Cracked Tires

Editor: Ilkka

Last updated: August 16, 2023

Select Dynamic field

Encountering tiny cracks anywhere in your car tires can be startling and concerning. Did you know, these tire fissures often result from conditions like improper maintenance, aging, or harmful environmental exposure? In this post, we’ll delve into the causes of cracked tires, safety issues that come along with them and solutions to avoid such problems.

Don’t let those treads fray away – read on to learn how to keep your wheels rolling smoothly!

Key Takeaways

  • Cracked tires can be caused by factors such as aging, sun exposure, ozone exposure, low pressure, improper storage, harsh climates and temperature changes, overloading the tires, using harsh cleaning chemicals, poor puncture repairs, and leaving the tires stationary for long periods.
  • Cracked tires pose safety concerns including loss of traction and control on the road.
  • Regular inspection of tires and prompt replacement if cracks are found is essential to ensure optimal care and safety.

Causes of Cracked Tires

Cracked tires can be caused by a variety of factors, including aging of the tires, sun exposure and UV radiation, ozone exposure, low inflation pressure, improper storage seasonal tires, harsh climates and temperature changes, overloading the tires, using harsh cleaning chemicals, poor puncture repairs, and leaving the tires stationary for long periods.

Aging of tires

Tire aging is a reality car owners must face as rubber compounds within tire construction lose their inherent elasticity over time. This phenomenon might not appear obvious initially, but as your tires rack up miles and years, the tire covers once flexible rubber hardens.

The effects of this hardening include visible miniature cracks primarily on sidewalls and treads – an early warning sign of dry rotting. Aging rubber cracks can also lead to separation between steel belts in the tread from other components of the tire, risking safety on the road.

It’s crucial to note that even seemingly “brand new tires” could have been sitting for extended periods in warehouses or stores before purchase, causing them to age prematurely – it’s always more than just mileage when calculating a tire’s actual age.

Regular maintenance and professional inspections can help diagnose these issues effectively, prioritizing your safety while ensuring longevity for your vehicle’s tires.

Sun exposure and UV radiation

Sunlight, specifically harmful UV radiation, plays a significant role in the degradation of your vehicle’s tires. It exposes the tire rubber to extreme conditions that accelerate dry rotting – an issue no car owner ever wants to face.

The impact is even more profound on the tire sidewall, where splitting can occur due to sustained exposure.

UV rays pierce through the outer part of the tires and disturb their structural integrity by weakening the materials used in their construction. This detrimental effect reduces polymer bonds quality within the tire rubber compound, leading to visible cracks in tire, and overall reduction in performance and safety.

So while sun exposure might be ideal for a summer road trip or beach outing, remember that it poses serious threats to your car’s tires if proper preventative measures aren’t put into place.

Ozone exposure

Exposure to ozone gas poses a significant hazard to your vehicle’s tires, progressing from microscopic cracks in the rubber compounds to visible damage. This exposure is often caused by environmental factors such as air pollution and electric generators.

The ominous process known as ozone cracking initializes with minimal warning. Initially, your tires may only develop miniature cracks in tire tread that are barely noticeable. But continual ozone assault on unprotected or old tires can escalate these small fissures into major cracks along the tire tread and sidewalls, compromising your tire’s structural integrity over time.

Not all car tires fall prey to this hazardous phenomenon equally. Those lacking 6PPD—a chemical meant for resistance against destructive ozone attacks—are more vulnerable and could age prematurely under constant exposure.

Therefore, ensuring new tires contain 6PPD can protect them from early onset cracking due to prolonged exposure to ambient ozone levels.

Cracked tires not immediately replaced pose an increased risk of blowouts while driving, leading directly to safety concerns relating both traction control loss and potential accidents. So if you notice any signs of tire sidewall cracking or tread depth minimization—no matter how insignificant it might seem—take immediate action so neither you nor others on the road face unnecessary peril.

Low inflation pressure

One common cause of cracked tires is low inflation pressure. When your tires are not properly inflated, it puts extra stress on the rubber and can lead to cracking. Underinflated tires have a larger surface area in contact with the road, which increases friction and raises temperatures.

This heat buildup can accelerate tire aging and contribute to cracks forming in both the tread area and sidewalls. Additionally, driving on underinflated tires can result in damage to the tire’s internal components such as belts and plies.

To prevent cracked tires, it’s important to regularly check your tire pressure and inflate them to the manufacturer-recommended levels. By maintaining optimal inflation pressure, you can help ensure the longevity and safety of your tires on the road.

Improper storage

Improper storage of tires can have a detrimental impact on their lifespan and structural integrity. When tires are stored in areas with extreme temperatures or exposed to direct sunlight, the rubber compounds can deteriorate more rapidly, leading to cracks.

Additionally, leaving tires stationary for long periods without use can also contribute to tire cracking too. It is important to store tires in a cool and dry location away from UV light and harsh chemicals that could accelerate the aging process.

By taking proper care when storing your car’s tires, you can help prevent premature cracking and ensure they remain safe for use on the road. Remember to check your tire manufacturer’s recommendations for optimal storage conditions, as this will vary depending on the tire type and brand.

Harsh climates and temperature changes

Harsh climates and temperature changes can have a significant impact on the condition of your tires. Extreme weather conditions on summer tires, whether it’s scorching heat or freezing cold, can cause rubber to deteriorate faster, leading to cracked tires.

The constant expansion and contraction of the tire material due to temperature fluctuations weaken its structure over time.

For example, in colder climates, the rubber compounds used in tires tend to harden, making them more susceptible to cracking. On the other hand, intense heat from hot summers can accelerate the aging process of your tires and increase their vulnerability to cracks.

To minimize this risk, try parking your vehicle in a garage or shaded area whenever possible. This will help protect your tires from direct sunlight exposure and extreme temperatures. Regularly inspecting your tires for any signs of cracks or damage is crucial as well.

If you notice any visible cracks or small damages on your tire’s sidewalls or tread area, it’s important to have them professionally inspected and potentially replaced.

Overloading the tires

Overloading your tires properly can have a significant impact on their overall health and safety. When you exceed the recommended weight limit, it puts excessive pressure on the tire’s structure, causing it to flex beyond its intended capacity.

This can lead to cracking and premature wear in the sidewalls and tread area of winter tires. Not only does overloading increase the risk of tire failure, but it also compromises your vehicle’s handling and stability on the road.

To ensure optimal tire performance and longevity, always adhere to the manufacturer’s weight recommendations for your specific vehicle model.”.

Using harsh cleaning chemicals

Using harsh cleaning chemicals on your tires may seem like a quick and easy way to make them shine, but it can actually lead to cracking and damage. Petroleum-based chemicals commonly found in tire cleaners can cause dry rot and weaken the rubber compounds in your tires.

These chemicals can corrode the tires, creating deep cracks that compromise their structural integrity. Even inferior-quality tire dressers can be detrimental most tire manufacturers, leaving behind residues that severely damage your tires over time.

To protect your investment and ensure optimal care for your tires, opt for mild soap and water instead of harsh chemical cleaners, as they are less likely to cause cracking or other forms of damage.

Poor puncture repairs

When a tire experiences a puncture, it’s crucial to have it properly repaired. Poor puncture repairs can significantly contribute to cracked tires. If the puncture is not repaired correctly, moisture and debris can enter the tire, leading to damage and weakening of the rubber over time.

This makes the tire more susceptible to cracking and potentially unsafe for driving. To ensure your tires stay in optimal condition, it’s important to have any punctures professionally repaired by qualified technicians who use high-quality patches or plugs that seal the hole and protect tires more effectively.

Regular maintenance and inspection of your tires can help identify any issues with previous repairs and address them promptly before they lead to further damage or cracks in the tire sidewall.

Leaving the tires stationary for long periods

Leaving your car tires stationary for long periods of time can lead to cracked tires, and this is something every car owner should be aware of. Cracking in tires is not only a matter of potential trouble that drivers need to take seriously, as it can affect the safety and performance of your vehicle.

When your tires are left stationary for extended periods, especially when parked with a full load, it accelerates the aging and drying out process. This means that even if your tires look brand new, they may still develop cracks due to lack of movement.

So remember to regularly check and rotate your tires, ensuring they receive optimal care to avoid cracking issues.

Safety Concerns with Cracked Tires

Cracked tires pose serious safety concerns, including loss of traction, reduced control, and an increased risk of blowouts. Don’t compromise your safety on the road – learn more about the dangers of cracked tires now!

Loss of traction and control

Cracked tires pose a serious safety concern for car owners as they can lead to a loss of traction and control on the road. When tires are cracked, their ability to grip the surface is compromised, especially on wet or snowy roads.

This means that you may experience difficulty in accelerating, braking, or making turns smoothly and safely. Additionally, cracked rubber in tires becomes more brittle over time, affecting their performance even further.

To ensure your safety on the road, it’s important to regularly inspect your tires for any signs of cracking and have them replaced if necessary. Remember, driving on bald or cracked tires not only puts you at risk but also risks damage to your vehicle and loss of control while driving.

Increased risk of blowouts

Cracked tires pose a substantial safety concern for car owners, as they significantly increase the risk of blowouts while driving. In fact, tire blowouts can lead to property damage, raised insurance rates, personal injury, and even death.

Whether it’s tread cracking or sidewall cracking, both types of tire damage are equally dangerous and can result in sudden blowouts or sidewall bulges. It’s important to understand that these small cracks even in rubber tires are not just signs of aging but potential problems that should be taken seriously.

So, ensuring optimal care for your vehicle’s tires is crucial to avoid such risks on the road.


In conclusion, cracked tires pose a serious safety concern for car owners. Whether it’s due to aging, sun exposure, improper maintenance, or other factors, these tire cracks can lead to loss of traction and increase the risk of blowouts.

It’s crucial for car owners to regularly inspect their tires and address any signs of cracking immediately to ensure the optimal care and safety of their vehicles. Remember, vigilance in tire maintenance goes a long way in preventing accidents on the road.

Stay safe and keep those tires in top shape!