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Why Do Tyres Begin to Crack and Deteriorate?

Tyres are generally exposed to harsh weather conditions throughout their lifetime. As with anything, tyres are subject to wear and tear, from friction and damage to acid rain and snow. Here’s how tyres can begin to deteriorate and eventually crack.

Long Periods In Water

Your tyres can be prone to water damage when they are driven for long periods of time in constant rain. Water can lead to moisture permeating into tyres, which would result in the elasticity of tyres beginning to degrade and crack.

Age Can Decrease Elasticity and Form Cracks

We all know that the longer tyres have been on the road and in contact with the road, the weaker they will become. Older tyres will eventually harden and turn brittle, which would cause a decrease in elasticity and the forming of cracks. 

You may have locked away tyres but this won’t stop them from deteriorating. This is as there is a chemical released when tyres are in motion to deter them from being damaged. Thus, it may be a good idea to take your vehicle out for a spin now and again to prevent any unwanted cracks.

UV Rays Can Dry the Rubber

Ultraviolet rays generally have the same effect as the sun and rain (cold and heat) would on tyres. UV rays can cause the polymers that are found within rubber compounds to dry up and eventually turn brittle, which would cause the sidewall of tyres beginning to crack. 

Rapid Temperature Changes

Extreme temperatures can cause havoc on tyres as when they are exposed to harsh weather conditions, cracking will occur. The polymer compounds that are found within the tyres begin to expand in hot weather and constrict in the cold. This rapid change in temperature will cause the tyres to weaken, subsequently causing cracks to form. 

Tyre Pressure

Cracking can also be caused by underinflation as under pressurised tyres begin to generate a lot of heat. So when a vehicle begins to weigh down on underinflated tyres, the friction is heightened. This is due to the surface of the tyre making more contact with the road. 

Likewise, it is not recommended to drive with over pressurised tyres. This is because driving a vehicle with overinflated tyres can cause swelling to tyre walls, increasing the chances of cracks appearing. Oftentimes, you can check the manufacturers’ guide in your vehicle to find out the psi of your tyres. 

Now that you know what may cause cracking in tyres, be sure to keep tyres inflated at the correct psi and ensure that you aren’t putting them through harsh, dangerous weather conditions to keep them at their optimal performance. 

If your tyres have cracked and you need a brand new set, you can do so on our site here. For more blogs and guides on tyres and tyre maintenance, check out our official blog page.

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