What Are Yellow and Red Dots On New Tires? (Full Guide)

If you’ve recently purchased a new set of tires, you may have noticed the red and yellow dot on your tire. These are a relatively new development in the tire world, but they can mean a lot for your car.

In many cases, these dots are most common in Europe. However, they can appear on tires in the United States as well. To learn what they’re for and how they’re used, keep reading.

What Are Yellow and Red Dots On New Tires?

The yellow and red marks on the tires are there to help with installation. The yellow dot marks the lightest part of the tire, while the red dot marks the highest point. When used correctly, these guides can help lower the overall cost of your tire balancing. Typically, they are only temporary and wear off with time.

Keep reading to learn exactly how these dots are used and how you can remove them after installation.

What Does The Yellow Dot On a Tire Mean?

The yellow dot provides a guide for aligning the wheel. When a mechanic goes to align your wheel, they will line up the dot with certain parts of the tire.

Specifically, the yellow dot lines up with the section of the tire with the least weight. Usually, this dot needs to line up to where the valve stem is, as this is the heaviest point of the wheel.

By lining up the lightest point with the heaviest, you help balance out the weight differences.

When done correctly, this method can lower the cost of balancing your tires. After all, the dots help ensure that the smallest amount of weight necessary is used, which lowers your overall cost.

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When you use less material, you can expect your final bill to cost less, after all.

For this reason, most newer tires today have a yellow dot on their wheel. However, this does seem to be more common in Europe than it is in America. Therefore, you shouldn’t necessarily be surprised if your tire doesn’t come with this feature.

Generally, it is newer and not necessarily a sure feature on all tires yet.

What Does The Red Do On a Tire Mean?

What Does The Red Do On a Tire Mean?

Though manufacturers try to make a perfect tire, no tire is perfectly round.

When the belts are joined together, they develop high and low points. While companies may attempt to make these differences as small as possible, they will always exist.

Due to the variation in size, the tire may vibrate when rolling. Obviously, this doesn’t create a very smooth ride, and it can cause excessive wear on the tire.

The red dot marks a tire’s high point. In many cases, wheels will have another dot to indicate the low point as well. In these cases, drilled dots are quite common. However, stickers can be used as well.

When attaching the tire, these two dots should be aligned. By doing this, you minimize the vibration created by the wheel. In the long run, this can make your tire last longer.

Is The Red or Yellow Dot More Important?

Many tires may just have one dot or the other. However, some dots have both. If your tire has both, then the red dot takes precedence over the yellow dot.

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In most cases, you can adjust for wheel weight differences with weights. If you have to use a lot of these, the cost of the balancing can go up, though.

However, you can’t exactly change the high spot on a wheel. Without aligning the tire according to the red spot, there is no way to adjust for this issue. Therefore, it is best to prioritize the red dot over the yellow dot when possible.

How Do You Remove the Yellow and Red Dot on a New Tire?

How Do You Remove the Yellow and Red Dot on a New Tire?

Generally, these dots are not meant to be permanent. When left alone, they typically wear down after some amount of driving and disappear. Therefore, you don’t necessarily have to do anything at all!

With that said, some people don’t want to wait for the dots to wear off by themselves. In these cases, you may want to take matters into your own hands and remove them. Luckily, this isn’t terribly difficult.

Firstly, you need to remove any dirt or mud on your tire. These substances will only get in the way of cleaning your tire.

Next, you will need a tire cleaner. As you might expect, there are many different kinds of tire cleaners out there. Which one you choose isn’t particularly important.

However, you should follow the directions carefully to ensure that you are using the cleaner correctly.

Depending on the cleaner, some need to sit on the tire for a bit, while others can be removed right away.

No matter what directions are provided, follow them and then rinse if necessary. Afterward, you can apply a protectant to the tire to prevent it from drying out.

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However, the cleaner should be enough to remove the dot from the tire. You may have to scrub it a bit, but it should come off without too much of a problem.

To know more about tires, you can also see our related posts on whether or not new cars come with spare tires, why do new tires have hairs, and why are tires expensive.


Both of these dots are used for installing and correctly aligning your car tires. Specifically, the yellow dot shows the lightest part of the tire, which is supposed to be lined up with the heaviest part of the wheel.

On the other hand, the red dot shows the highest point on the tire, which needs to be aligned with the lowest point on the wheel. Generally, the red dot should be prioritized if only one can be aligned.

After installation, these dots typically wear down quickly. Usually, you don’t have to do anything to remove it. However, a basic tire cleaner can be helpful if you’re looking to remove it quickly.

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