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Having good tires is critical for safety while on the road. However, tires do develop small cracks over time. So, are small cracks in tires bad?

The quick answer to that question is not necessarily. However, like all small issues, they can snowball into something serious if not taken care of immediately. You can get your tires repaired to get rid of the cracks and ensure that your wheels last you for as long as possible. 

Like all other things made with rubber, car tires also tend to show signs of wear and tear in the form of small cracks and scrapes over time. But that's not always a reason for concern.

As people who have owned multiple vehicles through the years and have dealt with such questions in the past, here you are going to find the answer to this important question. So, have a seat because we will clear any misconceptions you may have about your car tires.

Table of Contents

Causes of Tire Cracks

It's important to remember that tires have a shelf life. The tires you buy (or those that have come with the car) are only good for a certain amount of time until the chemicals degrade to the point where they stop working. The good news is that, under normal conditions, your car tires should last roughly between five to seven years in good conditions and if well maintained.

However, as tires age, they will begin to dry rot as they become older, and this is where cracks will emerge on the surface. It'll only be a matter of time until you see them on your tires. That being said, the severity of the cracks will determine whether or not you should be concerned.

Also, if the tires on your car are relatively new, and the cracks on the surface of the tires are shallow and difficult to spot, there isn't much need for you to be concerned. However, it does indicate that the tires are getting older, but in the beginning stages, it will be more of an aesthetics issue than a functional one.

That being said, if the tire cracks are deep, extensive and widespread, the tires should be replaced immediately since that's a clear sign that the tire has become fragile. Furthermore, once the tread blocks begin to come apart, it could also cause a safety issue.

Causes of Tire Wear and Tear

Dry rot and the environment aren't the only reasons for the wear and tear of car tires. Chemicals are also dangerous since they might begin to degrade the tire's compounds. This is the reason why you should get your tired cleaned on a regular basis. Cracking can also be caused by mistreating and neglecting tires. Cracking in the tread region of the tire can also be caused by incorrect inflation, overloading the tires, and harsh driving.

All of these symptoms indicate that you should alter your tire pressure and driving habits before major harm occurs.

Contrary to popular belief, not using your car for long periods of time does not save the car tires from damage. In fact, that could be the reason for a tire's wear and tear. In other words, your car tires will not last if you leave your car parked for months at a time. Long-term inactivity is a direct cause of dry rot in car tires.

This is mainly because useful chemicals like oils and antioxidants cannot be distributed within the tire without it moving. As a result, they either evaporate or soak into the concrete instead.

Poor quality is another reason why small cracks may appear on your car's tires. For some folks, purchasing OEM units may be challenging and beyond their budget. This means that folks oftentimes have to make do with less expensive tire sets that are also more often than not sub-par in terms of quality. If that's the case, be cautious when buying car tires. The good news is, thanks to the many tire brands available in the market today, it is possible to save money without sacrificing quality.

Also, be aware of internet distributors that offer units for a fraction of the price of reputable brands because many fake products are circulating in the tire market as well.

Ozone is another reason for the wear and tear of tires that people do not often think of. Ozone is a pollutant at ground level that's found in the form of air purifiers, aerosol sprays and electronic appliances and is a health hazard. It affects not only humans and plants but also inanimate objects as well – and rubber is one of them.

Are Small Tire Cracks a Danger?

Cracking in the tires must be taken seriously, no matter what the size. It's connected to poor tire maintenance. The good news is that there are certain things you can do to slow down the process of cracks developing in your car tires.

If the cracking is severe, you should replace the tires. It's a warning that the compound isn't working properly if it's located across the tire's surface and extends deep into the surface, and it's time to replace them for your safety.

If the cracks are minor, you don't need to replace the tires, but as the tires come close to the end of their useful life, it's definitely time to start thinking about a replacement set.

Repairing Cracked Tires

Yes, cracked car tires may be repaired, but that depends on the severity of the cracks. Fillers are available on the market that make it simple to repair small cracks in a tire's sidewall. It's important to note that this is only a cosmetic remedy that will not reverse the effects of dry rot in a car tire. This procedure should also be avoided for tires with significant cracking since it effectively masks the tire's unsafe condition, creating serious problems when driving further down the road.

If you identify the dry rot during the early stages and fix it, you should be fine. This is assuming that there are no additional hidden issues in the car's tires. However, dry rot or worn out treads should probably be the least of your concerns if you've had the tires on for more than six to eight years.

Are Small Cracks In Tires Bad?

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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