Whether you’re shopping for new tires or just curious, you may wonder how much a car tire weighs. The answer depends on several factors, including the tire size, construction, and materials.
In this in-depth blog, we’ll break down the average weight of different types of car tires to give you a better sense of what to expect. We’ll also discuss why tire weight matters, key weight factors, and tips for lightweight tires.
Average Passenger Car Tire Weight
The average passenger car tire weighs between 15 and 35 pounds. Here are some example weights across different tire types, sizes, and uses:
- 185/65R15 All-Season Tire – Approximately 19 pounds
- 205/55R16 Summer Performance Tire – Approximately 22 pounds
- 225/50R17 Grand Touring All-Season – Approximately 28 pounds
- 245/40R19 Ultra High-Performance Summer Tire – Approximately 35 pounds
The lightest tires are typically found on compact cars like subcompacts and economy cars, in the 15-25 pound range for 15 to 17 inch rim diameters. Mid-size sedan tires commonly fall between 20-28 pounds, while full-size sedan tires range from 25-35 pounds depending on performance level. High-performance sports cars and luxury sedans can see tires approaching 40+ pounds on larger 19-inch+ wheel diameters.
Of course, the exact tire weight can vary across brands, models, materials used, and other factors. But this gives a reasonable weight range to expect for standard passenger car applications.
Average Light Truck Tire Weight
Pickup trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and vans require tires engineered to support much higher weights. As a result, light truck tires need heavier construction and materials, driving up overall tire weights. Here are some example truck tire sizes and weights:
- 245/75R16 All-Season Tire – Approximately 37 pounds
- 265/70R17 All-Terrain Tire – Approximately 44 pounds
- 275/55R20 All-Season Tire – Approximately 51 pounds
- 305/55R20 All-Season Tire – Approximately 57 pounds
- 35×12.5R20 Mud-Terrain Tire – Approximately 73 pounds
Tires for compact and mid-sized pickup trucks and SUVs typically range from 30-50 pounds per tire. Full-size truck tires measure 50 pounds or more, especially when reaching larger wheel diameters of 20 inches or more. Specialty off-road tires also tend to be heavier, some reaching up to 80+ pounds, due to thick, rugged construction.
What Factors Determine Tire Weight?
Several variables account for differences in tire weights across cars and trucks. These include:
a. Tire Size:
The larger the tire, the more material is required. Width, sidewall height, and wheel diameter all play a role. Wider tires require more rubber across the tread and sidewalls. Taller sidewalls need more rubber to span the height. Larger wheel diameters require circumferentially longer tread and sidewalls.
Performance tires require stiffer sidewalls and advanced tread compounds to achieve responsiveness, grip, and durability. These construction differences add weight compared to basic passenger car tires. Run-flat tires and heavy-duty light truck tires incorporate thick reinforcing layers within the tire body to improve load capacities and run-flat capability, which adds heft.
Some tires add protective reinforcement layers between the tread and steel belts to improve puncture resistance and durability. These fortifying layers beef up the construction but come with weight penalties.
Rugged off-road tires may incorporate thicker, heavier rubber compounds to withstand rocky terrain. Performance tires utilize complex rubber blends optimized for grip at the expense of increased weight.
e. Brand & Design:
Beyond construction, manufacturing specifications, proprietary materials used, and tread design choices all impact the final tire weight.
Understanding these factors can help explain why some tires come in heavier than others for the same sizes. It also shows the importance of proper tire size selection for your vehicle based on the intended use and loads.
Tire Options to Reduce Weight
For applications where saving weight is important, there are some tire options that can help drop a few pounds:
- Smaller Wheel Diameter – Dropping to a smaller rim diameter allows for shorter, lighter sidewalls. Just ensure to stay within the approved diameter limits and inflation pressures for your vehicle.
- Summer/Performance Tires – These forego the heavy all-season reinforcement and materials for lighter warm-weather focused construction when applicable.
- Premium Brands – Leading tire brands optimize construction to balance strength, longevity, comfort and weight. Their designs can edge out small savings over economy brands.
- Light Truck LT Sizing – LT-Metric light truck tires are sometimes produced in lighter passenger car versions, indicated by a “P” preceding the size abbreviation for passenger.
However, it’s important not to sacrifice too much load capacity, durability, ride comfort or handling performance for marginal weight savings. Any changes should stay within your vehicle manufacturer’s approved recommendations.
Weighing Your Own Tires
If you are trying to determine the exact weight of your tires, you have a few options:
a. Use a Shop Scale:
Many auto shops have floor or hanging scales that accommodate entire wheel and tire assemblies. Weigh the whole assembly, remove the tire and weigh just the wheel. Subtract the wheel-only weight from the entire assembly weight to isolate the tire weight. Ensure the scale can handle the assembly load.
b. Hang from Scale:
Alternatively, you can hang the tire vertically from a robust hanging scale or hoist. Ensure any hooks, straps, or other fasteners used to hang the tire can safely support the full tire weight without bending or breaking. Subtract any attachment hardware weight from the total.
c. Calculate by Size:
There are some tire weight calculation formulas based on factors like tire section width, aspect ratio, construction, and rim diameter that can provide an estimated weight range. These don’t account for distinct brand design differences but can get you in the ballpark.
When weighing, note whether the tire has its inner adhesive balance weights still affixed to the inner rim. The inner balance weights attached can add 4-6 ounces each.
The Bottom Line on Tire Weight
At the end of the day, tires represent a relatively small portion of overall vehicle mass. Yet their weight still has an important influence on vehicle dynamics, efficiency, wheel loads, and compliance. Heavier applications like full-size trucks and high-performance cars may see tires approaching 60+ pounds each, while typical passenger car tires weigh 20-35 pounds. Understanding key tire weight factors helps ensure proper selection and maintenance.
Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of tire weights and their crucial role in vehicle dynamics, efficiency, and overall performance, let’s explore another essential aspect of tire care – maintaining their cleanliness. In our guide on how to clean car tires, we delve into effective cleaning methods, recommended products, and practical tips to ensure your tires not only carry the right weight but also look their best.
Proper tire maintenance goes beyond understanding their weight; it extends to preserving their appearance and longevity. So, after learning about the intricacies of tire weights, why not seamlessly transition into discovering the best practices for keeping your tires in top-notch condition? Explore our guide on how to clean car tires to ensure your vehicle rolls with both optimal weight and pristine aesthetics.