Tires are one of the fundamental elements of our vehicle and, as you already know, they are classified according to the type of use and energy efficiency. You will also know that the nomenclature of the sidewall (better known as the tire code) indicates the wheel dimensions and that the tread is essential to favor the grip of the car.
What you probably don’t know is what the point reference on a new tire, an indication that has been in use for years.Had you overlooked it? Well, there are many cars that leave the factory with a point drawn on the side, a point that can be shown in various colors, so if you have not yet found why, we will tell you that it is important for the assembly and correct operation of the wheel.
To explain its usefulness, we must first understand that the balancing a tire it is a crucial aspect for the safety of a car. Balancing allows the center of gravity of a wheel to coincide with its geometric center, a fact that achieves a uniform distribution of weights. In this way, the occupant does not perceive noise or vibrations while driving.
Tire balancing is essential for the safety and comfort of the occupants of a car. Given the great importance given to this process, what is known as the “matching”, or also called “coincidence”, a process in the production chain that allows to guarantee the assembly and balancing in a short period of time.
Matching can be understood as a tire pre-balancing to help determine the weight distribution of a wheel just before mounting it. For this, the manufacturer indicates with a dot the lightest part of the tire, a reference that must match the heaviest area of the rim if what you want to achieve is an equitable distribution of weights.
So if the tire marks the lightest zone, what is the heaviest part of a tire? It is generally understood that the heaviest point on a tire is where the valve stem is located, which sometimes has devices to monitor pressure, a fact that increases the masses in the area. Even so, the manufacturer can determine other heavier parts, which is why a mark is made at that same point.
The point reference not a universal system for all car manufacturers. In this sense, it is understood that each one determines it according to their criteria and their work logic. The most common is to find tires with a red dot, although others opt for a yellow or white dot, among other options. In addition, the points can also be located on the rims.
The ‘matching’ serves to facilitate the assembly and balancing process of the wheels.
The “matching” of a tire allows the wheel assembly process to be much simpler and more effective. The automaker manages to save balancing times during the production chain, in addition to saving costs in the installation of leads to equalize the weight.
Although all eyes are on wheel balancing, the spots on the tires may be due to other issues. As an example, some manufacturers may use it as a Quality certificate, a way to determine to the customer that the rubber has passed its relevant quality controls. Also, some may use the period as a indicative to take pressure.
On the other hand, point reference is also used in some areas of the competition. In this case, the color and arrangement of each point marks the type of component with which the tire has been produced, a simple and quick way to distinguish them for assembly.
Article of Joan Bassa Moragues