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Exploring Red and Yellow Dots on New Tires

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Last Updated on February 24, 2024

Your Guide to Understanding Tire Markings with Tire Easy

Navigating the world of tires can often seem like decoding a foreign language, especially when faced with curious markings and symbols. But fret not! With Tire Easy by your side, we’re here to simplify things. Let’s dive into the colorful world of tire markings and understand what those red and yellow dots on new tires mean for your ride.

What are the Red and Yellow Dots on New Tires?

There’s more to a tire than just rubber and tread. If you’ve ever looked closely at a new tire, you might have noticed little colored dots – specifically red and yellow. While they might seem like decorative touches or simple factory markings, these dots have a specific and vital purpose. Let’s unravel the mystery behind them.

Spot Check

In an earlier post, we discussed how to identify if your tire was manufactured in the U.S. Looking at the DOT number on the sidewall of your tire will give you the information needed to locate its manufacturing facility. While looking at the sidewall, you may have noticed something else you didn’t recognize. If your tires are new or recently installed, you may have seen a couple of red and yellow paint dots.

If you think you’re just seeing spots, don’t worry – that’s completely normal. The manufacturer specifically placed the spots on the sidewall of your tires to guide the tire installation process. These colored dots serve a specific purpose in helping the tire technician correctly balance the tire.

Red and Yellow Dots on New Tires

Creating a tire that is perfectly balanced and perfectly round is nearly impossible. Manufacturers label these inconsistencies with dots to correct them during the mounting process. Not all tires have these temporary markings, and it’s also uncommon to see them on used tires because they can get scuffed off easily.

Most people will have their tires installed by a seasoned tire technician to ensure that mounting and balancing are done correctly. Tire mounting and balancing requires special tire machines and balancing processes involving weights, lubricants, valve stems, and other things the average person doesn’t usually have on hand.

Because the process is so specific, knowing whether your tires are being mounted correctly is essential. It is necessary; that’s where the spots come in. Assuming you have them, there are two methods you can use to determine whether your tires were mounted correctly or not.

Red and Yellow Dots on New Tires

Weight Method

First, locate the valve stem on the side of your tire. If it’s lined up with one of the colored dots, the person who mounted your tire took heed of the label and installed it correctly. If the valve stem is located at the heaviest point on the tire, it will be lined up with a yellow dot on the sidewall. When a red dot is lined up with the valve stem, you can assume the valve is at the tire’s lightest point.

After a tire is mounted, its balance is checked on an automated machine that will locate lighter-weight areas. The machine will notify the tire technician to install tire weights at various points around the perimeter of the rim to balance the tire.

Uniformity Method

Your steering, traction, braking, and load support capabilities depend on the radial force variation in your tire. Maximum radial force and runout (the difference between the highest and lowest weight points) are marked by a red dot. Radial force, as well as runout, should be minimized to ensure proper installation and guarantee a smooth ride.

The red dot may be aligned with a ‘dimple’ on the exterior of the rim. This indicates a wheel’s low point and should be adhered to in the mounting process. You will achieve the optimum balance point during installation by pairing a dot with the lightest or heaviest weight area. If both colored dots are present, the red dot will take priority.

Check the following with your tire technician the next time you have new tires installed:

  • Proper lubricant is used in the mounting process. The bead areas will not seat and seal appropriately if lubricant is not used.
  • Any dirt between the hub and wheel has been cleaned. If the beads of the hub are not adequately cleaned or buffed, air will leak from gaps that will inevitably form.
  • Manufacturers’ marks have been correctly aligned. If present, Red and yellow dots should align with the weight or uniformity mounting method.
  • Proper wheel weights have been installed. If the weights on your wheel are not correctly installed, they have a greater chance of falling off at high speeds. You will know if this has happened if you suddenly experience excessive vibration while driving.

While your tire technician may be surprised to receive those questions, they will appreciate your interest in their methods and inform you of their typical mounting process.

Tires-Easy has been supplying quality new tires online to United States consumers since 2004. We pride ourselves on having the best selection of quality new tires and an extensive knowledge center to aid our customers in the tire buying process. Our customers can easily find the necessary tires at prices that suit their budget. Check our blog and knowledge center for more useful tire-buying info at Tires Easy.


Have you ever noticed those tiny red and yellow dots on your tires and wondered what they’re there for? These aren’t just random splashes of color but crucial guides for your vehicle’s top-notch performance. Think of them as your tire’s secret language for peak safety and smooth drives. Let’s uncover the mystery behind these colorful markers!


Why are there red and yellow dots on my new tires?

The red and yellow dots on new tires are indicators manufacturers use for optimal tire mounting. These dots guide technicians and consumers in correctly balancing and aligning the tires when mounting them on wheels, ensuring the best possible performance and longevity.

What does the yellow dot mean on new tires?

The yellow dot on new tires, often called the “match-mounting” mark, indicates the tire’s lightest point. When mounting the tire, this dot should be aligned with the wheel’s valve stem, which is typically the heaviest part of the wheel. This alignment helps achieve a more uniform weight distribution and requires less balancing weight.

What are red dots on new tires for?

The red dot on a new tire indicates its maximum radial force variation point: its high spot. When mounting, this red dot should be aligned with the wheel’s low spot or the end the manufacturer marked. Proper alignment of this red dot ensures minimized vibrations and a smoother ride.

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