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LT vs P Tire – the Difference
You should know the difference between these size designations if you operate a pickup truck, big SUV, or panel van. Replacement of the original tire that arrived on the vehicle may not always be the best option for the replacement tire. P-metric tire sizes are those with a "P" in front of the numbers in the size description – or no letter at all. It's an LT tire if it has an LT in front of the size. The sort of tire that is best for you is determined by how you operate your car.
The cost of LT tires is higher than that of P-metric tires. This is due to more material under the tread as well as in the sidewall of LT tires, which protects the tire from damage. The cords of an LT tire are thicker than those in a P-metric tire, allowing it to bear heavier loads. Compared to a P-metric tire, LT tires generally contain a deeper tread, an additional steel belt, and thicker rubber in the sidewall for added protection.
LT tires are typically 8-ply (Load Range D) or 10-ply (Load Range E). The sidewall of passenger tires is normally 4-ply or 6-ply equivalent. The increased weight has a negative impact on performance, resulting in a rougher ride, worse fuel efficiency, as well as handling that’s less than ideal.
When selecting a tire for your SUV, a "P" may appear in front of the tire size on occasion. The letter "P" stands for "passenger vehicle" in "P-metric." Passenger vehicles include automobiles (such as sedans or coupes), minivans, and crossover utility vehicles (CUVs), as well as trucks that do not carry extremely high cargoes or travel on gravel roads. These tires have an internal architecture and materials that are designed to provide a smooth ride, good highway handling, and long-term durability.
LT / P-Tire Sizing
The load and inflation calculations used by the two kinds differ. An LT tire has a little higher load index and load-carrying capacity reserve than its P-metric equivalent. You may replace your P-metric tires with LT tires, as the LT tire will have a higher load capacity reserve than the original equipment tire and is a suitable replacement. This is permitted by a number of tire manufacturers.
However, you should never replace LT tires with their P-metric counterparts. It should also be noted here that you should not use the P-metric tire size equivalent of the LT tire that came with your automobile since P-metric tires have a smaller load capacity (at full pressure) as compared to the LT options.
As a rule of thumb, it is always best to replace the tires with the same tire type and load designation as you were using with the vehicle. For those who are still unaware of how to get that information, you can always look at the placard that's normally mounted on the door jamb of your car to get all of the information you need.
Some older vehicles can have this placard tucked away in the glove box or right behind the fuel filter, so be sure to check both areas.
LT vs P Tire: Which Is Better?
Except when used often on gravel roads, LT and P-metric tires have similar tread wear and tire mileage. When used on gravel roads, an LT tire should be preferred over a P-metric tire since the tread rubber in LT tires is generally particularly designed to prevent stone chipping. P-metric tires provide superior wet and dry grip on paved routes.
The Mastercraft Courser HSX Tour tire and the Toyo Open Country H/T tire are two tires with a wide variety of P-metric sizes that offer superb all-around performance and outstanding value for money. For extended mileage, the P-metric sizes in each of these tire designs come with a 60,000-mile tread-wear warranty.
Replace your P-metric tire with an LT tire if you routinely drive your truck with big weights or haul heavy trailer loads. It should be noted that when a tradesperson's vehicle or van is laden with tools, supplies, and equipment, the firmer LT tires deliver less wobble and, as a result, more confidence-inspiring handling.
Others may find the ride to be a little rougher and less pleasant. When you decide to replace a P tire with an LT tire, one of the trade-offs you might expect is that an LT tire will reduce your mileage and might provide a less comfortable driving experience overall.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding