Stop the Tire Dry Rot: Definition, How it looks like, Causes, Prevent, How to Fix?

Have you seen a microscopic spider web along the sidewalls of tires which is appeared recently? If they are lucky it might be made to the tread. It is obvious you are dealing with a tire dry rot.

What is Tire Rot? Definition

Tire Rot Definition

The significance of a vehicle’s tires can easily be demonstrated. A smooth and safe ride is possible only if your vehicle’s sole point of contact with the ground is properly maintained. However, the fault in tires and weakness of the tire increase with the age of the tire significantly.

Tire Rot Basics

When a tire’s rubber compounds decompose, the result is visible breaking in the tread or sidewall. A range of variables, including but not limited to sunlight, low tire pressure, and prolonged inactivity, could be responsible for this evident cracking.

stop tire rot how dry rot looks like causes prevent fix
Stop tire rot how dry rot looks like causes prevent fix

Tire dry rot is not caused by organic growth and cannot spread from one tire to another, unlike dry rot that may affect the wood in your home.

As tires get older or are exposed to damaging substances, terrains, or weather conditions, dry rot can occur, resulting in tire degradation.

How Tire Dry Rot Looks Like

Fortunately, determining whether or not your tires are starting to dry rot is not difficult since there are a variety of symptoms to look for. Tires in good condition have a smooth surface free of cracks, whereas those with dry rot look like elephant skin or cracked leather. Cracks might be wide and apparent or microscopic and veiny, depending on the extent of the dry rot damage. After the discoloring of rubber, the dry rot has evolved to a more advanced level. The following symptoms of tire dry rot will easily determine how tire dry looks like:


Your tires will get dry rotted as a result of dry rot. You may notice that your tires appear and feel more brittle as essential oils drain out of them. It can be seen that small pieces of rubber may even be breaking away from the tire.

Affected regions of the tire will appear harder than normal, with the surface becoming brittle, and touching the affected areas could result in rubber flaking off.

There are cracks in the tread

Small cracks on the outside margins of your tire tread can be caused by advanced dry rot. Even if your tread depth is acceptable overall, these fissures can influence your car’s handling. Cracks in the tread of the tire may emerge as a result of more advanced sidewall deterioration.

A faded color

Dry rot may be forming in your tire if it appears grey rather than black. Cracking and fading can occur together or separately.

Inspect your car’s tires for signs of dry rot annually

Prepare to examine the tires in the early spring or early fall since cold and warm weather can promote dry rot tires.

You should have an expert identify the condition of the tire after you find or see any of these indicators.

Causes of Tire-Dry Rot

Because we were unable to repair the dry rotted tires, you must take steps to reduce the likelihood of fractured ties forming in your tires.

As is true of most products, the rubber components that are used in the construction of a tire undergo natural degradation due to exposure to harsh weather conditions over time. Sidewall weathering in tires can be caused by a variety of factors, which can be divided into four categories:

  • Excessive or prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause tire damage from ultraviolet rays and ozone generated by electrical equipment.
  • Tires that have not been utilized for an extended duration because a vehicle has been stored or because the tires themselves have been stored.
  • Tires have been underinflated, which is especially common when we use our automobiles frequently.
  • Tires kept in close proximity to electric motors, car batteries, generators, welding equipment, or other sources of oxidation 

How to Avoid & Prevent Tire Dry Rot?

By finding the environmental factors that contribute to tire deterioration and cracking, you can limit the rate at which tires deteriorate.

Tires should be replaced as soon as signs of deterioration are noticed so that no further harm is done to the vehicle. To prevent the tire from splitting into various pieces, certain tire dry rot repair and maintenance procedures must be followed to help extend the life of your tires

Protection of tire storage from sunlight in a cool, dry environment

Under the influence of ultraviolet light, the oils and resins that keep tires moist begin to degrade and finally leach out of the tire’s surface. Consequently, tires frequently exposed to direct sunlight are much more prone to succumb to dry rot than tires that are not.

The need of storing your automobile beneath a weatherproof cover while it is in storage was discussed in detail in our guide on preparing a car for long-term storage. If you make sure that the length of this weatherproof cover is sufficient to cover your tires, they should be protected from UV rays and dust, and other foreign objects.

Increased UV light exposure from the sun, particularly in places that are consistently warm, is a crucial cause of premature sidewall weathering.

Mostly, shady places and basements are preferred for car Parking because the sunlight and heat in these places are not direct and intense too much to affect the car.

Tire inspection

Perform regular inspections of your tires to keep track of their general condition.

Look for cracks, discoloration, bulges, wear, or any other unnatural blemishes on the sidewalls and tread of your tires every month.

Cleaning and Keeping Things Safe

Cleaning the surface once a month is the most straightforward method of using a rag and a small amount of mild dish soap. The tire must be cleaned with clean water after being washed with soap and water.

Muddy ire is more susceptible to dry rotting than dry decaying ire. As mud-soaked rainwater evaporates from tire surfaces, it lifts some of the oils that help keep the rubber moist.

Therefore, you should thoroughly wipe any dirt or mud off the surface of your tires before storing your vehicle for an extended period. Warm water and a tiny bit of either hand soap or household detergent are the most effective methods of cleaning tires. It is not necessary to use any specialized tire cleaning chemicals.

Preventing Dangerous Substances and Products

If you plan to use any of the other tire absorbent materials or tire washing products, carefully read the labels and be aware of the many chemicals that may be present on the tire.

Prevent the use of any cleaning products that contain petroleum-based ingredients. Since these compounds may deteriorate the rubber’s weathering agents, causing the rubber to crack prematurely.

Try to keep your tires at a consistent temperature.

Temperatures higher than 68 degrees Fahrenheit and lower than 45 degrees Fahrenheit can accelerate the dry deterioration of tires. In a similar vein, frequent and rapid temperature changes (anything beyond 15 degrees Fahrenheit in a couple of hours) can cause dry rotting by speeding up the evaporation of water from the tire.

If possible, you should store your vehicle in a climate-controlled environment at a slightly lower temperature than typical room temperature (55-59 Fahrenheit is ideal).

Proper Tire Inflation

Even while driving with deflating tires is one of the most frequent causes of tire failure, it is also one of the most easily avoided. Tire tread wear increases when the tires are underinflated, as a result of the reduced air pressure in the tires. As a result of the higher wear, the tire generates an excessive amount of heat, which can cause severe fracturing, part separation, or tire fracture.

Inflate your tires to the right pressure. levels indicated by the vehicle’s manufacturer, and tire inflation pressure should be checked at least once a month to ensure optimal operation. If you notice cracking or sidewall weathering in your tires, maintaining correct tire inflation may become more complex, if not impossible, because air loss may occur via the afflicted areas. To increase tire longevity and maximize tire life, the single most critical thing you can do is to keep your tires at the optimum inflation pressure.

If you are keeping your car for more than three months, remove the tires from it

When tires become dry rotted, it is possible to restore them so that they may be driven on again. The tire can be restored in one condition if the sidewall of the tire is not cracked. Sidewall cracks are more likely to form when a tire is used to support the weight of a stationary vehicle while being kept in storage.

Vehicles that do not have tires can be supported by hydraulic jack stands. If this is no possibility of doing this, it may be worthwhile to purchase a pair of second-hand tires that are less expensive to keep on your car while it is being stored. Just make an effort to limit the amount of time you spend driving on these tires; they are a stopgap measure to prevent harm to your existing tires.

For this reason, if you are keeping your vehicle for more than three months and do not intend to drive the car during this period, it is recommended that you consider removing your tires from the car. In an ideal situation, you would remove the tire from the wheel completely, as even the slightest stretching of the rubber around the tire’s rim can increase the likelihood of fractures developing in the sidewall.

Overloading of tires should be avoided

Tires are created to order to match the specific vehicle. Each tire has a suggested weight limit, which is equal to the car’s actual weight plus whatever additional weight that vehicle may be carrying at any one time.

Overloading is defined as adding weight to a vehicle’s load capacity beyond that vehicle’s load capacity. This will impose an excessive amount of stress on the tires.

“Overloading” refers to putting additional weight on top of the maximum load. Due to overloading an unnecessary strain on tires occurs, which mostly affects the tire. Similarly, it can cause severe tire failure or tire crack.

Parking Assistance for a Longer period

For vehicles such as trailers, vintage cars, and recreational vehicles that will be stored for a lengthy period, you should take the steps outlined below to protect them.

  • If feasible, store the car so that as much weight as possible is removed from the tires (such as on jack stands).
  • Keep away your vehicle from direct sunlight while not in use.
  • Protect the car and tires from unnecessary UV rays by wrapping them in plastic.
  •  Moved your vehicle at least once every three months to ensure that the tire weight was changed.
  • Maintain a clean, dry environment for your car and tires, away from chemicals and extreme temperature changes.

Things You Need to Fix Your Tire Dry Rot

What should you do if you detect fractures in the sidewall of your tires? No one wants to visit their local mechanic until they need new tires. You can attempt to fix it if you have the following materials on hand:

  • oils based on water
  • An environmentally friendly tire degreaser made from water
  • This is a big sponge.
  •  Water hose

Because they are more specialist items, tire protectors and degreasers may be challenging to locate. Obtaining them may necessitate using the internet.

You should use water-based materials to repair your tires rather than solvent-based ones. Though they have advantages and disadvantages, the consensus is that they are gentler on tire rubber compounds, which is ideal since we seek to restore its damage.

How to fix tire dry rot?

Tires become dry rotted when they have been inactive for a long time, have accumulated dirt, have been exposed to blistering sunshine for years, or have been driven continuously with little air pressure.

Tire dry rot treatment can be used to safeguard your tires from this corrosive environment. Let’s see how to fix tire dry rot.

Remove the tires

If the tires have already been removed and stored, you can proceed to the next step for tire dry rot treatment. If the tires are still attached to the vehicle, you must jack it up and remove the tires from the wheels. This is because dry rot can harm both sides of a tire. It will be more challenging to view within the tire wall if the tire is not removed from the car.

Examine Your Tires for Damage

You should inspect your dry-rotted tire before attempting any dry-rot repair. This allows you to identify the most affected regions, allowing you to focus your efforts there. You should be able to say whether the tire is worth saving based on your inspection.

Clean the tire

You must prepare the tire’s surface for the tire protector you purchased. Start by soaking the tire with water, then adding the degreaser and washing away the dirt and grime.

You’ll pour some degreasers into a clean sponge and rub the afflicted tire wall well.

Clean the Tire

Rinse the degreaser off with pure water and a sponge to ensure the degreaser is entirely removed from the tire surface. Continue rubbing the tire until it is free of all water, degreaser, and grime.

Use a tire protector

You can now use the water-based tire protection product to the clean wheel hence the tire is entirely dry. It will contain special instructions for the user, just like the degreaser. Take a few minutes to go through these directions to learn how much and how often you should apply the chemical to your tires to avoid dry rot.

Pour some on the rag and use it to wipe the tire. Make sure you apply the product to the entire tire, not just the problematic area.

Safe replacement of rotted tires

If this is not possible to prevent tire dry rot. Buy high-quality tires when it’s time to replace your outdated ones.

  • According to Popular Mechanic’s recommendation, tires should be replaced every ten years, even if there are no signs of decay.
  • As early as six years after their creation, certain tire makers recommend that tires be replaced. When acquiring new tires, you should choose higher-quality tires over lower-quality tires.
  • The speed rating and tread wear strength are two factors to consider while selecting tires. Make sure you don’t leave your automobile unattended for long periods.
  • A neighbor or a friend can be hired to keep your automobile running while away for an extended period.

Tire-dry rot: Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to drive on dry rotted tires?

No. Any form of the crack should be replaced as soon as feasible. Air can easily escape via fractures in tire rubber due to dry rot. Keeping a tire with dry rot inflated might be tough.

What are the symptoms of tire dry rot?

Your tires may potentially be affected by dry rot. Sun exposure and dry air can impair the tire’s flexibility. Tire fading, paleness, and brittleness may also be visible. All of these symptoms indicate that your tires should not be driven again.

What is the best way to tell whether my tires have dry rot?

If your tires begin to dry rot, you can tell right away. A healthy tire appears smooth and crack-free, whereas a dry rotten tire resembles elephant skin or cracked leather. It is all based on the intensity of your dry rot, these fissures might be broad and apparent or small and discreet.


A vehicle’s tires are easy to ignore, yet their importance cannot be overstated. Keeping an eye on your vehicle’s tires is essential as they’re the only link between it and the earth. Each and every ride will be safe and secure thanks to this. There is a greater chance of developing a fault or weakness in an old tire as it matures. As an illustration, consider dry rot in tires, which is also known as sidewall cracking. Tire dry rot, if left unchecked, can pose a serious threat to your vehicle’s safety.


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