Everything you need to know about UTQG ratings

What’s a UTQG rated tire, you ask? Excellent question. UTQG stands for Uniform Tire Quality Grading, a standard created by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). It’s a system that lets consumers compare tires based on treadwear, traction and temperature. In other words, the UTQG is a handy shopping tool that can lead you to the right set of tires.

Where to find the UTQG rating and what it means

  • You can find the UTQG rating on your tire's sidewall. It's both a number and letter grades.
  • The number grade corresponds to treadwear and the letter grades are performance factors for traction and temperature.

The three categories of the UTQG rating

Treadwear is a comparative rating based on the wear rate of the tire when tested under controlled conditions on a specified government test course under specified test conditions. In general the higher the rating indicates better treadwear. However, it is erroneous to link treadwear grades with your projected tire mileage. The relative performance of tires depends upon the actual conditions of their use and may vary due to driving habits, service practices, differences in road characteristics and climate.

Traction is meant to show how well a tire can stop in wet conditions. The traction grades, from highest to lowest, are AA, A, B, and C. They represent the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement as measured under controlled conditions on specified government test surfaces of concrete and asphalt. Tires with a “AA” traction rating should stop at a much shorter distance than a tire with a “C” rating.

Temperature tells you how well a tire can resist heat. The temperature grades are A (the highest), B and C, representing the tire’s resistance to the generation of heat when tested under controlled conditions on a specified indoor laboratory test wheel.