What causes tire sidewall cracks?

Tire cracking

If you are an automobile enthusiast, then I am pretty sure that many of you keep a proper check on our vehicles. Just like any other machines, our vehicles wore out too as they get old, and if we don’t keep a proper check than unfortunately, you have to invest more in your car. Now let’s take a look at our vehicle’s one of the most important parts its tires. As years go by, if you look closely at the tires of your vehicles, you’ll see the tiny cracks on the sidewall of your tires. This may let you conclude that it’s now the time to replace the tires of your vehicle immediately. However, if you are bit patient and have a little bit knowledge about tires then replacing the tires just because of the tiny cracks may not be the last option, there are still many alternatives yet.

Before you opt to do anything regarding your tires, first you need to find the reason for the tiny cracks and make sure if you have to worry about replacing a tire or not.

Read Also: 6 benefits of using summer tires in your car

Dry Rot” is a process by which the tires rot over time. This degrading of tires is the ultimate end of a tire, and one can do nothing about it. The biggest reason for this “Dry rot” is the Sun. The UV rays from the sun make the rubber of the tire flexible and causing the cracks at the surface of the tire. UV rays do this by drying out the chemicals and oils in the tires which are necessary for the softness and grippy nature of the tire and over the course of time, tiny cracks start to appear on the tires. However, some tire manufacturing companies like “General Tires” add anti-aging chemicals in the rubber to prolong the life of the tires, but still, your vehicles’ tires have to degrade no matter what strategy you opt.

There are different types of cracks, and one such is “weathering or the ozone cracking,” these are the cracks which are mostly either on the sidewall or are at the base of the tread grooves. The danger level of these cracks depends on many factors, for example, if the cracks are deep they are a serious threat however one on the surface could not be that dangerous.

One can easily see with naked eyes if these cracks are a real threat or are they simply superficial. The road, the weather, and your other driving conditions matter a lot as well. For example DO NOT ignore the cracks on the tires if you are driving in scorching heat or under extreme load, for these cracks in this condition may lead to a tire failure or even in extreme cases an accident as well. Therefore, you need to keep a check, and you surely don’t want a tire failure in the mid of nowhere, but, if you are driving in the normal condition of a city, then these cracks don’t need much of a concern.


It is normal for tires to crack over the time and all you need is to replace them since the old one has done their job.  These cracks over the time can give you the idea that your vehicles’ tires are getting old so it’s up to you that whether you want to replace the tires or can use them for a little longer. But if your tires let’s say are 6-7 years old, and cracks are there on it for two years then it’s better to replace them instead of using them for in this case it’s the best choice.

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