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What Do The Colored Dots On Tires Mean?

What Does the red Colored Dots On Tires Mean

When it comes to buying new tires, there are a lot of choices to make. This also could be an expensive investment. One of the most confusing things about tires is the colored dots that can be found on the sidewalls. These dots can be different colors, and they can be located in different places on the tire. So, what do these dots mean?

In general, the colored dots on tires are used by tire manufacturers to help match the tires to the wheels during the manufacturing process. However, they can also be used by tire installers to help balance the tires once they are mounted on the vehicle.

GENERALLY, if there is a red dot or circle, it indicates that is the high point of where the tire is the tallest, or out of round. Think of an egg.

What Do The Colored Dots On Tires Mean

GENERALLY if there is a yellow dot or circle it is where the tire is the lightest.

What Does The yellow Colored Dots On Tires Mean

You’ll want to put this at the valve stem to try and use it to balance the tire.

There isn’t a specific or regulated color or system for this (and some manufacturers don’t put dots on their side walls at all). You’ll have to know the manufacturer’s lingo to know what each dot means, because they aren’t consistent! If you have a red and a yellow dot, you give the red dot priority. Some manufacturers also put a paint mark on the wheel to signify the low spot- so you match the red dot with the paint mark on the wheel.

Road force balancing is the most advanced type of tire balancing available. It uses a load roller that applies pressure to the tire while it is spinning, simulating the weight of the vehicle on the tire. This allows us to measure the tire’s force variation and its runout. By doing this, we can determine the best position for the tire on the wheel and the optimal amount of weight to use for balancing. This also allows us to put the wheel in the correct position on the vehicle to make it not pull one way or the other.

What we can do after road forcing a tire, is to “Force match” it. Force matching is taking the wheel and tire combination and rotating them to the most favorable position. Our balancer will tell us the heaviest and highest spots on the wheel and tire, taking into account the quality of the tire and wheel mounting, soft spot(s) of the tire, and other factors. We then rotate the tire on the wheel until the lines match up, and then road force it again. This gives you the most optimal balance (least amount of weight) and most round wheel and tire assembly. This isn’t a service that most shops offer. Fortunately, we do!

At ABR Houston a European repair shop in The Woodlands, we take tire installation and balancing very seriously. We are a Tire Rack authorized tire installation center, which means that we have access to a wide variety of high-quality tires. We have a touchless Hunter tire machine, which is a special machine that can mount and dismount tires without damaging the wheel. Most tire and automotive shops don’t have this specialty tire machine. In addition, we have a Hunter Road Force Elite tire machine, which is a state-of-the-art machine that can road force and force match tires.

If you want to get the most out of your tires, it’s important to pay attention to the colored dots on the sidewalls. This will help ensure that the tire is balanced correctly, which will prevent vibrations and uneven wear. At ABR Houston, we have the tools and expertise to get the job done right. Come by and see how smooth your car can be!


Alex Noll

CEO – ABR Houston

Your Local Experts in Audi, BMW, Mini, Rolls-Royce & Volkswagen Service In The Woodlands.

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