How to Tell if Tires are Rotted

Have you ever steered a car that has dry-rotted tires? I’m pretty sure that you were frustrated and scared while driving it, right? In your case, have you driven vehicles that you had no sooner driven a few kilometers before it began to skid, leak, and lose control? If you are in that category, then you have driven a dry-rotted tire. There are lots of dangers attached to driving with a dry-rotted tire. Although some drivers know this, the population of drivers who cannot identify dry-rotted tires are numerous.

The question that comes to mind is that, what is a dry-rotted tire? To identify a dry-rotted tire, there are some signs which shows when a tire is dry rot: the tire begins to show cracks on the thread, it may also show cracks on the sidewall, the tire also becomes brittle because dry-rot dries out tires, the color of the tire may even start to become faded. Are you still doubting that dry-rotted tires exist? Here are some pictures of dry rotted tires.

Tires are Rotted

You’ve seen how terrible and annoying, right? This is just how dry-rot tires look.
I’m sure that at this time, you’re quizzing yourself that, what causes dry-rot in tires? Many things could contribute to dry-rot in tires. These things are;

Tires are Rotted1

1. Age- 

Usage of tires over time can cause the tire to begin to have dry-rot; research has shown that tires can rot even without being used, i.e., they can rot even on the shelf due to exposure to certain elements. The inner lining of tires can also be said to rot with age because of the effect of oxidation by the air-filled into the tire. Overuse of tires can easily cause dry-rot.

2. Ultraviolet Light-

There is a variant of radioactivity in Sunlight called the Infrared or UV emissions. These radiations can cause degradation in the tires because it is made of rubber through a procedure named photodegradation. The primary cause of this isn’t the usual exposure to the sun but leaving your car in terrible heat conditions for long periods.

3. Ozone and oxygen

Oxygen has been known to destroy tires by contravention of the carbon and sulfur bonds in neoprene fragments, and it also produces loss of shines and lubricants, which are meant to protect the exterior of the tire. Ozone is a variant of gas made up of atoms of oxygen. It disrupts the chemical bonds in rubber through a procedure named ozonolysis, which causes the breakage of the tire.

4. Not enough inflation/air in your tires can also cause dry-rotted tires.

Furthermore, we would look into how dry-rot affects your tires, dry-rots make your tire wear out faster, they cause leaks in your tires, they could also cause your tire breaking out with could cause accidents. Dry-rots can also create holes in your tires, which would make them get deflated more often.

Basic Tire Repair Tools

Basic Tire Repair Tools

1) Pliers: 

It is a hand tool that is used in pulling, cutting, or holding objects firmly.

2) T-handle Insert Tool

They are used for securing the plug into the tire and also used to clean the holes.

3) Tire plugs 

They are used for sealing the damaged sides of the tires. It is, therefore, important that every driver should have extra plugs in their cars always.

4) Rubber Cement

It is a type of glue that is made from mixing latex in a solution, which can be, toluene, hexane, heptane, or acetone. It is used to seal the tire plug into the leaking place.

5) Tire Inflator 

It is one of the vital tire repair tools. It can be an air compressor or a portable device that helps to pump air into tires after the repair is complete.

6) Car Jack

It is used for lifting a side of the car; it is almost impossible to repair the tire without removing it, thereby making a car jack a necessity.

How to repair your tires?

There are several steps to be taken to repair a tire. These steps are:

(i) Find the leak: Take a very close look at the tire to find where the leak is, then mark the spot when found.

(ii) Unknot the lug nuts and jack the car up: you must loosen the lug nuts with a lug wrench; you have to do this before jacking up the car. After doing this, then you jack the car up to enable you to remove the wheels.

(iii) Eradicate the lug nuts and clean the hole: remove the lug nuts altogether and then pull off the wheel off the wheelbase. After that, use the rasp tool to clean the hole/ the leaking area.

(iv) Insert the plug: lubricate the plug with the glue, do not remove the plug for at least a minute to allow the glue dry. When it's dry, cut out the excess plug from the tire surface

(v) Pump the Tire: fill the tire with air according to the recommended air pressure. Once this is done, you can now return the wheels, remove the car-jack and then tighten the lugs.
The number of years or how old a tire is does not necessarily determine or dictate when it should be changed. Once there are signs of dry-rotting, it should be replaced or repaired, and when the tires are at least three years old, this also depends on how frequently the car is being used.

Tires should last at least three years or more before dry-rotting and cracking occur. Also, this depends on the management of the car tires, how often the car is being driven, and the distance which the car covers per time.

Are Your Tires Rotting? Dangerous Dry Rot And How To Avoid It Explained

How to Tell if Tires are Rotted FAQs

When should one replace one’s tires?Usually, when one’s tires attain the age of two years, they should be changed. However, at most, when they are three years old, they should be changed. This should be done to avert skidding and accidents in general

How do I learn how to replace tires?

Learning to replace is quite easy. You can either learn it from someone that knows how to replace tires or a vulcanizer.

My tires rot quickly; how do I prevent this?

In this case, it could be that you do not maintain your tires very well. If you want your tires to stand the test of time, do not expose them to harmful chemicals, ultraviolet rays, among other things.

I’m not sure about how to locate dry-tire rots. How do I detect it?

Locating a dry-tire rot is quite easy. First, you’ll notice that it will start with a little, sometimes unnoticeable crack. Afterward, it will widen. Once you see this, change the tire immediately

In case a dry-rot tire causes an accident, can I sue the manufacturers?

Yes, you can. However, you can only do this if you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the tire faulted by the manufacturers, making it develop dry-rot quickly, thereby causing the accident.

How to Stop a Tire from Leaking Around The Rim

Final words and recommendations

After examining the essentials of dry rotted tires, the need to change tires regularly among other things, it is essential and necessary that drivers should check their car tires for dry-rots and be proactive to change them immediately. Also, one should hesitate one’s the tires begin to have issues before one  or possibly replaces them.

Furthermore, drivers should have the necessary equipment for replacing car tires when the necessity arises. Every driver must learn the basics of replacing tires in case of an emergency. It cannot be overemphasized that proper care of one’s tires cannot be substituted. Remember, prevention is better than cure!

David V. Williamson

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