Your car tire tread is the one part of your car which faces a lot of pressure from constant contact with the road.
As the number of miles that you log goes up, the degree of wear of your tire tread also increases.
However, the tire tread compound is also influenced by other factors such as road conditions, seasons, and temperature. And we know how hot a Phoenix summer is!
Although tires undergo stringent quality tests, the life of your tire is not finite, and they can sustain damage in different forms.
So, while normal wear and tear is expected, sometimes tire wear can happen prematurely. One of the most common factors for this happening is dry rot.
Dry rot refers to a type of tire decay which can occur in aged tires and is quite common. Tire dry rot can also happen if the tire is regularly exposed to harmful substances such as certain types of petroleum-based tire cleaners as well as due to environmental conditions.
Tires with dry rot damage can suffer from leaks and holes, as well as blow-outs or in extreme cases, the tread can separate from the tire completely!
What is tire dry rot?
Do your tires sport little cracks that run along the sidewall and up to the tread? If yes, then it could be because of tire dry rot.
Dry rot occurs when the rubber of the tires becomes brittle and hard. With time, the oil present in the rubber dries up and the chemical bonds start to break down – something that can happen in used tires.
Tires with a manufacturing date that goes back several years can start to unwarp. This of course happens regardless of whether the tires have been in use or not.
Other reasons that can lead to dry rot of tires include – high mileage, low tire inflation, improper storage, and constant exposure to a heat source.
Exposure to the sun is a common cause for dry rot of tires; this is something that you need to watch out for if you live in Phoenix, Arizona or any place which has a hot desert climate as already indicated. If left exposed too long, the deterioration rate of your tires increases.
How long can tires remain unaffected by dry rot?
Is there a specific timeframe within which dry rot sets in? Well, we cannot provide an accurate or specific timeframe – it mostly depends on the above-mentioned factors. These factors primarily determine how much mileage you will be able to extract out of your car tires.
Having said that, most car technicians will tell you that the cut-off point for any brand of tires is around ten years.
Beyond ten years, the structural integrity of your tires, even if they don’t display any damage from dry rot, will start to weaken.
The tire tread compound of tires that are more than ten years old in most cases would have expired or at the very least, the tread compound would have lost its effectiveness.
4 Ways You can Prevent Tire Dry Rot
Lack of use is another common reason for tire dry rot. So, if you are not going to be using your car for an extended period of time, do the following:
- Make sure you park your car in a garage with climate control if that is possible which in most cases it’s not.
- Check the tire pressure at least once a month – certainly when you want to drive your car on the highway again after it has been parked for so long.
- Ensure the tires are parked on boards – not pavement.
- Inflate the tires as per the recommended pressure.
Note – Checking tire pressure at least once a month and maintaining tire inflation are two steps that should be undertaken as part of routine maintenance.
Can tire dry rot be repaired?
Driving your car with damaged tires is not something we or any other professional car technician or service will recommend. If dry rot damage is minor, the damage can be fixed with a tire sealant – but this is a job that should be best left to a professional car technician.
If, however, you find that the tire dry rot has reached an advanced stage, it is best to simply replace the tires.
It is not safe to drive your vehicle if the tires are damaged due to dry rot – when the tires run, they generate heat which causes the rubber to expand.
If, however, the integrity of the tires is damaged, then the tire can fall apart while you are driving.
Reliable car maintenance with professional auto experts!