The sight of cracked tires isn’t an experience any auto owner or driver wants to go through, not even once. But, like anything made of rubber, tires are prone to cracks. So, when your vehicle tires crack, it’s not unusual.
As the age of the tires and are exposed to extreme temperatures, they show wear and tear. Constant friction and heat also cause the tires to expand. Hence, cracks are visible symptoms of aging and wearing tires.
Remember, the tire is the midway between the road and your vehicle; you cannot afford to ignore any sign it shows. Nonetheless, if left unfixed, cracks in tires can potentially portend great hazards.
The solution is simple and safe. If you’re worried about what causes cracks in your Kenda tires, the symptoms, and the guide to fix them, this article is for you. You’ll also learn how to prevent tire cracks.
What Causes Tires To Crack
Here are things to suspect as causes of cracks in your tire:
Normally, all auto tires are susceptible to degradation over time. This is due to the exposure of their rubber protective compound to UV, atmospheric air, heat, light, and more.
With the degradation comes dry rot, the decay due to a lack of sufficient ventilation in the tire. Dry rot occurs in the tire’s sidewall, shoulder, or tread.
As the age of your tires, their efficiency level reduces. The more you drive, the faster and easier the tire’s rubber compound will lose its strength and durability against mileage, bumps, tough driving conditions, road unevenness, and more.
Extreme Driving Temperature
Extreme temperature can cause your vehicle tires to crack. The tire will deteriorate as they ride in extreme heat. Low temperature causes the rubber compound to become rigid, allowing dry rot to set in.
If the temperature increases, UV rays from sunlight will cause the rubber’s protective cover to break down very easily. This will cause the tire to crack.
Unfavorable Humidity And Conditions
Poor driving conditions include snow, UV rays, mud, stones, ice, extreme humidity, and other elements. These can expose your tires to danger and make them lose their protective power and durability against the road. As a result, the tire will crack.
Poor Tire Quality
Install tires that meet or exceed Uniform Tire Quality Grading System (UTQGS) specs.
If the quality of the tires is low, their capacity to withstand the elements will be limited. There’s a chance that they will split and lose their efficiency. Else, the tires will crack and get damaged much faster.
Low Or High PSI
Another reason your tires might likely crack is over-inflation or under-inflation. If you put too little or excess air pressure in the tire, dry rot will set in much faster than it should.
What Are Signs Of Cracked Tires
Here are signs that you have cracks and splits on your vehicle tires:
You will notice cracks around the tire’s tread, usually on the outer edges. When dry rot has peaked and reached an advanced stage, the tire’s tread depth will reduce, causing handling and cornering issues.
Cracks may also appear on the sidewalls of your tires. These splits can appear on either or both sides of the wall. You may hear a little noise from the tire when cornering or ending. This is a sign that your tire is cracked.
Tire Turns Grey
Cracks also cause your tire to lose its original black color. As the cracks affect the tires, the color will fade and turn grey.
Rubber Wear Faster
When your car tires appear brittle, dry, and unoiled, it is a sign that it is no longer protected by the oxidants. This can be due to cracks on the rubber parts of the tires. The protective rubber compound can wear away due to frequent usage.
How To Fix Cracks In Tire
There are two forms of cracks that can occur to your tire. You can experience internal or external cracks.
Internal cracks are small and may not be visible. External cracks are visible but may not be as deep as their internal counterparts. Whichever cracks happen to your tire, let me guide you through how to fix them.
Guide To Fix Internal Tire Cracks
The best method of fixing internal cracks in a tire is by using a sealant.
- A ½-inch socket wrench. You may use a lug wrench
- Tire pressure gauge
- Air compressor or air pump
Steps To Fix Internal Tire Cracks
Step 1: Let The Tire Get Cold
Allow the tire to cool down if you’ve recently parked your car. This allows the heat generated from the friction between the tire and road to go away.
Step 2: Jack Up The Car
The next step is to jack up the car. You can use a hydraulic jack, trolley jack, scissor jack, or bottle. Jacking up the car will allow you to freely remove the affected tire.
Step 3: Detach The Tire From The Car
Remove the tire from the car. It might be difficult to examine the extent of the cracks if the tires are attached to the vehicle. Unscrew the lug nuts from the rim studs with the lug wrench or socket wrench.
Step 4: Inspect The Extent Of The Crack
Examine the tire to see the areas affected, the number of cracks, and the extent of damage you have on your hand. The problem may be something to fix; you may have to replace the tire.
Step 5: Prep And Apply The Sealant
Now that you can confirm that the crack is fixable, the next step is to prep the sealant to apply to the cracked points. Apply the sealant using the injector. Insert the injector into the valve stem to seal the internal cracks.
Step 6: Refill The Tire
You should re-inflate the tire since applying the sealer may have caused the tires to lose some air pressure. But before this, ensure you allow the sealant to work on the cracks for a few minutes.
While inflating, use the pressure gauge to take the right PSI reading.
Step 7: Re-Install The Tire
With all steps done and the tire is in good condition with the correct PSI, it’s time to set up the tires back to their place.
Step 8: Drive The Car Around
To allow the sealant to go round the tire and properly seal up all cracks, drive the vehicle around after installing the tire.
How To Fix External Tire Cracks
External cracks are easier to trace and fix because they are visible. Here is a step-by-step guide to fixing them:
- Tire Protectant
- Large sponge
- Lug wrench
- Water hose
- Water-based degreaser
Steps To Fix External Tire Cracks
- Allow the tire to cool down.
- Jack up your vehicle and remove the tire.
- Examine the affected areas on the tire.
- Apply the tire degreaser using the sponge. Scrub properly and let the solvent get to every cracked area.
- Wipe and rinse the degreaser with a clean fiber cloth and water.
- Allow the tire to dry.
- Apply the tire protectant. Spray the formula in a sweeping motion and across the entire cracked area.
- Re-install the tire, examine it again, and then drive around immediately.
How To Avoid Tire Cracks
Well, your car tires can stay forever. At some point, they’ll have to be replaced. But you won’t lose anything if you can do whatever you can to prevent the tires from cracking.
This way, you can prolong their life. Here are things you can do to prevent car tire cracks.
Stick to high-quality tires:
Needless to say that OEM tires perform better than their aftermarket counterparts. But because you may not be able to afford OEM parts, going for aftermarkets won’t be a bad decision.
Ensure that the aftermarket tires you’re buying come as top-quality options. Don’t settle for low-quality tires because they can easily succumb to the shenanigans of cracks and tough terrain.
Apply the Tire protectants:
Also called tire dressing or tire shine, the tire protectants are aerosol conditioners that confer a shiny appearance on your tire. Apart from proving aesthetics, these foam solvents also help prevent premature damage to the tire.
The spray bottles ensure that your tires always look wet and cool.
Maintain normal tire pressure:
It’s a no-brainer to stress that you must maintain the ideal air pressure in your car tire. The average PSI range for a typical passenger vehicle is 30-35 psi.
Never overinflate or underinflate your tire. Either way, you can make your tire susceptible to cracks.
Cover tire when exposed to sunlight:
Regular exposure of auto tires to UV rays can cause them to crack. Rays from sunlight and splashes of pebbles or stones can affect them. Consequently, endeavor to cover the tires when parked outside and not used for a long time.
Regularly inspect tires: Ensure:
you regularly examine your tires. More so, check for plug holes, scratches, or minor cracks. Check the air pressure to ensure that it’s not low or in excess.
Other safety cares to give your tires:
- Clean the tire regularly
- Never park inside heavy mud, puddles, and snow for a long time. If you can, avoid parking under these conditions
- Store unused or spare tires dry and wrapped inside an airtight plastic
- Try to avoid reckless driving habits, including aggressive cornering and hitting bumps
- Park your vehicle in the garage
Are There Risks Cracked Tires Can Cause?
Yes, there are safety hazards cracked tires pose to you. One of the major hazards of cracks in a tire is blowouts.
Blowouts occur when the tire’s rubber compound reaches its breaking point, potentially causing your vehicle to swerve. Blowouts occurring at a low speed may come with minimal risks.
The thing about cracks is that they can expand to the tire tread and shoulder. When this extension goes out of the surface of the tire, the tire becomes prone to air pressure loss. However, the consequence can be catastrophic if you drive on a highway or at high speed with cracked tires.
Poor handling can result from cracked tires. You won’t be able to drive at average speed because the tires won’t perform as they should. In all of this, try to replace the tire once it’s tested that they’re no longer fit for your tire.
Let me reiterate that you must care for your auto tires as much as you do for your engine. Your safety largely lies in these two vehicle components.
The car’s average life is six years, but dry rot can start to set in long before expectancy. The earlier you can fix any crack issue on your tire, the better the chance to extend its lifespan.
Do not ignore any symptoms. If your Chevy Silverado 1500 tires don’t crack, punctures, blowouts, or wears can cause them not to perform optimally.
Regardless of the problem, your tires must always be in good condition. You may have reason to replace a tire before its life.
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