Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Yellow and red paint spots on tire sidewalls

Yellow and red paint spots on tire sidewalls

Yellow and red paint spots on tire sidewalls

Recently I purchased a set of tires via mail order and I am about to mount and balance them.  On each tire there is a yellow dot and a red dot approximately 1/3 of the way around the tire from the yellow dot in the clockwise direction, and these markings are only found on one sidewall.  There is no consistency among the four tires regarding the placement of these dots relative to the molded-in tire markings, which leads me to suspect that they mean something in terms of balance and/or suggested orientation on the rim.  The tires in question are Falken Ziex ZE512's in 225/50R17 94V size, unidirectional and symmetrical with a largish circumferential groove in the center of the tread.

I should add that my wheels (Nissan Maxima alloys) each have one small white paint dot near the outer diameter, and these are not located in any consistent fashion with respect to the valve stem hole.

Exactly what do these paint dots represent and how would I best use that information?  

Thanks in advance.


RE: Yellow and red paint spots on tire sidewalls

Check with the supplier?
I can only really comment as to what our supplier (not Falken) require. The red dots on the tyre should be aligned with the wheel indicator as they represent the low point of the rim bead radial runout and the high point of the tyre imbalance respectively. This will achieve best level of comfort/performance.
Our supplier uses a yellow dot as a QA pass indicator.
I am aware that other systems, mostly light truck, require the tyre dot to match the valve hole in the wheel.


RE: Yellow and red paint spots on tire sidewalls

Thanks for the prompt response.

I'll try Falken, hoping that I can find the right place to ask and that they will be willing to share that kind of information with an individual end-user.


RE: Yellow and red paint spots on tire sidewalls

Just as follow-up, matching the red tire dots with the white wheel dots resulted in the wheels balancing in one iteration each.  The amounts of weight approximately in the wheel mounting surface plane (necessitated by the design of the wheel, which does not support the use of weights of any kind on the outboard flange) were slightly less than in the OE wheel/tire balance, though the weights near the inboard flanges were slightly greater.

Thanks again; worth a star.


RE: Yellow and red paint spots on tire sidewalls

The red dot that you find on the tire is a alignment mark for the tire valve,the yellow dot is the heavy spot of the tire,to indicate to the tech if he has a out of balance wheel assembly to counter balance the wheel and tire assembly,scott @ goodyear.

RE: Yellow and red paint spots on tire sidewalls

Apparently Falken's convention is a little different.  

The yellow dot is the lightest spot and it is suggested to mount this above the valve stem.

The red dot is the high point, recommended to be mounted at the low point of the rim if so marked or, preferably, per actual measurement.

Per a product engineer at Falken Tire, these marks are just "starting" points for the tire installer to effectively mount your tires. With some of the new balancing equipment out there, the machine can do a more accurate job matching and balancing then simply relying on these dots alone.


RE: Yellow and red paint spots on tire sidewalls

We use two spots. One is the point of maximum imbalance, which is matched to the point of mainimum imbalance on the rim. The other is the point of maximum tire force variation, and is matched to the dimensional low point of the rim.

No, I don't know how we work out a compromise, I'd /guess/ that tyre force variation matching is the most important characteristic.

Incidentally, since every tyre has tyre force variation, a wise man might conclude that we machine our wheels eccentrically, deliberately.

Incidentally, at least in Australia, if you do get tyres with two dots on them then they are of OEM standard, not the usual aftermarket stuff (this may have changed).


Greg Locock

RE: Yellow and red paint spots on tire sidewalls

I have heard that the best 60% of production of a given tyre go to OEM, the rest to P&A and aftermarket sales.

But, there may be better tyres for a particular application than the OEM fitment. OEM tyres are selected partly on price, and it is quite possible that you will be able to find a better tyre, given that you will have different priorities. Quite how you find out is another matter altogether - some motoring magazines run tests, which may help if they have tested the sort of thing you are interested in.

As an example, in the USA at least, fuel economy drives a lot of OEM decisions, whereas in the aftermarket fuel economy is of peripheral concern at best.


Greg Locock

RE: Yellow and red paint spots on tire sidewalls

the red and yellow points display the high and low inbalance on the tire. matching them with the wheel would help in reducing the amount of balancing weights used.

hope this was useful.

RE: Yellow and red paint spots on tire sidewalls

Probably not. The high and low spots of balance would be 180 degrees apart. The red and yellow spots usually aren't.

My information is incomplete, but correct. Yours is wrong.


Greg Locock

RE: Yellow and red paint spots on tire sidewalls

Miatamight has the correct information for most tires in the link above.


Aligning the red mark with the low spot on the wheel(usually marked on wheel with white dot) is the best method for mounting tires.  This makes the assembly more uniform and helps limit the RFV (Radial Force Variation).  If you have expieriance with a newer high line tire balancing machine, it will "OEM Match" tires for you, which basically means matching the uniformity of the wheel to the uniformity of the tire.  this is very important to to when mount very stiff or high performance tires, as it will limit tire vibrations causing shimmy and shake.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close