating signify?

The letter “W” in the tire speed rating stands for a high-performance rating, allowing the tire to handle speeds over 168 mph. This rating is commonly found on performance tires designed for high speeds.

How to determine the tire size and load rating for my vehicle?

To determine the appropriate tire size and load rating for your vehicle, you can refer to the information located on the sidewall of the tire. It is essential to choose tires that meet the manufacturer’s specifications for your vehicle.

Can lower-rated tires be used on vehicles with higher speed capabilities?

It is not recommended to use lower-rated tires on vehicles with higher speed capabilities. Tires with lower speed ratings may not be able to handle the speeds over what they are designed for, compromising safety and performance.

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About Mohammad Sameer

My name is Mohammad Sameer and I have over 3 years of hands-on experience repairing cars, motorcycles, and trucks. Ever since I operated on my first engine in 2018, I’ve been passionate about all things automotive. In 2021, I launched my blog “Motoring Mastery” to share my knowledge with car enthusiasts and DIY mechanics.