One of the most common complications you may encounter with your vehicle’s tires is tire rot, also known as sidewall weathering. It presents itself as visible cracking within the sidewall (the tread) of the tire when the rubber compounds within the tire begin to break down. Exposure to sunlight, low tire inflation, storing tires at high temperatures, or lack of use can all lead to tire rot.
When your tires are dry rotted, you’ll notice they may be discolored or look cracked and broken in the sidewall or within the tread pattern. To prevent tire rot, follow these five steps.
Regularly inspect your tires.
Each month, look at the tread and sidewalls of your tires and see if you can find any bulges, cracks, or discoloration.
Seek out shade.
Make it a habit to always try to park your car in the shade. Not only is it cooler, but it also protects your tires from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays.
Clean your tires.
Using a gentle cleansing soap, wash your tires every month to ensure no residue is present on your tires that may eat away or damage the rubber and integrity of your tires.
Stay away from harmful chemicals.
Avoid using harsh cleaning products or tire shines that are petroleum-based; they can break down the rubber, leading to premature rubber cracking and, eventually, tire rot.
Keep your tires properly inflated.
Driving on underinflated tires is a recipe for disaster and can easily lead to tire rot. Check your owner’s manual for your proper tire inflation and on a monthly basis, check to be sure your tires are properly inflated.