Your automotive tires need to be in pristine condition to ensure on-road safety, but sometimes, they can crack. We look at the reasons for tire sidewall cracking and cracks in the tire tread to help you maintain a safe drive.
Our guide also looks at other types of tires, such as how to keep bike tires from cracking.
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What Exactly are Dry Rot Tires? (Look for These Signs)
Dry rot describes tire decay that occurs from old age or when the tire is exposed to harmful conditions. Once dry rot appears on the tire, there isn’t much time to repair the damage before driving becomes unsafe.
In some cases, minor dry rot issues can be dealt with by using a tire sealant, but excessive dry rot requires a tire replacement.
Early Indicators of Tire Cracking
Most Likely Causes of Cracked Tires
What causes tires to crack in the tread? Here are a few reasons the tires are cracking around the tread.
Under or over pressurized tires
Why are your Firestone tires cracking? It could be due to incorrect tire pressure. Anytime that you run the tires with the wrong amount of air pressure, you put the safety of your occupants at risk and allow cracks to begin. Make sure you always use the recommended tire pressure to prevent this.
High humidity and temperature
Why are your Michelin tires cracking? High temperature and rubber don’t mix. Extremes will cause the rubber to crack and dry. Additionally, ultraviolet light only makes the tires drier. If you drive in hot, humid climates, your tires are at-risk for dry rot.
Extended use of tires
Tires are constructed from compounds and oils that wear down over time. Whether you are constantly using your car or it sits for longer periods, the tires are only made to hold up for so long. As the compounds evaporate, there is little protection left, and the tires will crack.
Low quality rubber
You might be tempted to purchase cheap tires, but you are sacrificing quality in exchange. These budget tires have low-quality rubber that will disintegrate quicker. While it can be a pain buying more expensive tires, you probably won’t have to figure out how to fix weather cracked tires.
There’s a reason to maintain your vehicle and the tires. It’s to keep everything running as it should. When you neglect regular maintenance, such as tire balancing and rotating, you are putting the tires at risk of cracking.
How To Fix Cracked Tires (If Caught Early)
Do you know how to repair weather cracked tires? If caught early enough, it might be possible to handle a cracked tire sidewall repair to get a few more miles of service. These tips are also useful for learning how to fix cracked bike tire and figuring out how to keep trailer tires from cracking further.
Method 1: Sealing Cracks Internally (With Sealant)
If you have a small tire crack, you want to seal the puncture. You need to make sure you choose an appropriate tire crack sealant for the best results.
- 1Work on the tire when it is completely cooled down.
- 2Remove the tire.
- 3Prepare the sealant as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- 4Apply the sealant to the interior of the tire with the included instructions. This often involves some type of injector or nozzle.
- 5Inflate the tire.
- 6Reinstall the tires and test drive the vehicle.
Use these steps if you want to learn how to prevent motorcycle tires from cracking further.
Method 2: Sealing Crack Externally (With Protectant)
If you have large, visible cracks to deal with, you might have some success with a protectant instead. These products also rejuvenate the rubber for a better look.
- 1Work on the tires when they are cooled down.
- 2Remove the affected tire.
- 3Degrease the surface.
- 4Rinse off the tire.
- 5Apply the tire protectant.
- 6Reinstall the tires.
- 7Take a test drive.
These steps are aimed at stopping the beginning of dry rot from getting worse but will never fix dry rot that has already happened. To be safe, you should always have a professional look at your dry rotted tires before you drive on them.
Preventing Tires From Cracking: Tips To Slow It Down
Whether you have car tires, truck tires or motorcycle tires, there are steps you can take to prevent dry rotting from occurring.
Are Cracked Tires Safe? Use This Tire Sidewall Cracking Chart
If you notice cracks in your tires, you want to have a professional look at them.
When are cracks in a tire sidewall unsafe?
This tire sidewall cracking chart might help you identify the danger before it causes trouble.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What do small cracks in tires mean?
Cracks in the tire mean that the rubber is beginning to break down. Sometimes this occurs because of UV light, while other times, old age is the culprit.
Is it safe to drive on a tire with sidewall damage?
No, you should not drive on tires with sidewall damage. This part of the tire is more sensitive than the tread, meaning you could experience a tire blowout at any point.
How many years do tires last on average?
The majority of tires will last between six and ten years, depending on the overall quality and how they are driven. When properly cared for, you can extend the life of your tires.
What are some signs that you need to replace your tires?
If the tires have low tread depth, you see the indicator bar, or there are cracks in the sidewall, it might be time to replace the tires. Plus, bulges in the tire and excessive vibration indicate trouble with the tire.
How long does it take for tires to dry rot?
It depends on the quality of tires you have installed. In some cases, it could take just five years for dry rot to set in. However, living in a hot climate accelerates the situation.
How to fix cracked bike tires?
With a bike tire, you could also try the sealant or protectant methods. However, it’s likely you will have to replace the bike tires if extensive dry rot has occurred.
You need to know how to fix cracked tires if you want to maintain your on-road safety. Our guide helps you prevent dry rot and cracks, but you should replace your tires if they are damaged for optimal protection.