What are the little rubber hairs on new tires?
Purchasing a new set of tires can be an exciting moment, though it may take some time for the sticker shock to wear off. You may have chosen the tires for your car based on cost, performance, or simply because of the look of the tire. When looking at your new tires you may notice a few things about them that seem odd. There are some characteristics of new tires that may have you asking why they are there.
When first looking at the tires you may notice little hair-like pieces of rubber protruding from them. These are typically seen on the sidewall of the tires, but they can also be found on the tread in many cases. Some people become confused as to why these are there and what their purpose is. The fact is that they do not serve any purpose whatsoever. These little rubber hairs are the remnants of the tire making process.
When tires are constructed, their inner carcase is first made. This is made of a series of steel belts and a steel bead which may also be coated with other metals to protect them from corrosion. Once the inner construction of the tire is built the rubber is molded to it. The inner makings of the tire are placed in a mold that typically consists of two sides pressed together. Once the mold is closed there are small holes that the liquid rubber is injected into. This rubber makes its way into mold and fills all of the empty space until the tire shape and construction is achieved. Once the rubber cools and solidifies the two sides of the mold are separated and the tire is removed.
The hairs that are on the tire are what remain from the small holes in the mold that the rubber is injected into. Many times you can also see a small line in the tire molding from where the two sides of the mold come together also. Many tire manufacturers will grind or cut the hairs off, but some leave them. Some of them may be ¼” or less, while others can be 1” long. If you find these hairs on the tire there is no need to worry about them as they will not affect the tire, and in most cases they will wear off or fall off over time.
Many times you will also notice colored circles on the sidewall of the tires. These colored circles assist in the proper mounting of the tire to the wheel. When the tire is installed the colored circle should be moved until it aligns with the valve stem on the wheel. This matches the heavy spot on the tire with the lighter spot on the wheel. This makes it much easier to balance the tire and will result in a better ride over time.
When you purchase new tires there can be unexpected occurrences. These can be the result of choosing the wrong size tire or the wrong brand. Seeing some imperfections in the tire, such as the rubber hairs, is nothing to be alarmed of. Doing some research prior to purchasing a new set of tires can also give you a piece of mind that you are purchasing the right tires for your vehicle.