Here’s why Michelin tires crack! (Explained!)

Cracked tires often indicate that the rubber is breaking down. There are several reasons that cause Michelin tires to crack.

why Michelin tires crack

Michelin tires crack naturally when exposed to UV light, harsh chemicals, oils, and elements that break them down. As a result, they reduce the tire’s flexibility over time. It is important to take any tear or cracks seriously and get new tires or have the cracked tires fixed.

I realized that the old Michelin tires on my car were developing a tire sidewall cracking. I assumed it the first time and attributed it to wear and tear or normal tire cracking that happens to all Michelin tires when exposed to direct sunlight. I knew other elements like chemicals and UV light could slowly break the wheels, but my friend insisted on seeing a mechanic, which is where we did and learned a lot about tires.

Why do Michelin Tires Crack? – Understanding the Reason behind the Tire Sidewall Cracking

Why do Michelin tires crack, and what can you do about it? This is a common question you are likely to ask yourself once you notice signs of cracked sidewalls on your tires. The same concern comes up when considering replacing tires or when the tires age and are irreparable.

Weather cracking is common in tires that are several years old. Tire rubber is affected by sunlight. Even the best tires get affected by this, no matter how long the warranty is. 

Note that the Michelin tires undergo a natural degradation responsible for the sidewall cracks. It starts with small cracks; mostly weather cracked tires which are the early warning signs for tire degradation. Even without using harmful products on the tires, the time and periods of use lead to cracking.

7 Reasons Why Michelin Tires Are So Expensive (Are They Worth It?)

This explains why the different tire manufacturers today have enhanced technologies to help prolong the tires’ lifespan. Most of them include a few additives that help make the tires stronger. Most of the newly-developed tires can withstand excessive heat for their front tires as well as the back tires.

You do not have to invest in tire covers to help keep Michelin and different brand tires in top shape. The new technologies and additives in these tires help with the tire’s flexibility, meaning they will serve you longer before developing a crack.

Typically, the lack of flexibility causes the sidewalls of your car tire to develop cracks. A tire sidewall should otherwise be in good shape as they help protect the tire’s cord piles and feature tire markings. They also show the information and markings, including the tire type and tire size.

The effect of different materials, including chemicals, sun exposure, and age, lead to possible sidewall dry rot, which is not a good sign. It compromises the tire’s integrity and can even cause poor tire pressure and other issues that will force you to replace the tire. Know when to have the tires replaced since a sidewall expands and, if ignored, ends up breaking open and rendering the wheel useless.

Recommended Reading:
7 Reasons Why Michelin Tires Are So Expensive (Are They Worth It?)

Causes of Michelin Tires Tread Cracking

Sidewall tire cracks may be more common and expected since they are practically unavoidable, but there is a more urgent type of tire crack. This has to be the tread cracks that happen on the outer part of the tires, moving from the sidewall to the tread.

A tire tread often shows the presence of a dry rot below the tread that could potentially lead to the wheel being blown off completely. In such cases, you should react quickly and have the vehicle checked before it loses control on the road.

Take the vehicle to a garage, where the treads will be examined immediately. Chances are that there is a structural issue that could endanger the life of the driver and road users. Do not rely on tire manufacturers warranties and guarantees at this point; anything could happen.

The tire expert will determine the next course of action, which may include getting a new set of tires as a replacement for the busted ones. 

Can Improper Storage of New Tires Lead to Rot Tires?

The dry rot of tires gets worse when the tires are stored in extreme heat. Most parts of the vehicle are made from natural materials, meaning they disintegrate under extreme conditions. You may end up with a case of dry rot if the tire is stored near the following:

  • Welding items
  • Battery chargers
  • Generators
  • Engines/electric motors
  • Varied ozone-producing equipment

How Air Pressure Can Affect the Cracks on Tires

 Whenever your car tires do not have enough pressure, they tend to have more friction with the road. As a result, they begin splitting/ cracking and eventually dry rot.

How to Identify Dry Rot

Most minor cracks will not be easy to see. However, if you suspect your tires could be cracking, you must carefully scrutinize them. If the cracks are large and visible, and you are not sure about the extent of the damage, then get a professional involved.

In most cases, you will notice that the tire discolors. It could also cause cracks that run parallel to the tread pattern. Additionally, the surface of the tire will be brittle and easy to break off. 

You can notice when a tire rot develops if the tire discolors from pitch-black to fade. Ordinarily, the tire should be pitch black when it is new or in good condition and only turn color when something is off.  In case of cracks, the tires turn to an unappealing gray color.

 When dry rot spreads, some crack lines develop. These lines will be parallel to the tread patterns. Usually, this is an ugly sight.

Some cracks may also appear to be going along the sidewall of the tire. This crack could spread to reach a larger surface of the tire area.

Another sign that shows the tire cracking is when the rubber seems to fall off easily. When you buy new tires, they appear solid and strong. However, when dry rot happens, the tires become brittle and become overly hard. With time they became fragile, and the rubber began falling off.

Recommended Reading: Here’s what the Michelin tire warranty covers

When are Cracks in Michelin Tire Sidewall Considered Unsafe?

Dry rot tires are a danger as they could mean putting life at risk. While many develop due to exposure to elements when the cars are in use or when you park them, it is best to repair dry rot tires immediately after they show signs of existence. In cases where the cracks are too large, replacement is the only choice.

Usually, sidewall cracks are insignificant and do nothing to cause alarm. They are barely visible and indicate no safety risks. However, if they deepen and increase in length and number, you need to buy Michelin tires to replace the old ones. The small visible crack will eventually become huge and can cause the tire to blow out.

If the crack is visible on the tread, do not attempt to fix it yourself. It’s best to have professionals check such vehicles. Most cars will not showcase the right integrity to be used on roads with cracks.

Can you Prevent Weather Checked Tires?

Weather checking/ cracking is preventable. However, this can only happen if you protect the tires from weather elements as often as possible. This means shielding them from sunlight, salt, water, and other aspects that degrade the tire rubber. Fortunately, there are a few tricks to help prevent your tires from cracking, and these include:

  • Keeping cars away from direct sunlight and storing them in the garage can help prevent excessive heat and sunlight exposure.
  • Never letting tires stand in water for too long. The water could cause the tires to lose their flexibility after some time.
  • Ensuring the tires are properly inflated to prevent putting unnecessary strain on the rubber. Also, note that underinflated tires lose their flexibility and crack, so you should pump enough air into the tires at any given time.
  • Always clean mud and snow from tires to prevent salt accumulation.
  • Apply protective resin on the tires to improve performance on wet surfaces
  • Please make sure the tires are in service date so that you can tell when to replace them

How Long do Dry Rots Last?

Dry rot tires can only last a maximum of 5 to 10 years, regardless of how long the warranty is. It’s always advisable to know the manufacturer’s guide on tire longevity. This means you need to check the information on the sidewall of the tire.

Key Takeaways

  • Michelin tires crack when exposed to harsh weather elements
  • Excess heat can cause the rubber to become brittle and fall off
  • Proper storage of Michelin tires is crucial to a long lifespan
  • Large cracks on tires should never be ignored lest they become major issues.
  • Store your vehicle in the garage to minimize exposure to weather elements