Common causes and prevention of dry rot (little cracks) in car tires


Posted by: Oluwaseun Solomon

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Have you ever noticed some sort of little cracks forming all over your car tires? They are called dry rot. Check out the causes and tips to prevent it here!

We have featured quite a number of articles here on that comprises lots of tips to buy and maintain car tires in Nigeria.

Car tires are with no doubt among the most sensitive parts in a car. They are always subjected to harsh impact from the road surfaces and the environmental temperature. It is not strange to sometimes notice that small cracks are forming along the sidewalls and treads of your car tires. You shouldn’t confuse these cracks with that of worn out tires as they aren’t the same in any way.

Normally, as one drives a car frequently, the treads on the car tires eventually get faded and even lose their texture with time. But the little cracks which we are talking about here are the ones which usually forms all around the car tires itself, that’s what is called dry rot in car tire.

It should be noted that a vehicle’s tires don’t get this dry rot from driving the car too much rather it is the opposite of the case. See the common cause of this dry rot below;

1. Five common causes of dry rot in car tires

In the simplest terms, dry rot is a situation whereby a tire’s rubber starts diminishing or breaking down. Age is a factor that plays a big role in this dry rot issue, but some other bigger factors can’t be ignored as well. Below are some 5 common causes of dry rot in car tires;


Dry rot is little cracks that usually form along the sidewalls and treads of an affected car tire

  •  Hot temperatures

A continually hot temperature will definitely cause dry rot to car tires. People usually leave their cars in a hot garage are the most common example to likely experience this.

During the hot summer periods, the temperatures in most of the garages can get as high as 100 degrees in there. If you are the type that likes to store your vehicle in a garage that is prone to hot temperatures like this, be prepared to suddenly find dry rots forming on your car tires.

  • Cold temperatures

The exact opposite of number 1 above, extremely cold weather or temperatures can also make dry rot to form on your car tires. This means that people who reside in the icy and snowy regions of the world might have to forcefully deal with dry rot whether they like it or not.

Although, we need to re-emphasize that the temperature has to get really cold for dry rots to occur and not all cold temperatures could cause it. Also, if you normally drive your car in lower temperature areas for the most parts of the year, then you will observe that your car tires wear down quickly and also dry rot usually forms on the tires too.

>>> Even your spare tires may get the same problems: Common problem with the spare tires in cars & how to fix it

  • Low pressure in tires

Many car owners and drivers easily overlook the tire pressure when they are supposed to always keep it at the manufacturer’s recommended level.

If you barely checks the tire pressure level of your car tires to top it up especially when it’s low, you are risking the chances of driving often on tires with low pressure which is generally bad. Apart from all other consequences, such tires are at the risk of developing dry rot all over. So, always try to gauge your car tires and fill it up when the pressure is low to enjoy a smooth ride and avoid costly consequences.

  • Stagnation

Are you the type that drives your car frequently?

Some people own cars that they do not drive much often. It could be a luxury car or just a second car that they seldom drive to special occasions. Unfortunately, not driving a car regularly attracts many negative side-effects to such vehicle. Apart from possible internal problems that could occur to such a seldom driven vehicle, much of stagnation can also cause dry rot to the tires of such a car.

  • Sunlight

Natural sunlight is really good for plants but not that good for car tires. Just as we all know that the sun gets really hot in some parts of Nigeria like the Northern states, parking a car outside for a longer period of time in these areas will surely cause dry rot to car tires.

Also, it should be noted that when direct sunlight is hitting a vehicle’s tires all day, it is detrimental to such tires as they will be deteriorating at a faster rate. This is even more typical with ageing tires that are already old and wearing out initially.

Tire Dry Rot: Prevention, Preservation, and Protection

>>> Tire rotation is a significance maintenance tip you must know: What's the basic rule in rotating your car tyres?

2. Three tips to prevent dry rot in car tires

Some people already have the mind that by driving their cars regularly and maintaining the recommended tire pressures, the tires are automatically safe. These actions are obviously good for your car tires but not enough to prevent dry rot from occurring to your tires. You should take some precautionary measures to help protect your car tires and to enable them last longer.

Below we have listed and explained some three useful tips you can apply to prevent dry rot in your car tires. Here they are:

  • Avoid parking under direct sunlight always

You should either totally avoid parking under direct sunlight by parking your vehicle in a garage with cool temperature or if you have to park the car outside for longer period, then get a complete cover for the car. Whatever cover you are choosing must be covering not just the body of the car but also the tires as well.

  • Clean the tires and maintain proper tire pressure

You should regularly check your car tire pressure and fill it up when low or reduce it to normal when too high.


Cleaning car tires by washing with water and soap at least once a month also help prevent dry rot

And at least once in a month, you should use soap and water to clean your car tires. Debris and dirt are in no way favourable to car tires so, they need to be removed from the tire to avoid diminishing them unnecessarily.

  • Tire dressing is important

If you notice that the dry rot on your car tires is still new with only a few small cracks visible, you might have the chance to salvage the tires before things get worse and the dry rot covers the entire tire.

You can seek how to properly apply water-based tire dressing formula to seal those small cracks up or you can inquire about some tire dressing products that offers UV resistance/protection as well. They might even be a better option than covering the tires under direct sunlight.

3. Conclusion

We hope that this article has delivered all you need to know to avoid dry rot in your car tires. Once you keep all these little simple things in mind, you will surely enjoy your car tires in Nigeria no matter the weather change.

>>> Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out our other useful car maintenance tips and advice. Goodluck!

Oluwaseun Solomon
Oluwaseun Solomon

Oluwaseun Solomon

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Oluwaseun Solomon is a prolific and diligent automobile writer at He's also an experienced digital marketer and a creative multimedia developer that specializes in video editing. He currently contributes informative and easy to read articles on topics covering transportation, traffic updates, auto industry updates, and different car reviews.
When Solomon is not writing, you will either find him composing music, editing videos or simply enjoying YouTube "TEDx Talk" videos with a chilled drink :)

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