While tires are pretty durable, they don’t last forever. A surprising number of factors can adversely affect their lifespans and lead to dry rotting, like extremes of temperature, inactivity, and even sunlight.
You may have found yours are a little worse for wear and are looking for ways to fix them. This article will look at the causes of dry rotted tires, the implications, and what you can do to fix them.
The Short Answer
You will first need to remove the tire to reach all areas where dry rot occurs. Then you’ll need to thoroughly clean the tire with a degreaser. You can apply tire protection to make the tire’s rubber stronger and stop dry rot in its tracks.
Consider checking: How Do Tires Get Dry Rot
What Causes Dry Rotted Tires?
Here are the main causes of dry rot:
- Age. While dry rot can affect any tire, you’ll find that age makes a big difference. The older your tire, the higher the chance of dry rot occurring.
- Wear. As the tire is used, it starts to acquire micro-abrasions. These widen with time. It is a natural process that you can’t avoid. Hence, the reason you should replace your tires when they become too worn.
- Sunlight. Ultraviolet light is particularly harmful to rubber. It causes the structural integrity of your tire to break down. Over time, it becomes less flexible, which can lead to drying out and cracking.
- High temperatures. A study by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demonstrates that temperature extremes significantly shorten the lifespan of tires.
- Inactivity. While your vehicle is standing, there is still pressure exerted on the tires. This pressure will take its toll over time. Areas in constant ground contact are subject to more stress, leading to cracks in the lower portion of the tire.
You might be interested in our guide: How To Repair Tire
A Step-By-Step Guide
Assuming the damage isn’t too bad, you might be able to limit further degradation and gain a few more miles out of your tires. Here’s how to fix dry rotted tires:
1. Remove the Tire
Wear and tear are easily hidden on a tire. To access all areas and take a good look at their condition, remove it. This will allow you to easily see any areas that need fixing.
Check the entirety of the tire for cracks and damage. Several parts of the tire are important. Pay particular attention to the tread, the sidewalls, and the beads. Look for signs of cracking and assess how deep the damage goes.
3. Degrease the Tire
To effectively clean the tire, you will first need to remove any oily or greasy deposits from its surface. Use a good quality degreaser and a soft cloth or brush to give an even coating to your tire.
4. Clean the Tire
Once you have applied the degreaser, you will need to rinse it away. Using a hose and a soft cloth or sponge, remove all the grime and dirt.
By this stage, your tire should be looking a little better. Now you should have a nice clean surface to apply a tire protector. This nourishes the rubber and prevents cracks from spreading.
How Long Will a Dry Rotted Tire Last?
The unfortunate thing about dry rotted tires is that they can fail at any time. There is no set period of time, as their lifespan can vary depending on how badly degraded the tires are and how they are being used.
You should certainly consider replacing your tires around every 5 years. If you have noticed that your tires are not looking their best, ideally, you will want to consider your options on how to fix dry rotted tires.
Consider reading of our guide: How Much Is It To Repair A Tire
Can You Reverse Dry Rot Tires?
Suppose you regularly inspect your tires and have noticed the early stages of dry rot. In that case, it may be possible to limit the damage by applying a treatment to the tires and breathing life back into the rubber.
However, dry rot is a sign that your tires may have been subject to conditions that have reduced their efficiency and lifespan, so it might be time to start looking for a replacement.
Knowing how to fix dry rotted tires may save you money and prolong the life of your tire. However, it pays not to take chances when it comes to dealing with rotted tires. After all, it is the only thing keeping you in contact with the road.
If in doubt, you could always consider replacing your tires — dry rot is a situation that will only get worse with time, so you’ll need replacement eventually.
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