Contact us


Tire Cracking Explained

Have you noticed small cracks on the sidewalls or between the treads of your tires? Are you wondering when tire cracks become unsafe? Or when is it time to replace your tires?

Just like us, tires weather and age. Their rubber becomes less flexible, breaking down, creating cracks in the sidewall, tread or around the rim.

Tire cracking is caused by ozone, UV rays, road salt, and other grime.

Most of the cracking I see is cosmetic in nature. Just like tire-blooming, tire-cracking starts after about 3 years in most tires and is more common on vehicles that don’t get driven much.

Tire Sidewall Cracking Chart
Cosmetic or severe? Check out this handy tire cracking chart from MIchelin.

Tires driven daily usually wear out before cracking becomes an issue.

That’s because antiozonant, the rubber additive that resists tire-cracking, tire-browning, and tire-blooming, is only released as the tire is being used.

Also known as “weather-cracking” and “dry-rot”, some severe tire-cracking can be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.

If you’re unsure about your tires or want to know if they’re safe, it’s best to get an expert’s opinion.

Tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires every 6 years.

While there is no way to fix cracked tires, you can slow down the process by using a tire cleaner and protectant.

At Kenwood Tire we use  Eagle One All Wheel and Tire Cleaner to clean the wheels on our customers’ cars. Spray, agitate and hose Eagle One All Wheel and Tire Cleaner does a great job removing the brake dust and won’t hurt the wheel finish.

To keep your wheels looking good after cleaning, I recommend a non-solvent protectant like Wizards Tire and Vinyl Shine.

With over 25 years of experience in the tire business, I still routinely rotate, change, balance, and repair tires in the shop. So if you live local and would like a no-obligation tire-opinion, stop by the store.

Check out some examples of tire cracking and e-mail me some pictures of your tires for an expert opinion.

Showing age related tire cracking
Tire Shoulder Cracks
Tread Groove Cracks on a Nitto tire
tire tread cracking
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow

Kenwood Tire & Auto Service is the tire store you can rely on for Independent tire advice, expert service, and value for money.
Check out our online tire catalog for fully-installed prices on tires in-stock, or research and “build your own burger” with our online partner TireBuyer.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.