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Old 06-20-2010, 12:29 PM   #1
jdag
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Default Red Dots on New Tires - How to Remove?

I just purchased new tires and there is a red dot, apparently a mounting guide, on each. It is about the size of a nickel. Is there an easy way to remove what appears to be some sort of ink? Thanks, John
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:39 PM   #2
ISeeRed
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Originally Posted by jdag View Post
I just purchased new tires and there is a red dot, apparently a mounting guide, on each. It is about the size of a nickel. Is there an easy way to remove what appears to be some sort of ink? Thanks, John
A little solvent like laquer thinner will take it right off!
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:19 PM   #3
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A little solvent like laquer thinner will take it right off!
Mineral spirits (paint thinner) will work too.
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:22 PM   #4
dbaker
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Soap pad /or magic eraser will do it.

\db2
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:59 PM   #5
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Soap pad /or magic eraser will do it.

\db2
Carolina
Thanks guys...a magic eraser and 15 seconds of elbow grease per tire and the dots are gone!
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:50 PM   #6
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FYI, that dot represents the "heavy" point on the tire.

For those of us who like to avoid using a load of wheel weights @ balancing, you orient that dot opposite the wheel's heaviest point (assuming they're not perfectly balanced wheels).
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:31 PM   #7
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FYI, that dot represents the "heavy" point on the tire.
Not exactly. It marks the stiffest point on the tire. The point with the highest radial spring rate.

The spring rate has a much higher influence on vibration than balance. That's why manufacturers mark it and car manufactures do what they call "match mounting" (red dot with rim radial runout low point).

Last edited by Atok; 06-21-2010 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:43 PM   #8
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Ah, thank you for the correction. It's been a while since I learned that stuff. Got to play with a Hunter 9700 and learn how to do road force balancing.
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:34 PM   #9
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A little more research confirms most of what Evil-Twin says...

(Although, the variability of readily-available info on this topic is troubling.)

Per Yokohama: The RED dot is to be used as the location for measuring tread wear. "When the indicators show, tires must be replaced."

Per General Motors: The YELLOW dot indicates the lightest part of the tire, also known as "maximum force variation." This should be lined up with the heaviest part of the wheel - the valve stem. They call this "phase aligning" the tire.

Per tirebusiness.com's Tech Bulletins:

Since it is very hard to make a tire that is perfectly balanced, some tire manufacturers apply yellow dots that indicate the tire’s light balance point and serve to help you balance the assembly while mounting the tire. The yellow dots should be aligned with the valve stem on both steel and aluminum wheels since this is the wheel’s heavy balance point. This will help minimize the amount of weight needed to balance a tire and wheel assembly. So usually, whenever you see a yellow dot, match it up with the valve stem.

This is always true except in cases where a red dot also appears in the lower sidewall. The red dot indicates the high point for both radial runout and radial force variation. As I’m sure you know, not only is it hard for tire manufacturers to make a perfectly balanced tire, it also is very difficult to make a perfectly round tire.

Tires tend to have high spots and low spots. The difference between the high and the low is called radial runout. Radial runout changes the radius of the rotating assembly, causing it to raise and lower the vehicle as it rolls along. That gives the perception that the tire is “hopping” or “bouncing” down the road and ends up delivering a rough ride to the driver and irregular wear to the tread.

Radial force variation is similar to radial runout and is a result of a heavy or thicker area being manufactured into the tire due to variations in component thickness, placement and overlapping. Radial force variation applies more force against the road at the tire’s thicker spot as the tire runs, which causes one sidewall to flex differently than the other. The result is tire/wheel assembly vibration and irregular tread wear.

To avoid or minimize these problems, whenever you see a red spot, match this up with the valve stem—unless you happen to have a steel wheel that has a dimple on the exterior side of the rim area. The dimple indicates the wheels’ low spot and is spec’ed by some original equipment manufacturers so that they can match mount tires and wheels installed on new trucks at the factory.

If you see both a red as well as a yellow dot on the tire, the red dot takes priority. An easy way to remember this is the phrase “Red Rules.” Ignore the yellow dot and match the red dot to the wheel low point dimple as some vehicle manufacturers do or, if no dimple is marked on the wheel, align the red dot with the valve stem.
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:34 PM
 
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