The paper describes the intention of the authors to determine whether it is possible to predict relative belt edge endurance for radial passenger car tires using the finite element method. Three groups of tires with different belt edge configurations were tested on a fleet test in an attempt to validate predictions from the finite element results. A two‐dimensional, axisymmetric finite element analysis was first used to determine if the results from such an analysis, with emphasis on the shear deformations between the belts, could be used to predict a relative ranking for belt edge endurance. It is shown that such an analysis can lead to erroneous conclusions. A three‐dimensional analysis in which tires are modeled under free rotation and static vertical loading was performed next. This approach resulted in an improvement in the quality of the correlations. The differences in the predicted values of various stress analysis parameters for the three belt edge configurations are studied and their implication on predicting belt edge endurance is discussed.