Cracked Tires- Here is Everything You Should Know About Them

Tires are highly engineered pieces of equipment. They are arguably one of the most integral components of your vehicle. Exposure to extreme sunlight and aging can cause cracked tires. Unfortunately, cracks in tires are inevitable. To avoid putting your safety in jeopardy, it is crucial to fix cracks in tires. Even when you don’t drive your car, the tires have to bear your car’s weight. 

Components of a Tire 

A cracked tire can severely compromise your on-road safety. The tire comprises various components which make it strong enough to accommodate the weight of your car. Here are some integral components of a car tire you should know. 

  • Tread

The tread of a tire has three elements. These three elements are the cap, base, and shoulder. Tread is responsible for traction and low rolling resistance. 

  • Joint-Less Cap Plies

It is a single nylon cord containing rubber and sits just below the tread. It ensures high-speed driving. 

  • Textile Cord Ply 

It is responsible for controlling the internal pressure and shape. 

  • Steel Cord Belt Plies 

Steel cords ensure directional stability and increase the tire’s durability. 

  • Inner Liner 

The inner liner is an essential component of tubeless tires. It is an airtight layer of butyl rubber that acts as an inner tube and controls pressure. 

  • Bead Apex 

It is a wedge of synthetic rubber that offers additional steering comfort. 

  • Bead Core 

The bead code ensures that the tire sits firmly on the rim. It is usually a steel cord which ensures additional stability. 

  • Sidewall 

The sidewall is the exterior wall that protects the casing from various types of damage. 

All these components play a crucial role in minimizing damage to your car’s tires. If any of these components malfunction, you‘ll notice cracks in the tires. 

The Common Reasons Behind a Cracked Tire

Here are some common reasons that create cracks in your vehicle’s tires. 


As a tire gets older, the polymers naturally weaken and start to degrade. Due to aging, this crucial vehicle component loses flexibility and becomes brittle. Even if you aren’t driving, the tires can develop cracks because of aging. 


Certain chemicals can corrode tires and create deep cracks in them. Even inferior-quality tire dressers can severely damage it. Other chemicals from your home or garage can affect the durability of your vehicle’s tires. 

Underinflated Tires Develop Cracks Easily 

Underinflated tires can speed up crack formation. Driving with underinflated tires can contort them and often causes blowout. Hence, it is vital to check the tire’s pressure periodically. 

UV Rays and Extreme Heat 

If the tires are cracked, exposure to extreme heat or UV rays may be the reason. The polymers in a tire undergo expansion and contraction during exposure to sunlight. Moreover, driving in extreme heat can cause cracks in the tire’s sidewall. 

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Symptoms Associated With Cracks in Tires 

It is fairly easy to notice cracked tires between treads. You should know the symptoms of cracks between the treads. The following are the symptoms associated with cracks in tires. 

Brittle and Dry Rubber 

Oils and antioxidants usually protect the components of vehicle tires. If you drive your car daily, these protective elements wear away. 

Sidewall Cracks 

Splits and cracks on the sidewalls of the tires are major symptoms of damage. They can also appear on both sides of a tire and are ominous signs. 

Cracks on the Treads 

In weather cracked tires, damage on the treads is evident. Cracks can also show up on the tread’s outer portions. Dry rot is the primary reason behind cracks on the treads. The tread cracks may adversely affect your car’s handling. 

Faded Color 

When the tire’s black color begins to turn grey, it is an obvious symptom of cracks. If your car is more than five years old and you drive it regularly, consider replacing the tires. 

Things to Know About Sidewall Cracks in Tires 

Tire sidewall cracks indicate that the tires are wearing out and aging. Moreover, the rubber may become stiff and brittle and cause blowout when you’re driving at higher speeds. Blowouts are dangerous and cause fatal accidents. If the tires of your car are more than five years old, you should consider replacing them. 

Reasons Behind Cracks in the Tire’s Tread 

While the sidewall cracks are more common, tread damage is a potential concern. Tread damage in tires can compromise your safety. Usually, cracks in the tread develop faster than sidewall tire crack. Tread damage also indicates dry rot. Cracks in the tread can result in blowouts and serious accidents. Hence, it is crucial to examine the tread periodically for underlying damages. 

Steps to Prevent Dry Rot in Car Tires 

Dry rot, also known as sidewall weathering, can happen when the polymers degrade. Here are some effective ways through which you can prevent sidewall tire cracks.  

Regular Inspections 

If you commute to work daily in your car, regular maintenance is essential. You should inspect both the tread and sidewalls of the tire monthly. Unnatural blemishes or bulges are clear symptoms of cracks. 

Refrain From Parking Your Car in Direct Sunlight 

Excessive exposure to UV rays can cause dry rot in your car’s tires prematurely. That’s why you should park your vehicle in shaded areas to guard against cracks sidewall tire. If you don’t have access to a shaded parking area, consider investing in superior-quality tire dressers. Tire dressers can protect your vehicle’s tires from UV rays.    

Proper Tire Inflation 

One of the primary causes of tire damage is driving with underinflated tires. Underinflated tires can increase tread and sidewall damage. Underinflated tires can even cause the separation of essential components. 

If you don’t have time to take your car to a workshop for inflating tires, invest in a tire inflator. You can prevent the sidewall of tire cracking by inflating your vehicle tires with a portable inflator. Good quality inflators even let you check the air pressure in tires. 

Extended Parking Care 

If you don’t have plans to drive your car for more than a month, follow proper parking instructions. Here are some parking instructions to consider. 

  • If possible, park your vehicle in a way that evenly distributes its weight on the tires
  • If you are parking in an open area, invest in top-quality car covers
  • Modern-day car covers can protect the tires from UV rays
  • Park your vehicle in an area that doesn’t have high humidity levels 

By Following These Strategies, You Can Prevent Tire Cracks on Sidewall. 

The average life of car tires is usually six years. After this stipulated period, dry rot can set in and develop cracks in the tires. Irrespective of the damage, always take your car to workshops for effective tire repairing. However, you can always care for your vehicle’s tires. 

Tires are integral components of your car, and hence regular maintenance is necessary. Try investing in tire dressers and inflators, which will help in enhancing their durability. Buying accessories like portable compressors will also help in reducing tire sidewall crack. Preventive maintenance is essential for tires. 


Q1: Are Cracked Tires bad?

Ans. Cracks are an indication that your tires are aging. If the cracks are severe and deep, consider replacing your vehicle’s tires. 

Q 2: When are Cracks in Tire Sidewall Unsafe?

Ans. If the cracks in the sidewall grow in length, number or depth, consider replacing the tire. 

Q 3: Is cracking on Tires Normal?

Ans. All tires will depict tread grooves and cracks in the sidewall over time. If you drive regularly, consider inspecting your car’s tires periodically. 

Q 4: What Causes a Tire Sidewall to Split?

Ans. A tire sidewall can split due to exposure to UV rays and chemicals. Specific types of oils can degrade the sidewalls. 

Q 5: Can you drive on a Tire with Sidewall Damage?

Ans. Sidewall damage in the tire can affect your vehicle’s handling severely. The sidewalls of the tires are more sensitive than the tread. Sidewall damage can also cause blowouts. 

Q 6: Is it Necessary to replace a Tire with Sidewall Damage?

Ans. If the sidewall damage is severe, you should always consider replacing the tire. Moreover, if the damage exposes the cords or threads, opt for replacement at the earliest.

Q 7: How to repair Tire Sidewall Cracking?

Ans. Note that only professionals should execute tire sidewall cracking repairs. If there are cracks in the sidewall, take your car to a certified workshop.  

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