New tires came in! ...but stripes? pic included

Ok, I admit I know nothing about tires. So, I just got my four brand new tires in. Great. What is the colored stripes on them below? I assume this is some sort of “marking” that they are brand new, but never seen this. How long will these stripes last on there?

here is the pic

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They are just factory check marks identifing each step the tire has passed inspection.
You’ll never notice them and they wear quickly.

I thought you may have gotten white side walls, which are a rarity today. These marks are part of the manufacturing process, exactly what they do or mean I don’t know. They will be gone in a few miles of driving.

I suggest that you open your dictionary to the definition of superficial.

These “marks” will soon be impossible to notice, given the wear that will take place in the first few days, coupled with the fact that roads are not surgically clean.

First, we had to virtually beat you into submission in order to convince you that a damaged sidewall constituted a dangerous situation, and that your AWD vehicle needed 4 new tires in order to avoid expensive damage to your AWD system.

Then, after much back and forth, you told us that it “appeared” that the vehicle was actually 2WD, rather than AWD. Later, you apparently realized that it is, in fact, AWD. Finally, you did what almost everyone had told you to do in the first place, and you bought 4 new tires, albeit the same type that is very prone to damage from potholes and curbs.

Please make sure that the tires have the correct “cold” pressure in them, and then just drive the vehicle. The amount of bandwidth that has been devoted to your tires is…simply unnecessary.


Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad information in this thread.

The stripes are there strictly for identification. It makes it easier to prevent mixups within the factory if you can quickly identify the tires.

They are painted on the surface of the tread when the tread is extruded. If the stripes are on the tread surface, then they will only last a hundred miles. If the stripes are in the grooves (and it looks like the white one is), it will pretty much be there for the life of the tire.

Next: Pressure! Since you do not have the original tire size on your vehicle, the pressure listed in the placard is no longer appropriate. You didn’t indicate what the vehicle is, nor what size (other than 22") the tires are, so I can’t tell you what pressure you should be using - but if you’ll post back with those 3 bits of information, I’ll run the calculation for you.

BTW, if you used too low of a pressure, it could have been why the tire was damaged.

Last: Tire Shops. You went to 2 tire shops to get their opinions and then didn’t buy from them. This isn’t the way to show a retailer you are a customer worthy of free advice. The next time you show up, don’t be surprised if you don’t get first class service.


Those Stripes Are There For A Reason.

They show people who know little or nothing about tires which part of the tire is supposed to contact the ground. That way they won’t be improperly installed.

It’s the same reason they print “open other end” on the Coke or Pepsi bottles you open. Opening improperly makes quite a mess!


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thanks for the helpful tips. Those markings now make sense. Is the white one really going to be there for a while? Looking at my old tires (exact kind), all those stripes seem to have gone away. Vehicle is a 03 Lincoln Aviator, tires are 26535ZR22. I remember before pressuring them to around 38 psi. Let me know what the calculations say. Thanks!

Dunlop SP Sport Maxx 26535ZR22

Speaking of markings- I am amazed at how many times I find the tire shop has no idea what the red and/or yellow dots (for example) on the sidewall mean. Granted, they can be balanced in any orientation, but I do not like gigantic/numerous weights unless absolutely necessary. A little care in the beginning of the process helps keep the weights down to a minimum.

Sorry, but you may want to include yourself in the “no idea” category.

It isn’t universal, but sometimes the dots are for uniformity. (If you think “out of round”, you will be close!). On the tire, the dot sometimes means the high point of the tire. By matching the dot on the tire with the low point on the rim - commonly the valve hole - the overall assembly is “rounder”. This has nothing whatsoever to do with balance.

But sometimes the dots on the tires ARE about balance - but there is no corresponding balance mark on the rim - so while matching the marks doesn’t accomplish anything (in this case), no harm is done.

According to Tire Guides, a 2003 Lincoln Aviator originally came with P245/65R17’s inflated to 32 psi front and rear. Please check your vehicle tire placard, as what I am about to write is based on this information. BTW, I think you’ll find that Ford Trucks and SUV’s all have their tire placard on the driver’s doorpost.

So if what I wrote above is correct, a 265/35R22 needs to use …::drumroll::… 41 psi to get the same load carrying capacity.

Yeah, right pal. No need to be an @ss.

I will preclude it with SOME tire manufacturers use the dots to denote low point of runout and also high point of imbalance. Out of round, weight imbalance- both require weight to offset.

But sometimes the dots on the tires ARE about balance - but there is no corresponding balance mark on the rim

Well, which is it? You just got done saying I had no idea when I said they were used to minimize the weight for balancing.

Funny, my rims have white marks on them to correspond with the tire mark. I suppose not all rims have this so it is my understanding that the valve stem hole is sometimes used as the indicator. At least that is how I have done it. Seems to work for me.

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As CD would say, ‘That’s not a tire stripe! This is a tire stripe!’

Allow me to suggest a visit to
This has the best primer on tires and wheels that I’ve ever seen, and answers all of your tire questions and more.

Wow. Those tires must have come from the nonprofit “tire manufacturing factory for the visually impaired”.

Rim manufacturers NEVER mark the rim balance. If they put a mark on there, it is for runout - and therefore matching that mark with the mark on the tire may or may not accomplish anything - but there is no harm.

Unfortunately, Carbibles has some errors in it and in the section on “Coloured Dots and Stripes”, there are several.

I cant’ say WHY they are there ( was looking for that answer myself) BUT I will say they make a very
convenient reference mark for checking toe with either a tape measure or a tram gauge! Sometimes after replacing tires, I will just throw the tram gauge on them to check toe before sending it out the door, rather than setting up for an alignment, which with my equipment can be a real PITA

OK, 8 years later. I hope the stripes wore off by now. It reminded me of that old jike where the foreman kept yelling to the sod layers outside “green side up”.

When I got my tires, I said “oh I wanted white walls”. They were kinda stunned for a second until I smiled. Last set I got some years ago white walls were really hard to find.

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