Tire speed rating



I have a 2007 Toyota camery that I was going to buy new tires for… To my surprise the tire store would not put on the T rated tires I was looking at… because the original tires were V rated… the tire store claimed there would be all sorts of hanldling and perfomance problems… and would not sell me the tires. Now my 4 popper camery will not go anywhere near the 149 mph V speed rating… and as far as handling, I live in Minnesota, the land of ice and snow… and the V rated tires are poor in these conditions…In addition V rated tires don’t last very long. I next called the local toyota dealer and they said there was no reason that the V rated tires had to be on the car. In fact they recomended a set of T rated tires. I then called toyota directly and they said T rated tires would be no problem for this car even though it came with V rated tires on it. soooooo can I put T rated tires on my Toyota Camery? What affect will this have on the car… ? I am just your average 50 year old driver driving a family car going back and forth to work… I am not out to impress the babes… I am not in the middle of some kind of mid life crisis but I am about to finance a couple of kids through college and would really rather not spend the extra $100 on a set of tires that won’t last as long.


nothing wrong with putting the Ts on here either. Find, deal with, and stick with a dealer who treats you the way you like. Go back to the Toyota dealer perhaps or just your usual garage and give them your tire business too.


i work at a tire shop and t will be just fine for your car.


The dealer is really saying, he is afraid that he will be found responsible for any injury that results if the tyre fails. While you might be sure you are not going to drive at those speeds, who knows what the son of the man who buys it from you will do after he gets behind the wheel. The dealer does not know what you may do.

Frankly the dealer knows he is risking loosing the sale, and is willing to do that to avoid the possible responsibility for later damage.


I found the following on tirerack.com:

Speed ratings are based on laboratory tests where the tire is pressed against a large diameter metal drum to reflect its appropriate load, and run at ever increasing speeds (in 6.2 mph steps in 10 minute increments) until the tire’s required speed has been met.

That seems pretty uncomplicated.

Here’s the deciding thing, though. If Minnesota babes are anything like New Jersey babes, they’re going to raise an eyebrow at any guy who drives by wearing T-rated shoes. So if you’re not being entirely honest about the midlife crisis thing, all I can do is wish you luck!


the car is not physically capable of the V rated speeds of 150 mph ok 149… It could even get to the T rated speeds… so even if my son or daughter wanted to test the tires out … it would not be possible… But i am sure you are correct… some one some where probable sued a tire installer for just that…


What tires are listed in your manual, or on the sticker on the door/door jamb? I looked on Discount Tire, and they list H tires for Camrys with 17s, T tires for Camrys with 16s. Which does yours have? There’s absolutely no need for V rated tires, that’s for sure! I would avoid that tire dealer, sounds like he’s trying to rip you off.


looking on the door on the 2007 camery… it lists tire size p215/60/R16 no speed rating… in the owners manual… they do put a 94v at the end of the tire… again… when I talked to the toyota dealer he was fine with the T’s and so was toyota customer service… they could not really give me a reason why the car comes with V rated tires on it…

again the tire store refused to put T rated tires on… even when I gave them the number for toyota customer service…

I would be fine with buying from the dealer … but… I am not fond of the brands of tires they carry… plus they are a few bucks more money…

what was even more interesting is the Toyota dealer ship did not carry any V rated tires in the shop… they were all special order


I say an H rated tire would be the best way to go. Anything below an H-rated tire is usually pretty inferior in both performance and design at this point in history.

The car itself has the power and aerodynamics to hit 130 mph even as a 4 cylinder. Now if we apply the 90% rule (A tire should never be operated beyond 90% of its rated speed) and we arrive at about a V-rated tire. However H (130mph) will suffice. Keep in mind performance tires give you a an extra margin of safety when tires get older, or are underflated and travel a long distance and build up excessive heat.

Finally-can you be certain you will never sell this car to another party? Can you be certain you’ll never loan the car to another person who may have a slightly heavy right foot? Are you comfortable with the increased stopping distance and compromised emergency handling capability a T-rated tire will bring with it versus a V tire?

Just some things to think about.


130 mph in a 4 cyl Camry? Sure, if you push it off a cliff. Let’s see, 32 ft per second squared… a tall cliff. It might do 110, but it takes a LOT more horses to do 130 than it takes to do 110.

Tire dealers are very cautious about speed and load ratings, they have to be in our litigious society, but their story about handling problems on a Camry with less than a V-rated tire is complete bunk.

You may find it easier to get the tires you want if you take the rims off the car and take them to the tire store. That gives them an ‘out’ for legal purposes.

As for safety, if anyone is driving 130 MPH in a front wheel drive car on the public road in Minn, something else is going to kill them a LONG time before tire failure does it.

Aside from the environmental hazards, there are engineering issues. There is a reason why most Police cars and all race cars (i.e. cars built from the ground up to race) are rear wheel drive, and it is not because they like carrying around the weight of a long drive shaft and rear axle.


even using the 10% rule with a T rated tire that would be 109 MPH… I am not sure but I would bet that is pretty close to the top end of the 2007 Camry four banger… and it would take a day or two to get there… as far as stopping… they are all rated the same in traction… In my opinion stopping has more to do with road conditions… in Minnesota a good portion of the year is wet snow or ice… V rated tires do not perform as well under these cirumstances… as far as handling… the V tires are great when you first get them but begin to degrade the minute you start driving them so since they have a shorter life span any way… does that make them better. also… when I go to the toyota dealer they only carry the T rated tires… you have to special order V rated and it takes a week to get them… also… Toyota customer service says any speed rating will work fine. If a hazzardous condition were created by putting on T tires I would think these two sources would have said something… Thanks for the comment… I posted this because I am at a loss to explain why the tire store would not sell me the tires and why would you need 149 mph rated tires on a 4 cylinder family car that can’t get anywhere near that speed.


I had a professor who used to say: “Overdesign; Underutilize!” Meaning if you are designing a product, you should design it much stronger than it has to be, and if you are using a particular product, only use a fraction of its capability.

One of the lessons from the Ford / Firestone situation was that car manufacturers were not doing their part in the “Underutilize” part of the equation. It was found that as tires age, they lose their speed capability (as well as their load carrying capability), so the safe thing to do is to use a higher speed rating - which is the approach Toyota obviously took.

Another way to accomplish the “underutilize” portion of the design equation is to use a tire with higher load carrying capacity. If you look carefully, all vehicles come with tires that can carry much more load than the vehicle weighs. So the speed rating thing is just a different way of accomplishing the same objective.

As an exercise, look up the load carrying capacities of tires in the 1950’s. Notice how close to the vehicle’s GVW the tire’s capacity is. I’ve been able to document 3 changes in this percentage through history, the latest one starting in about 2001, and is still ongoing.

So while I respect those who feel that lower speed rating is OK, this is a very real safety issue, and that’s the reason many tire dealers will not go there.


First make sure the load rating (weight) is appropriate for your application. Some V-rated simply are constructed better and can carry more weight. A Camry has turned to a bloated boat as of late.

The notion that tire dealers are protecting themselves is a bit lame. Winter tires are usually Q-rated(99 MPH) and high performance ones mostly T-rated(118MPH). Tire dealers have no issues selling you those and manufacturers typically recommend equipping their cars in the winter them where conditions warrant.


again I ask the question then … Why does the toyota dealer ship then recomend T rated tires for me… Why when I called toyota directly did they say a T rated tire would be fine??

I guess I fail to see the safty issue…

Over design. Well maybe when I first put on the V tires… but they degrade at twice the rate a good set of 80k all season radials would so they loose their “overdesigness” at twice the rate in at least one aspec. whos to say if they are safer or not then…

what affect does this have on the car perfomance… V vs T…


the T rated tires I am looking at have a higher load rating than the V…yes the camry has grown into a big fella… but I have been getting 30 miles per gallon


I don’t know why people keep suggesting that this car would never be able to hit 130mph. It has a 160HP 2.4 litre 4 cylinder, which is as powerful and large as some 6 cylinders used to be. A mid-1970s Corvette had about the same amount of power. 160HP + modern aerodynamics=the potential for 130mph. If anyone doubts this look up some top speed test of similar vehicles.

As for the argument that it doesn’t matter because the poster will not be exceeding the speed limit-well that’s logical, but there’s more things to consider than top speed. Braking performance in both wet and dry conditions and emergency avoidance maneuvers will be best handled by high performance tires. The differences can be astounding. 20 feet of braking distance can mean the difference between plowing into a child or car and stopping safely in time. Performance tires wear more quickly than standard tires because they offer greater grip and performance-you’re paying for an extra margin of performance and safety.

Finally the assumption that H-Rated or V-Rated performance tires cannot perform well in adverse conditions is silly. While in general we tend to see degraded performance with higher speed rated tires in snow or ice, wet weather performance (braking, handling) is actually better. A Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S is an H-rated tire that tests in Consumer Reports have proven that performance in snow, ice and wet conditions can be top notch while providing a good tread life and smooth ride.


well you might be right about the car being able to reach 130 mph with the horse power it has… there is this one little problem… electronic speed limiting…I will have to do some checking but I believe the camry is limited to about 108 mph again I keep coming back to the fact that the toyota dealer does not carry V rated tires they are special order… and he was ready to put the T rated tires on the car. once again I did call Toyota directly and they said there was no problem. if this was truely such a safty issue i would think they would Be very strick about comments on the subject. they even offered to talk to the tire store

if you look at how consumer reports rates their tires they rate them by catigory… the pilot is in the performance catigory and as such is compared to other tires in that class

with in 10k miles on the pilot’s you would have degraded them by 25 % as tires wear they improve in dry road traction but degrade in all other aspects… is there test data on tires at different points in their life cycle… ?

I guess at this point with all of the discussions here and conversations I have had with the toyota dealer and toyota directly I am going with the michelin X radials… … I’ll let you all know if it kills me…


I can’t comment on why folks would recommend using a lower speed rated tire - perhaps it’s because they do not understand the safety issue?

I’ll give you one aspect of this:

The speed rating test takes place at the rated load and rated pressure. If you are using a lower pressure (and a compensating lower load), the speed capability goes down.

So the V rated (130 mph) tires are only capable of about 124 mph at the pressures Toyota specifies (29 or 30 psi), Using T rated tires means the tires (nominally rated for 118 mph) becomes a 99 mph capable tire.


There’s no reason to go to V rated tires, most designs are available in H rated versions with identical tread patterns and handling characteristics. And a set of high-quality T rated tires would likely perform nearly as well. Just avoid the no-name models.



I ended up with the Michelin X radials (T rated)… they ride nice took some corners a little fast. they are considerably better than my old V tires… They feel and handle well… asking around it is apparent this speed rating is a poorly understood spec on the tires… even experts disagree… I am going to make a point of trying to get a better understanding of what it really means