When Cracks in Tire are Treading Unsafe | Get the Best Solution

I was driving home from work one night when my tire started to make a weird noise. I pulled over and found that there was a huge crack in it. I didn’t have time to get a new tire, so I drove the rest of the way home on the rim. It was a risky decision; because treading on the tire is unsafe. Crack causes and safety from them are known for every driver necessary.

So, The article will discuss when cracks in tire are treading unsafe and how to identify them.

What Causes Tire Sidewall Cracking?

Ultraviolet (UV) light: Tire sidewall cracking is a common problem caused by several factors. The main culprit is ultraviolet (UV) light, which can cause the rubber to deteriorate over time. It is especially true for tires that are exposed to sunlight regularly.

The UV rays penetrate the tire’s surface and break down the chemical structure of the rubber, causing it to become brittle and crack.

Lubricants: A factor that can contribute to tire sidewall cracking is lubricants. Lubricants such as petroleum jelly or silicone-based products can react with the rubber in tires, causing it to deteriorate over time. This reaction weakens the rubber and makes it more susceptible to cracks and other forms of damage.

Chemicals: Chemicals are also known to cause tire sidewall cracking—the chemicals used in tire manufacturing. Chemicals like antiozonants and antioxidants are added to the rubber during production to increase its lifespan and durability. These chemicals can cause sidewall cracking if they’re not balanced correctly or exposed to harsh weather conditions.

When Cracks in Tire are Treading Unsafe

What Causes Tires to Crack in the Tread?

Over time, cracks in the tread can be quite common and unavoidable. These cracks can significantly reduce tire life and damage their structural integrity. As tires age or are not used regularly, they start losing their natural oils from within. This lack of moisture makes them brittle and susceptible to cracking more easily with regular wear and tear on the road.
The main cause of these cracks is dry rot due to heat, sunlight, and air exposure.

See also  How to Keep Snow from Packing in Wheels | Tips from Expert

Frequent tire cracking could be due to improper inflation pressure or overloading a car beyond its weight limits.

What Does Dry Rot Look Like?

Brittleness: It’s important to know what dry rot looks like to ensure you drive safely. When inspecting your tires for dry rot, look for small cracks on the sidewall or tread of your tires that resemble spider webs. These cracks typically start small but can quickly grow if not addressed promptly. 
Sign of dry rot is discoloration; if your tires appear brownish or grayish instead of black, this could be an indication that they are becoming brittle.

Sidewall cracks: Dry rot is a term used to describe the cracking and deterioration of rubber over time due to exposure to elements like heat, sunlight, and moisture. When it comes to tires, dry rot manifests itself in the form of sidewall cracks. It typically starts with hairline cracks, deepening into larger fissures. It is why drivers must regularly inspect their tires for signs of dry rot.

Faded color: The obvious sign of dry rot is faded color. If your tire looks lighter or less vibrant than usual, it could be a sign that the rubber has started to deteriorate.

When Are Cracks in Tire Sidewall Unsafe?

The depth, length, or number of sidewall cracks may increase, and this breakdown can lead to the need to change tires. Such deterioration can weaken the rubber, and a few weaknesses that show as minor cracks can rapidly become far worse.
It affects your safety by putting your tires at high risk of sidewall ruptures. You may also have an issue with the tire should you mount it too soon.

Cracks in the tread portion of the tire demonstrate that the tire’s structural capacity has been compromised, which makes it dangerous to drive on the road.

When Cracks in Tire are Treading Unsafe

When should a cracked tire be replaced?

A cracked tire can be a serious issue, leading to a blowout or other dangerous situations. But when should you replace a cracked tire? Different types of cracks can occur on tires, and not all require immediate replacement. Surface cracks, which are small crack lines on the surface of the rubber, usually only cause concern if they are very deep or cover a large area. 

See also  How to Put a Tire on a Rim | A Full Step-by-Step Guide

If you notice large or deep cracks on your tires’ sidewalls or between treads, your tires have reached their end-of-life and need to be replaced immediately.

How to Prevent Weather-Checked Tires

Do you know what weather-checked tires are? These small cracks appear on your tire’s surface due to exposure to extreme temperatures and UV rays. If you properly care for your tires, they can avoid becoming damaged, which may lead to decreased performance or even a blowout. There are steps that you can take to prevent weather-checked tires. Ensure that your tires are always properly inflated. Underinflated tires tend to flex more, which can cause more heat buildup and increase the likelihood of cracking.

You should also avoid overloading your vehicle as it adds extra strain to the tires and increases friction and wear. Try not to store your car in direct sunlight for prolonged periods,
as this exposes the rubber material of your tire sidewall to more damaging ultraviolet rays.

How to Prevent Weather-Checked Tires

Do you know what weather-checked tires are? These small cracks appear on your tire’s surface due to exposure to extreme temperatures and UV rays. If you properly care for your tires, they can avoid becoming damaged, which may lead to decreased performance or even a blowout. There are steps that you can take to prevent weather-checked tires.

  • Ensure that your tires are always properly inflated. 
  • Underinflated tires tend to flex more, which can cause more heat buildup and increase the likelihood of cracking. 
  • Take care not to leave tires in pools of standing water.
  • You should also avoid overloading your vehicle as it adds extra strain to the tires and increases friction and wear. 
  • When you have finished driving, clear the tires of an obstacle and snow.
  • Try not to store your car in direct sunlight for prolonged periods, as this exposes the rubber material of your tire sidewall to more damaging ultraviolet rays.
  • Pay attention to the expiration date in your owner’s tire manual. You may need to change your tires during this period.
When Cracks in Tire are Treading Unsafe

Can Cracked Tires Pass Inspection Tests?

When it comes time for your vehicle’s annual inspection, you may wonder if cracks in your tires will cause them to fail the test. After all, a damaged tire can be dangerous to drive on and compromise the safety of everyone in the car. 
Whether or not a cracked tire will pass inspection depends on the severity and location of the crack.

  • It’s important to note that each state has requirements for what constitutes a “passing” tire. Some states are more lenient than others regarding minor cracks in tires. 
  • If the crack is less than one inch long and does not expose any cords or fabric within the tire’s structure, it may still pass inspection.
  • If multiple cracks exceed one inch in length, you may need to replace your tires before passing an inspection test.
See also  How to Let the Air Out of the Tire Without Gauge | 8 Amazing Steps to Follow

Bottom Lines

Knowing the dangers posed by tread cracks in your tires is important. Taking the necessary precautions can prevent a potentially dangerous situation from arising. What will we do, as we see in the upper lines of the article about When Cracks in Tire are Treading Unsafe? 
If you notice any tread cracks in your tires, be sure to bring them to your attention as soon as possible so that you can take the appropriate precautions.

When Cracks in Tire are Treading Unsafe

FAQs

My tires have a lot of small cracks. Is it still safe to drive?

If your tires have a few small cracks, driving is still safe. If your tires have large cracks, you should not drive because they could burst and cause a crash.

How safe are ‘sun-checked’ car tires that still have lots of treads?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as it largely depends on the tire manufacturer’s warranty policy and how long the tread has been on the tire.
If a tire has less than 50% of its original tread remaining, it is considered “sun-checked” and may not be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.