Black is the tried and true color for tires. Have you ever wondered if it’s a design choice or if there’s something more to it? The experts at Milex Complete Auto Care have the answer.
Car Color Trends
Prince’s song, “Little Red Corvette,” launched his pop music career, and the black Dodge Charger in “The Fast and the Furious,” is iconic. The color of a car plays a major role in purchasing decisions. Whether car buyers are influenced by popular culture or personal preference, a car’s paint job can make or break a sale. The decision on the color of a vehicle depends on personal taste, maintenance, heat absorption, and cost. People often choose neutral colors such as white, gray, or black, to maintain the vehicle’s resale value.
Color is not the only deciding factor. People focus on price, gas mileage, safety features, and reputation when they are shopping for a car. In fact, Generation Z ranks gas mileage and price as the most important factors to consider when purchasing a vehicle, reported Cox Automotive.
Finding An Answer
Despite all the color features and add-ons available when you buy a new car, black is the only option for tires. Historically, tire makers initially manufactured white tires. Ford’s Model T car sported white tires when it debuted in 1908. Rubber is naturally a light shade, and the addition of zinc oxide to strengthen the tire turned it white.
As the manufacturing of tires advanced, black became the color of choice. The color of today’s tires has a lot to do with their composition and functionality. Most tires are made from a material called vulcanized rubber, which is a mix of natural and synthetic rubber, as well as other additives like carbon black, silica, and other chemicals. Here’s why black is now the only option.
- Carbon black. Carbon black is added to the rubber of a tire to make it stronger and more durable. The carbon black particles also help conduct heat away from the tire, which is important to prevent overheating. Carbon black is a type of soot that is made from burning oil or natural gas. It has a very high carbon content, which makes it black. When carbon black is added to the rubber, it gives the tire its characteristic dark color.
- Heat absorption. Black is also an ideal choice because the color black naturally absorbs heat and sunlight. Dark-colored tires withstand wear and tear and are a practical choice. The median price of four new tires for an SUV is about $648 and $548 for a sedan, according to Consumer Reports. Black tires will help ensure your wheels are in tip-top shape, will save you money, and improve gas mileage.
- Style. Aside from safety and practical concerns, tires are all black because it’s a neutral color that goes well with the color of every car.
- Maintenance. Black tires hide dirt and grime better than a lighter alternative. Adding dyes or pigments to the rubber to create different colors can affect the properties of the rubber, making it less durable and less heat-resistant.
Tire Maintenance Tips
Now that we’ve solved the mystery of the color of car tires, let’s go over some best practices for tire maintenance. Despite the boost the color gives to the longevity of your car’s tires, you still need to inspect tires regularly to keep your vehicle running smoothly.
- Check tire pressure. Make sure your tires are properly inflated every month. Changes in weather or a slow leak can impact the pressure of your tires.
- Measure tire tread. Evaluate your tire tread monthly. Insert a penny upside down into the tread of your tire. If you see President Abraham Lincoln’s head, it’s time to get new tires.
- Rotate tires. Take your car to Milex to get the tires rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles to ensure your tires wear evenly.
- Fix balance and alignment. Have a trusted mechanic balance your wheel and align your tires to reduce tread wear.
As a trusted name in auto repair, Milex keeps you road ready. Our skilled mechanics can provide regular car maintenance, such as inspecting your tires and checking your fluids, as well as more complex repairs.
Milex is a division of Moran Family of Brands, the franchisor of six brands in the aftermarket auto and window tinting industry. Some of Moran’s other brands include Turbo Tint, Mr. Transmission, and Alta Mere.
To find a local Milex in your area, visit: www.milexcompleteautocare.com and schedule an appointment today.