Do you understand why car tires are black?

Except for some Big Wheels and other small transport vehicles, most tires are black. Even if you find a tire shop, finding Goodyear or Michelin tire samples in other tire colors will most likely be difficult. Natural rubber is more white than synthetic rubber, and earlier models had lighter white tires. To strengthen their tires, early tire manufacturers frequently mixed zinc oxide into natural rubber.

However, tire manufacturers made the decision to produce black tires at one point. David Tracy, a car journalist for Jalopnik, visited Detroit’s Ford Piquette Avenue Plant Museum and discovered the white tires of a 1908 Ford Model T. Tracy enquired with Michelin about the tire’s color change, which began around 1917, when the manufacturers began introducing carbon black. Using black tires is not for aesthetic purposes. Carbon black is a non-combustible carbon element formed by the accumulation of gases or oils.

In part, it increases tire durability by blocking ultraviolet rays that cause rubber to crack and improving tire traction. Older carbon-neutral tires have a limited lifespan of 5,000 miles before needing to be replaced, whereas deep-carbon tires can travel 50,000 miles or more. Zinc oxide was depleted during World War I due to the need for lead production. Carbon black was a tire company staple at the time. Zinc oxide is still used in the tire manufacturing process today.

Initially, B.F. Goodrich tire manufacturer was supported. Previously, tire manufacturers decided to reduce production costs by simply adding carbon black, resulting in white wall tires with white sidewalls and black dots. The two-tone combination is still popular among classic car collectors today.