4 Ways to Prevent Tire Dry Rot

Dry rot is often a sign of a tire that's seen better days. Although it's more common in older tires, it can also occur in relatively new rubber under certain circumstances. Fortunately, tire rot can be stopped in its tracks early on as long as the following preventative steps are taken. 

Keep Your Tires Out of Direct Sunlight

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, commonly found in natural sunlight, can do a serious number on your tires. When UV light comes into contact with rubber, it accelerates the natural oxidation process that eventually strips the rubber of its natural elasticity. The end result is a tire that's more prone to crumbling apart if left out in direct sunlight.

If you have your vehicle in long-term outdoor storage, be sure to cover or otherwise shield your wheels and tires from direct sunlight. Otherwise, make a habit of parking in the shade or in enclosed parking areas.

Always Check Your Tire Pressure

Tire pressures can contribute significantly to dry rot. Chronic under-inflation often results in increased heat due to the tire's increased friction. Low tire pressure can also cause the sidewalls to flex and crack while driving.

The best way to avoid the above involves checking your tire pressure on a regular basis. Your tires should be inflated according to your manufacturer's specifications, not the maximum pressure listed on the tire's sidewall. If your vehicle is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), then you should double check the system's verdict by manually testing each tire with a tire pressure gauge.

Use Water-Based Tire Dressing

Certain oils and solvents can actually accelerate tire dry rot instead of preventing it from happening. These include the chemicals commonly found in most tire shine products and some tire cleaning products. Instead of using harmful silicone oil or petrochemical-based tire treatments, you should always seek out water-based products instead.

Use Them or Lose Them

Your tires contain a protective wax that works its way from deep within the tire to its surface. However, this only happens when the tire is actually in use. Without the heat and rotational forces that come from regular use, the protective wax can't break through the surface of the tire. As a result, your tires become more susceptible to dry rot.

Tire dry rot is a problem that many people face when storing a vehicle for long periods of time. Taking your vehicle out for an occasional spin can help preserve your tires. If you're not able to move your vehicle at all, keep the wheels covered, off the ground ,and inflated to the correct pressures, to prevent rot. Talk to a professional at T & F Tire Supply Inc for more tips and get the most out of your tires.