What Do You Mean by White Line on Tire Tread?

A white line on tire tread could mean several things depending on what other lines appear with it and their location.

Many of the lines you see on tires are manufacturer’s markers and are meant to be understood by the manufacturers alone.

The lines do not affect how your tire will function; it only helps manufacturers differentiate tires from each during production.

We’ve compiled a useful guide on white lines seen on tire threads, the meaning and answers of some of the frequently asked questions.

white line on tire tread
Image: white lines on tire tread

What Is White Line On Tire Tread?

If you are wondering what the white thread showing on tires is, it could mean anything, depending on how it appears on the tire.

For instance, if other colored lines accompany the white tire paint, it is a manufacturer marker, meaning that the manufacturer put the colored line on the tire to mean something to its workers and themselves. You do not need to know what it means.

However, if the tire is white-walled tyres or has white colors at the side of the tire, it is Zinc Oxide.

The tire is made from natural rubber, and other chemical like Zinc Oxide is added to increase its durability and traction which minimizes tire shredding.

Although the tires are not common anymore, they were mostly used between the 1900s and mid-80s. An example of the tire is the 225 75r15 white wall tires and white wall 14-inch tires.

White wall tires on modern cars are rare, but they still exist, not with the modern model of vehicles.

People who still use white car tires drive older vehicles and want to bring back the old look that the vehicle once had.

Why Are The Colorful Stripes On Tires?

Colored lines on your tire are just manufacturer markings. You don’t need to worry too much about them.

The different colors could mean different things to the manufacturer and are often used as identifier codes to set.

On most occasions, tires with color stripes are used by manufacturers as unique Identifiers. Manufacturers can produce thousands of tires, which they may get mixed up.

These tires are often of similar sizes and colors. It is why line marking is often used, for example hi-run tires.

Once the colors are applied to the tire walls, the manufacturer can easily differentiate them.

After some time of use, the colored lines will disappear. It is because the paint is applied to the surface and does not go deep into the tire material.

Meaning Of Different Color Stripes on Tire

It is nearly impossible to decode the meaning of the colors that come with your tires, and this is because they are manufacturer markers.

These color lines on the tire mean different things to different manufacturers.

Unless you work in a tire manufacturing company, you cannot know what they are all about, and even if you know, the meaning varies with different brands of tires. 

Each color may signify a particular factor in the tire. In some cases, the collective color coding conveys a meaning.

Sometimes, the color code is used to signify the different thread types and sizes. These thread types are then matched with a specific type of casing.

Also, the tires are produced with different types of rubber formulation, which is made specifically for the conditions the tire will be used in.

For instance, soft tires are made with different rubber formulations compared to hard tires.

When the tires are produced, they are produced with different color combinations, allowing workers to get specific information on the tires and allowing for organized and less complicated work.

tires with color stripe

Where Does The Yellow Dot Go When Mounting A Tire?

The yellow dot on the tire signifies the lightest point with the least weight.

When mounting the tire, the yellow dot is meant to face the exact direction where the tire valve is facing.

If you are wondering what the tire valve is, it is the place on the tire where it is either inflated or deflated.

Tires do not have perfect balance; there are high and low parts of the tire.

The yellow dot, which signifies the lightest part of the tire, is normally lined up with the valve stem. The valve stem is usually the heaviest part of the wheel.

By doing this, the valve area of the tire will make up for the light part of the tire.

Perfectly aligning the valve stem with the yellow dotted area will not require much weight around the yellow dotted area.

Is When the Red Dot Is Lined Up With the Rims Lowest Point?

As we have said previously, tires are not perfectly balanced, so if there is the lightest part of the tire, there will also be the heaviest or lowest part.

The lowest part of the tire is signified with the red dot.

Just like the yellow dot is aligned with the valve stem, the red dot is aligned with the mark of the wheel.

There is always a mark on the wheel wall that most have seen but do not know what it is.

By aligning the red dot with the mark on the wheel, the tire will have better balance, and vibration in the tire, which could arise due to the high point of the tire, will be minimized.

Also, it is best to align the red dot with the wheel’s mark and ignore the yellow. By doing this, you will achieve the best balance for your tires.

Do All Tires Have A Dot Code?

All tires produced in the US are required to have a DOT code stamp.

The letter DOT is first seen following between 8 to 13 letters.

The letters tell when the tire is produced, the manufacturing code, and the size of the tire.

When you see the DOT symbol on the tire, the manufacturer complies with the Department of Transport and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requirements.

DOT, together with the numbers and letters, make up the tire’s serial number, and you can see them on the tire’s sidewall.

The numbers on the tire that accompanies the DOT also represent the manufacturing date of the tire.

If the numbers are four-digit, it is most likely the production date.

The first two numbers represent the week it was produced, while the last two represent the year.


The white line on tire tread is not to worry about. They majorly as manufacturers’ markers to differentiate a tire type from the other since they produce thousands of tires.

Additionally, the line could identify the tire’s material, the thread type, and more details. It is why you see the different color codes with different tire types.

Also, the white line on the side of the tire mainly showed that the tire was made from natural rubber. This tire is no longer being used again and can hardly be seen on modern cars.

Akindayini Temiloluwa

I am Akindayini Temiloluwa, an automotive expert writer and car enthusiast. I have over three years of experience in the automotive writing niche and have completed over 300 pieces of content from 50 projects. I have vast knowledge and skill in vehicle repairing, all mechanical work, car upgrades and maintenance. My goal as an automotive content writer is to simplify the most challenging concepts for my readers, help them self-diagnose what may be wrong with their vehicles and offer real value for their time.

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