What Does OWL Mean On Tires?

What does OWL mean on tires? The OWL stands for outlined white letters in the tires. The white letters get highlighted, and it enhances the tire’s overall look as well. Read on to know more.

If you look at your vehicle’s tire carefully, you will see a lot of numbers and codes on the tire’s sidewall. Each of the codes has some meaning. It tells the tire’s size, brand, load capacity, and other details. Do you know what OWL means on tires? It stands for outlines while letters. The letters are highlighted and enhance the tire’s overall look. 

You will come across OWL or RWL tires more often. Let us look at what different codes on the tire mean and how you read the tire’s sidewall.

In this article, let us further look at

  • What do the codes on tires mean?
  • What Does M&S Symbol On Tire Mean?
  • Why is the DOT rating on a tire important?
  • Can you flip OWL tires?
  • What does passenger tires and LT tires mean?
  • What are BSL tires?
  • What does XL mean on tires?


What Does OWL Mean On Tires

What Do The Codes On The Tires Mean?

If you look at the tire’s sidewall, you will see a lot of numbers and letters written on it. So if you want to replace your vehicle’s tires, it is essential to know what these codes mean. You will find a tire code written on its sidewall. 

Let’s say the tire size written on the sidewall is P226/48/R18 99H. Many people may not be knowing what these numbers mean. Let us learn what this code means and know about the tire size, type, and construction.

Tire Rating

Usually, the size of the tire starts with either P or LT. It tells for which type of vehicle you can use these tires. 

P = Passenger Vehicle or P-Metric

Almost all the vehicles like cars and vans use P-Metric tires. Here P refers to passenger tires, which means you can use this for any passenger vehicle such as cars, vans, or even lightweight trucks. 

LT= Light Truck

Sometimes instead of P, you will find the code begins with LT (for example, LT225/48/R16 104C). This means this tire is made for vehicles that carry heavy loads. This includes heavy-duty trucks, SUVs, and other such vehicles.

ST = Special Trailer (For Example ST178/82R)

If you see the tire code starting with ST, it means there are special tires, and you can use them in boats or other utility vehicles.


You might also like to read : Where are Hi Run Tires Made


Tire Width

Usually, the three digits after the prefix refer to the tire width. 226 refers to the tire’s total width (in millimeters) and is measured from its inner sidewall to its outer sidewall. This size may vary and depends on the tire rim as well. 

Aspect Ratio

The two-digit number after the tire’s width section is the aspect ratio of the tire. Here, 48 refers to the tire’s height and tire’s width ratio. This 48 ratio means the tire’s height is 48% of its width.

R= Radial Construction

R refers to the radial construction used while casing the tires. Nowadays, all tires have a radial construction. If the tire is coded as D instead of R, it means it has a bias ply. This means the internal parts of the tire are crisscrossed and patterned vertically.

If there is a ‘B’ mark in the tires, it refers to belted tires. It means it has some more layers of belt reinforced under the tread. However, these tires are very rare nowadays.

Wheel Diameter 

If you look at the tire size above, the number 18 means the tire should fit perfectly to the 18-inch diameter of any wheel. Tires come with different widths in the range of 8 to 28-inches for most passenger cars and lightweight trucks.

Before putting the tires on the wheels, make sure it matches the diameter and fits perfectly.

Load Rating

The load rating on the sidewall tells the tire’s load capacity as per the certain industry pressure. Usually, the load rating ranges from 75 to 105 in the case of passenger tires.

Each value specifies the carrying capacity. In the above tire size, the H is the speed rating of the tire. It tells the maximum speed the tire can bear in the specified load capacity. It can give a maximum speed of 130 mph. If it has an S rating, it can provide a maximum speed of 112 mph.


What Does Owl Mean On Tires

What Does M&S Symbol On Tire Mean?

If you see the M&S symbol on tires, it means it has met all the RMA guidelines and is suitable to ride on mud and snow. These tires are perfect for all seasons and give much better performance in winter or cold weather with a bit of snow.

Why Is The DOT Rating On the Tire Important?

The DOT code is the code written in tires that specifies the tire’s age and is the tire identification number. It is mandated by the Department of Transportation, which says the tires have been tested as per the safety standards. 

So if you find something written as 1807 on the tire’s sidewall next to DOT, it indicates the tire was made in the 18th week of the year 2007.

In most of the tires, you will find a 12 digit alphanumeric code. This code tells you about the manufacturer’s details and the age of the tires. Usually, the last five digits refer to the week and year the tire was made. 

Though it may not be easy to find the DOT code, the code can be written anywhere by the manufacturer. You need to look at the code on all the sides of the tire before you can find them. However, most manufacturers put it on the inner side of the tires.


You might also like to read : Why Do Race Cars Have Wide Tires


Storing The Tires Properly Increases Its Lifespan

If you store the tires properly, they will not wear out soon and will age slOWLy. To increase the life of the tires, you need to

  • Store the tires inside and protect them from direct sunlight and UV rays.
  • Keep the tires at room temperature and keep them in a dry place.
  • Make sure to keep it away from humidity and moisture that can damage the tires.
  • If you stay in a very cold environment, try to prevent the tires from freezing when the temperature decreases.


What Does Owl Mean On Tires

Answers To Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Flip OWL Tires?

If the OWL tires are non-directional, it is fine to flip them inside out. You will have to remove the tire from the rim and rotate it around and balance it well. 

What Does Passenger Tires And LT Tires Mean?

Passenger tires are for lightweight vehicles like sedans and minivans. At the same time, the LT tires are for heavier vehicles like trucks and SUVs.

What Are BSL Tires?

It stands for black sidewall. Most manufacturers make tires with black sidewalls, while others make with BSB or VSB.

What Does XL Mean On Tires?

If you have a heavy load vehicle, such as a truck or minivan, there is a high chance that the manufacturer has installed extra load (XL) tires. These tires last longer and can carry heavy loads well. It gives better grip and traction to the vehicle as well.


What Does Owl Mean On Tires

So What Does OWL Mean On Tires

OWL is the abbreviation of Outlined White Letters. It highlights and enhances the tires and has different codes written on them. The code tells the dimensions and specifications of the tire and its age. Though it is not necessary for the OWL tires, have to be elevated out.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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