If you notice a crack on one of your tires, it means that it needs to be fixed immediately. They are an annoyance since they jeopardize your safety as well as the health of your tires. Therefore, you need to know how to fix cracked tires affordably using tools or items that are readily available.
Cracked tires can lead to further deterioration and ultimately result in blow-outs or easy punctures. Cheap rubber and poor maintenance are the most common culprits behind cracked tires. You can fix these using a sealant or a tire protectant.
To continue learning more on this subject, read the article below! Apart from learning how to prevent cracked tires, you will also get to know how to analyse signs of cracked tires and different methods of fixing the cracks by yourself.
What Do Cracked Tires Mean
Cracked tires, also known as dry rot, are noticeable gaps on the sidewall of the tire. They are mostly created by the breakdown of the rubber substance that the tire comes in contact with during the drive.
The materials that are used to generate the tires have become more resilient over time. They have also become less costly as a result of progress in technology and research.
However, these compounds are still susceptible to deterioration and frequently exhibit visible cracks. Due to cracked tires being subjected to extreme temperatures, it will start to negatively affect the way a car moves. Ultimately, it puts their safety at risk.
What Signs Do Cracked Tires Have
Sidewall Cracks: The most obvious and evident signs of dry rot are the sidewall cracks that could be on either side of the tires. By determining how much sidewall damage there is and the type of the damage, you can observe if tires have cracked.
Flaking Surface: A common sign of flaking surface is when tiny rubber flakes fall off the sidewall’s surface, giving it the appearance of chapped lips.
Brittle Rubber: You can tell if the surface of the tire is brittle when you feel dry and have delicate sensation while placing your hands on the tire. This is because the antioxidants and oils that shelter the rubber parts have worn out.
What Causes Tires To Crack
Finding out what causes a cracked tire and preventing it from developing is a good approach to follow.. The circumstances that can contribute to tire cracking are listed below.
1. Car Unused For Long
The tires produce compounds like oils and some antioxidants that maintain it and keep it in excellent shape. The proper distribution of the compounds that make up tires is ensured by giving them a good run over time.
The compounds will start to evaporate or leak into the ground if the tire has not been moved. This will eliminate the tire’s preservative effects and result in cracks eventually.
2. Rubber Aging
It is important to know that a tire’s lifespan is short and begins the instant it leaves the factory. Similar to other materials, a noticeable sign of aging is that the natural and synthetic properties of tire’s rubber will start to deteriorate. This will eventually produce cracked tires.
When a person purchases a new set of tires, it is essential to always carefully read the date of manufacture.
3. Poor Quality Material
Due to lower upfront expenditures, people frequently purchase cheaper tires in order to save money. Even though it appears identical from the external surface, you would eventually spend more because it is not definite that these would last as long as robust ones do.
The materials do not always assure that it can endure wear and tear like standard tires. In fact, they are prone to getting damaged quickly and having cracks on the surface is quite common.
4. Poor Maintenance
The oil and fluid changes of the vehicle are just one part of the standard maintenance visits. You might also want to think about having a reliable mechanic examine the tires on a regular basis to maintain and keep them in great shape.
Additionally, you should always ensure that the tires are inflated as per the recommended pressure. You will find the sticker with instructions on the inside of the driver’s door.
Tires that are underinflated cause a lot of damage since they produce more heat and cracking due to friction between the tires and the road. At the same time, there are solid reasons why you should not fill your tires to maximum PSI as it can be damaging as well.
Tires that are overinflated can also cause cracked tires because they add too much pressure on the walls. This causes them to protrude and eventually tear or crack.
5. Effect of Temperature and Humidity
The tire’s lifespan and longevity is significantly impacted by drastic temperatures. Tire cracks can be caused by the chemical bonds within the rubber compounds being fragmented by sweltering summer heat and its damaging UV rays.
Conversely, freezing temperatures also lead to cracking because it dries out the tire, making it more firm and inflexible.
How Can You Fix Cracked Tires
Method 1: Use a sealant
Sealant is a material that is used to fill in unwanted holes and punctures on a tire. The materials needed to fix up cracks will be a tire sealant, a pressure gauge and a tire inflator. An air compressor will also do.
Step 1: Allow the tires to cool down especially during a recent drive. This is because tires tend to overheat due to traction between the tires and the surface of the road.
Step 2: Remove and observe the tires. Fixed tires on the vehicle are difficult to work with since there might be cracks in places you cannot see. This is especially the case when cracks are on the sidewall. Therefore, your car should be jacked up in order for the removal of your tires.
Step 3: Prepare to place the sealant within the tire’s inner parts. You can use as much sealant as you want since it depends how small or large the cracks are. For smaller cracks, insert a nozzle into the valve system. Inject the sealant by squeezing.
Step 4: With the tire inflator or compressor, inflate your tires again. Remember to keep the pressure value in mind. Use a pressure gauge in this case to help with that.
Step 5: Once everything is done mentioned above, fit your tires back into your vehicle. If you wish to test if the sealant had worked then go for a drive test. The sealant will also strengthen when the tires are rolling to prevent further cracks from happening.
Method 2: Tire Protectant
Tire protectants usually help provide defense for the outer regions of the tire. It is meant to strengthen the material of rubber on the tire’s surface. The materials needed for this method will be a sponge, water, de-greaser and a tire protectant.
Step 1: Same as mentioned above, allow your tires to cool down after a drive. Do not work with that tires that are overheated
Step 2: Observe the cracks in the tire by removing the whole tire from the vehicle.
Step 3: Apply small dabs of the degreaser on the sponge and spread it around the tire. Make sure that it is covering the whole surface of the tire. Focus on the areas that are mainly cracked.
Step 4: Let the degreaser stay on the tire for some time. After that, wash out the filth from the tire with water. Make sure that the surface is spotless and leave them out for an air-dry.
Step 5: Lastly, install the protectant on all parts of the tire even if you do not see visible cracks. Leave the protectant on for an hour and after its curing, you can install the tires into your vehicle.
How To Prevent Cracked Tires In Future
Avoid buying tires that are cheap and made from bad quality materials. Cheaper tires may be cost effective at first but the more you use them for driving the more you will find problems.
These problems include frequent wear and tears and other damages. At times, these damages cannot be repaired therefore they are replaced more often. This means you will be spending more money on buying tires in the long run.
Try to follow basic maintenance trials so that your tire can be in good shape. If you have protectants available then make sure to place those to further provide protection for your tires.
After some months pass, try to schedule an appointment with a hardware store or an auto repair shop. Their professionals can target deeper problems within your tire. Make sure to make this a routine. Booking an appointment at Costco can help you in this regard.
In addition, you must regularly drive your car. If your car is stationary for longer periods of time, your tires will lack the rotation that requires them to be smooth. Try to keep your tires constantly rolling as this will avoid future cracks within your vehicle.
If you cannot find the time to drive constantly then remove your tires and pack them in a safe place. This way your tires will not suffer unnecessary exertion due to the pressure.
Over time, tires can be subjected to damages such as cracks when they are not properly maintained. They are more prone to problems such as punctures and other wear and tears.
However there are ways to properly maintain your tires. If you use methods like sealants, protectants or even an appointment with an auto repair shop, your tires will be functional to use.
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