Tire maintenance & safety

Dry Rot: How to Spot It & Avoid Dangerous and Expensive Tire Problems

We all know how easy it is to let something like a tire inspection slip our minds. With a passing glance, our tires may look okay. However, serious problems like tire dry rot can go unnoticed if you're not looking for them. Dry rot can cause many tire problems, including a blowout, which is also why you should always keep a spare tire in your trunk. SimpleTire.com recommends that you learn about dry rot and check your tires for it. These steps will help you avoid dangerous and expensive tire problems.

What Is Tire Dry Rot?

Tire dry rot is also sometimes called sidewall cracking. This common condition leads to hairline cracks along the sidewalls and tread. The rubber along these cracks fades from black to dull gray. If you see such cracks on your tires, take your vehicle to your dealership. The technicians at the dealership will tell you whether or not your tires have dry rot. If fabric or metal is visible through the cracks in your tires, the dry rot could be severe and you should not drive on them at all.

Why Is Dry Rot Dangerous?

Dry rot can cause tires to lose air pressure quickly. The small cracks can open suddenly and with no warning, causing a tire blowout. Sidewall cracks may also cause a rip in the sidewall. Sometimes these rips separate the tire from the rim. A tire's sidewall absorbs impacts with the road. This means that when sudden failures like these occur, they're likely to happen at the worst possible time, such as when you are driving fast on a rough road.

Minimize the Dangers of Tire Dry Rot

Buy New Tires

One of the easiest ways you can protect yourself and your vehicle from the dangers of dry rot is to install new, high-quality tires. Never install used tires. Used tires are not subject to the same government regulations as new tires. There's no perfect way to tell whether or not they're safe for use on your vehicle. Subtle signs of dry rot may go undetected in used tires, only to emerge sometime later while your vehicle is in motion.

Use OEM Tires

Some tire manufacturers make cheap tires with materials that don't last. These alternatives can get dry rot quickly. Always choose replacement tires that meet your vehicle manufacturer's requirements for safety and performance. If you choose original equipment (OEM) tires, you stand a better chance of avoiding premature dry rot.

Inspect Tires for Dry Rot

Another good way to minimize the dangers of dry rot tires is to have your tires regularly inspected at your local dealership. Dealerships employ factory-certified service consultants who adhere to RMA and manufacturer-approved practices when it comes to inspecting, repairing, and replacing your tires. These qualified service professionals will alert you to the slightest signs of dry rot and advise you whether to repair or replace your tire. Dealerships also maintain a relationship with your vehicle's manufacturer and have a level of overall expertise regarding your vehicle's make and model that simply can't be found at your neighborhood garage or tire shop.

If you're concerned that your vehicle's tires may have dry rot, don't take chances. Take your vehicle in to your local dealership for an inspection right away. The automaker-certified service personnel there will be able to tell you whether you have dry rot tires and then advise you on the best course of action for dealing with it.

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