Why Do Tires Have Hairs? Truth Is Simpler Than You Think

Living beings have been known to have hairs on their bodies. But, ever heard that tires have them too?

While it may sound funny and surprising, it turns out that tires have hair too! The thick hairs are quite evident and can be found all around a brand new tire.

But what are they? Do they have a significant role to play? Do they increase comfort or performance?

What are the hair-like things on tires?

There are quite a few rumors that surround this topic. Many suggest that tire hair aids in dampening road noise while many others suggest that the hair helps channel air onto the tire surface to keep the rubber cool.

However, all those theories are untrue.

The hairs on the tires are actually a result of the manufacturing process that a tire undergoes. They play a vital role in the production process so that the tires being made prove to be safe.

In fact, it is due to these hairs that the tires are able to retain their perfect shape. Tire hairs are also known as Vent Spews, Tire Nibs, Gate Marks, Nippers, or Sprue Nubs.

What is the secret behind Vent Spews?

To understand vent spews better, the manufacturing process of tires needs to be understood. 

To get the tire into its final shape, liquid rubber is inserted into a tire mold. Temperature is then increased up to a limit where the rubber inside expands and takes the shape of the mold and adapts to the tread pattern inside. ­­­­­

As the heat and pressure increase inside the mold, there is a risk of air bubbles occurring in between the rubber and mold. This could result in the rubber being molded incorrectly.

It is for this specific reason that the spews exist on the mold so that air bubbles can be prevented.

Any amount of air between the mold and the rubber escapes into the spews. As a result of extreme pressure, rubber also expands into the vent spews and takes its shape.

When the rubber cools down, the tire is extracted from the mold with the Vent Spews on them.

Should I remove vent spews?

Vent spews have no specific role to play when it comes to the functionality of the tires. They are a by-product of the production method and hence, do no harm even if they are removed from the tires.

One may not want to waste time removing them from the tread since they tend to come off quite easily after the tire is run for a few hundred miles.

A person may choose to extract them from the sidewall of the tire since the spews do not face considerable wear and tear in that region.

However, one must be cautious in doing so.

How do you remove tire hair?

While tire hairs don’t matter other than their role in tire production, one may choose to have them taken off after purchasing a set of tires. However, one must ensure it is done properly without damaging the tire itself.

While many choose to use sharp items like blades, scissors, or knives, we suggest not to use them as the chances of harming oneself or the tire in the process are higher compared to the tools we recommend.

One could use the tool mentioned below to remove Vent Spews:

1) Nail clipper

Nail clippers are comparatively safer and easier to use than other objects since the chances of cutting the tire while chipping tire hair off are almost nil. Nail clippers are more precise for this job and should yield great results.

2) Razzor

Using a razor could help one remove tire hair quite accurately so that no trace of it is left behind. If used properly, one could do a great job of removing even the smallest traces of the Vent Spews.

What is the impact of removing Vent Spews?

One may achieve aesthetic satisfaction on the removal of Vent Spews. Apart from the tires looking slightly neater, there would be no other impact of removing the Vent Spews on them.

Vent Spews serve great importance in the manufacturing process only as explained earlier. But, in post-production, the Vent Spews don’t have any role to play. They don’t impact the functioning of the tire and have no effect on the tires or on the vehicle.

If one compares the performance of two similar tires. One with the Vent Spews V.S. one with the Vent Spews removed and if the tires are driven on similar terrain under the same conditions and for the same amount of distance, then the results of both the tires would be the same since the presence or absence of Vent Spews makes no difference.

Are Vent Spews an indication of brand new tires?

Yes, if all Vent Spews exist on the tires, it indicates that the tires are brand new or have been driven for a few miles only.

While Vent Spews on the tire tread shed off over a period of time due to environmental factors and regular wear and tear, the Vent Spews on the sidewall take a lot longer to shed off.

The existence of all Vent Spews on the tires indicates that they are new. This could help one in buying tires as the presence of Vent Spews suggests that the tires are unused.

Final Thoughts

Vent Spews is looked at with much importance post-production by many people but the fact is that they have no role to play after the tires have been made.

Small things make a big difference- the Vent Spews make a huge difference in tire production. But, their presence or absence on the tires would make no difference once they are out of the production line.

Their presence on the tires would only make a difference in terms of the look and appeal of the tire.

To remove them for better looks or to keep them as they are, would be a subjective choice since it would differ from person to person. It all depends on the perspective of each individual.

Speaking of our perspective, we’d say that tire hair makes no difference at all when it comes to the usage of tires.

In terms of aesthetic appeal too, the hairs are too tiny to be even noticed by many. We’d keep them on the tires of our vehicles and wouldn’t bother even if they shed off on their own.

What’s important is monitoring the things that matter- tire performance, mileage, tread life, and overall value for money.


Dean Alvarez, TireForge Head Author

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