Tire Sidewall Cracking – Causes & Solution

Everything that is made of rubber eventually starts to show signs of cracking as time does its magic on them and tires are no different.

Tires start to wear out and age when they are used for long periods of time. This also occurs due to many factors that the tire has to face.

Usually, a tire functions properly for 6 to 7 years but it may begin to crack sooner due to these reasons:

Causes of the tire sidewall cracking:

  • Usually occurs due to stark weather differences.
  • Due to the old age of the tire.
  • Overloading the tires.
  • Keeping an under inflated tire/ over inflated tire.
  • Cleaners.

But there’s more to them, when we go in to detail.

Weather Changes

The environment has a huge impact on tires. Extreme changes in weather causes the deterioration of the rubber they’re made of.

UV rays which are found during the day are very harmful and a huge threat to  tires since excessive amounts of heat debilitates the bonds inside the polymers, making them grow by contracting, all at the same time also causing material degradation.     

Aging of the tire

As the tire ages, the elastic in the rubber begins to break and separate, subsequently making the tire less durable and more inclined to turning leveled or having a tire blowout.

If the tire is young and shows such symptoms, then it means that the tire is aging.

Overloading the tires

Overloading the tires causes premature tire wear.

The increase in force and friction results in heat buildup which causes cracks and material degradation.

If an extreme amount of heat is produced due to the overloading of tires, then ply coatings which are inside the tire or the rubber belt, both are at the risk of melting.

Under / Over inflated tire

Such tires can not only cause excessive wear but can also put your life in danger.

These tires can impact your brakes or can even cause a zipper rupture.

Zipper rupture is a blast of flattened air that happens in the sidewall of the tire. 

These occur without any warnings and are known to cause constructional damage.

Were Cleaners used on them?

Cleaners cause cracks in your tires since they contain chemicals that if used frequently in large amounts, can damage the tire’s composition.

Petroleum based cleaners and liquors can evacuate the defensive layer that producers apply, exposing the tire to harmful substances.

This is why it is important to search for good quality cleaners and use them so that they won’t cause such problems for you in the future.

Can you Still Repair this?

Unlike a rupture, a crack isn’t an isolated occurrence, it is ordinarily a forewarning that the rubber is being compromised.

Little shallow splits that are generally shallow are fixable, but bigger breaks are unsafe and ought to be changed.

  • Using sprays that remove dirt on the area thoroughly are best for the job.
  • Creating a rough surface around the area by scratching does wonders.
  • Squeezing the rubber cement from the tube to fill the crevice when the tire is cleaned also helps. Make sure to use the approved type of tires for this step.
  • Use a plastic scraper to fill the cracks with cement and don’t forget to remove the excess.
  • To seal and secure the tire, spray at least 2 coats of black tire paint.
  • Checking and monitoring the tire to make sure that the cracks remain sealed.

How to prevent This For Your Future Tires?

Whereas it is not possible to anticipate minor tire cracking, numerous steps can be attempted to anticipate major harm:

  • Make sure to use a gentle cleanser or a tire cleaner which is committed to cleaning the tire without any major chemicals since chemicals can also cause cracked tires.
  • It is recommended to store the vehicle on a cement or comparative base which is alcohol free.
  • Refrain from overheating the tires.
  • Take proper care by having tire pressure checkups and keeping the tires inflated to the desired level also prevents cracks on tires.
  • Stash away your spare tires in an appropriate manner. Spare tires should be stored away in dry and clean tire bags. They should be stacked in a perpendicular direction if they are unmounted, but if they are mounted, then they should be kept leveled on their sides.
  • Refrain from overloading the tires.
  • Check if suspension and steering are aligned properly.

Are cracks dangerous to tires?

If small cracks start to show up on your tires, it means that the tires are aging.

One should only be troubled, when deep cracks start to appear on the tires.

Otherwise, small cracks are not a big deal however these convey the message that the tires aren’t being taken care of properly. So taking care of your tires accurately is the key.

When should cracked tires be replaced?

Tires should be replaced when the cracks are widespread and the tires aren’t functioning as they are supposed to.

If you see deep cracks all over the tire’s surface including the sidewalls then that is a huge sign of the compound being worn.

The tire’s performance is reliant on the rubber compound’s integrity and so replacing the tires is required to ensure your safety and to avoid any blowouts.

When to look out for tire cracking?

If your car is driven everyday, then there is a possibility that your tires are being replaced sooner since they will wear quicker and immediate attention will be seeked for them.

Vehicles which are not driven as much are at higher risk of encountering cracks on their tires because tire cracking mostly occurs when the tires have been motionless for a very long period of time, approximately for an year or two.    

To end with…

There are reasons more than one why a tire may start to crack.

These cracks can be caused as a result of sharp weather changes, overusing tires until they start to wear out due to their age, the usage of harsh chemicals especially those in cleaners, overloading the tires, or not maintaining the internal PSI of the tire within required limits.

Whatever the reason may be, there are plenty of ways to repair these cracks and even prevent them.

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