[MSCW list] Red Painted Dot on Tires

Bill Bien wrbien at gmail.com
Tue Aug 10 15:31:08 CEST 2021


Kent,
The red dot is used for balancing per the "Uniformity Method" whereby the
dot (point of maximum radial force variation) is aligned with the
corresponding point on the wheel assembly (point of minimum radial run-out)
which is usually indicated by a dot or other mark. Often times these wheel
assembly marks are indicated by the factory using adhesive stickers which
are removed by the dealer prior to sale or fall off on their own.

Tires also often have a yellow dot which is used for balancing per the
"Weight Method". The dot indicates the tire's point of lightest weight
which will then be aligned with the valve stem which represents the
heaviest weight point on the wheel assembly.

"Most" retail tire installers don't seem to pay much attention to these
marks and rarely move the tire around on the rim unless they have trouble
balancing it. Modern tires are much more uniform than they once were so
balancing them for normal highway use in almost any location is usually not
a problem. I would imagine Sam's would ask you if you're noticing any
vibration with the tires installed as they are and, if not, probably won't
want to break the beads, rotate the tires and start over again (especially
since they don't know where the wheel's mark for the red dot was originally.

So, I guess the short story is that moving the red dot to the valve stem is
really not the correct approach and may not result in a better balance.
This probably means that you should consider leaving them alone if they're
running smoothly (which is probably what Sam's Club would say).

Hope this helps,

Bill Bien
'74 Rx-4 Wagon (Former)
'84 Rx-7 GSL-SE (Former)


On Tue, Aug 10, 2021 at 6:02 AM <mscw-request at lists.mscw1.com> wrote:

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>    1. Red Painted Dot on Tires (Kent Shaw)
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> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2021 17:35:52 -0400
> From: "Kent Shaw" <kentshaw at comcast.net>
> To: <mscw at lists.mscw1.com>
> Subject: [MSCW list] Red Painted Dot on Tires
> Message-ID:
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>
> On an aircraft tire, a painted red dot is supposed to be aligned with the
> valve stem when mounting the tire.  Is this the same for cars?  I recently
> bought some new tires at Sam's and the red dot was about 12 inches from the
> valve stem.  Do I need to get them to redo the mount?
>
> Kent Shaw
> 1999 NCB
>
>
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