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Can Car Tires Dry Rot?


Your tires are the only physical contact your vehicle makes with the road. So, can car tires dry rot? Yes, car tires can dry rot. Dry rot is one of the main reasons why tire quality deteriorates fastest.

 This blog post will help you with all the information on dry rot that you need.

How can car tires dry rot? 

The age of the tire: Age affects the chemical components of our tires, which will eventually cause the rubber to break down. The breakdown in rubber components makes our car tires more susceptible to damage such as dry rot.

Tires can last seven to eight years under sane conditions.

car tire dry rot

Underinflation and improper alignment of tires: Underinflation also causes dry rot. Itexposes the inner layers of tires, which leads to rust and corrosion over time.

 It is best to properly inflate tires as soon as you notice them getting low.

Also, ensure that tires are always properly aligned by visiting an expert occasionally for service.

Corrosive substances: Some of the roads we ply daily hold corrosive substances that can seep into tires. This corrosive substance can break down rubber flexibility over time.

Exposure to intense, harsh weather conditions: Most rubber used in making tires is slightly porous. Weather plays a crucial part in the lifespan of our tires.

If tires are exposed to sunlight or rain for an extended period, it affects the composition of the tires. This distortion can have serious effects such as blistering, cracks, and dry rot in our car tires.

Poor maintenance practice is also one of the causes of dry rot. Furthermore, it is in your best interest to learn proper maintenance habits. This will help prevent dry rots and incidents like blowouts.

There are several other causes of dry rot in tires, such as incorrect wheel alignment, Storage of tires close to ozone generating sources.

What is rot?

Tire dry rot, also known as sidewall weathering, is the visible crack in tire thread or sidewall caused by the breakdown of the tire’s rubber compound. 

Dry rot refers to a type of tire decay caused by several factors such as age or frequent exposure to harmful terrains, substances, and weather conditions.

Tires last for 6 to 10 years regardless of the mileage of your vehicle. Dry rot can lead to major safety issues if left undetected, affecting you or your vehicle.

When does dry rot become unsafe?

When you notice dry rot on your tire, it is best to fix the issue as soon as possible as you have limited time to do that before tires become unsafe to use.

If still in the early stages, a professional can treat dry rot with a tire sealer. However, your tires would need to be replaced entirely if at the advanced stages. You can make use of the spare tire before replacement.

Dry rot allows air to leak from the little holes they create in tires, making it hard to achieve proper inflation.

How to recognize dry rot?

The main characteristic of dry rot in car tires is breakage throughout the tire’s rubbers. Here are some characteristics that can recognize dry rot in your car tires.


Brittleness: Dry rot can lead to the loss of essential oils from car tires leading to dehydration of the tire. Dry rot is visible to the naked human eye as you can see bits of rubber fall off the tire. 

Sidewall and thread stone cracks: At the advanced stages, dry rot may cause tiny cracks on the outside margins of your tire. Although your tires have a considerable depth, these tiny cracks can affect your vehicle movement considerably.

In minor cases of dry rot, Cracks at the sidewall of our car tire might be visible.

Discoloration: Tires discoloration can occur before or after dry rot.  If you notice a slight discoloration in your tires from black to grey, it could be a case of dry rot. 

How to prevent dry rot?

As dry rotted tires are almost impossible to fix, it is important to reduce the likelihood of dry rot happening to your tires. We should practice regular tire maintenance, which is paramount to avoiding premature cracking in your tires. 

The first step in preventing dry rotted tires in your vehicles is to ensure that outdated tires and replaced duly with the newer models.

Inflate tires properly: Driving your vehicle with underinflated tires can lead to sidewall weathering. This can cause significant wearing of tire threads, generating excessive heat that eventually leads to dry rot and tire failure.

Clean and inspect tires regularly: Your tires should be cleaned at least once a week with a light rag and dish soap and then rinsed out in clean, cool water.

Tire sidewalls should also be regularly inspected. It would help if you looked for discoloration, cracks, bulges, or other irregularities on the tire.

Avoid leaving the car under the sun for extended periods:  Extended exposure to UV rays (ultraviolet) might harm your vehicle. It is better to park vehicles in shaded areas such as garages.

Avoid overloading: Do not exceed your vehicle’s maximum weight. This puts unnecessary stress on your vehicle, especially the tires, and can lead to cracks and tire failure.

However, if you plan to leave your vehicle parked for an extended period, some parking care tips help prevent dry rotted tires.

The most effective way to store your tires is to install them on your wheels and elevate them off the ground using hooks and threaded rims.

Cover vehicles and keep away from direct sunlight for protection against Ultra-Violet rays

  • Change vehicle location at least once a month to balance tire weight
  • always park vehicles with the least pressure on tires; you can make use of a jack stand
  • Store tires in a clean, dry place away from extreme conditions
  • Do not allow tires to sit in standing water

Final thought

Follow the information provided in this article to the letter to ensure your tires are in a good working condition free from dry rot. Our cars are especially important in our daily movement, and we need to invest in the general upkeep of our cars and tires.

Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful day 

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