If you have seen colourful stripes on your tyres before, you may have wondered what they were there for. Do they mean anything important? Should you pay attention to them? 

Stacked tyres

The short answer is that you don’t have to worry about the colourful stripes on your tyres. Actually, they are the only part of the tyre that you don’t really need to inspect. The stripes are for tyre manufacturers only.

Professionalism is important throughout the entire production and distribution process of tyres. Every day, tyre factories produce thousands of tread sheets and hence the need for an appropriate system of marking appeared. It was developed to help manufacturers and distributors to avoid costly mistakes. Basically, such coloured stripes are the alphanumeric codes that precisely indicate various characteristics of a given tyre model, such as tyre size, type and other parameters.

What information is indicated by the stripes? 

The stripes are important only from the point of view of the production plant. They facilitate the work of tyre professionals and factory employees. Average car users do not have to worry about their meaning.

Close-up of tyre with colourful markingsThe stripes wipe out after a few days of using the tyre.

The symbols, stripes or lines are associated with a particular plant where the tyre was produced. It may happen that the same model in the same size will be marked with differently arranged colour stripes so don't worry if after receiving the delivery you realise that one of the tyres has a different colour marking than others. The stripes rub off after a few days of using the tyre.

What is the meaning of dots marked on tyres? 

Colourful dots on the side of the tread, too, are only important to manufacturers, just like in the case of stripes. Depending on the particular manufacturer, they may inform e.g. about:

  • The maximum deflection of the variable radial force (red dot for Bridgestone tyres)
  • Valve position - this is the mounting information which often comes in a form of agreement between the tyre manufacturer and the car producer who purchases a larger batch of the product for their car model
  • Successfully passed quality tests (white dot with a black centre)

Tyre close-up

Please note that the dots of the same colour may have completely different meanings for different suppliers. The meaning of these dots is variable, depending on the manufacturer, and even within the same brand but for different models.