If you have small cracks on the sidewalls or between the treads of your tires, it may be dry-rot and time to replace them.
Just like us, tires weather and age, their rubber becomes less flexible, breaking down creating cracks in the sidewall, tread, or around the rim.
Dry-rot, also known as weather cracking, and ozone cracking is usually caused by age, ozone, and other road-grime.
Dry-rot is usually not covered by a manufacturer’s warranty because just like tire-blooming, dry-rot is more common on vehicles that don’t get driven much. Most manufacturers warranties expire after 6 years.
Tires driven daily usually wear out before cracking becomes an issue. That’s because antiozonant, a rubber additive that resists tire-cracking, tire-browning, and tire-blooming, is only released as the tire is being used.
There is no way to fix dry-rotted and cracked tires, but you can slow down the process by using a tire cleaner and protectant.
I use Dark Fury to clean wheels at the shop. It’s awesome at dissolving brake dust without hurting the wheel finish.
And to keep your wheels looking good after cleaning, you can use a non-solvent protectant like Wizards Tire and Vinyl Shine.
Check out examples of dry-rot in tires – If you’re concerned about your tires, e-mail me some pictures and I’ll give you my opinion.