2 Tips for Identifying Dry Rot in Car Tires

A man points to dry rot on a tire.

If you suspect that your vehicle's tires have fallen victim to dry rot, it's important to familiarize yourself with the telltale signs. Dry rot is decaying wood. It is caused by a fungus that eats the wood.

1. Thoroughly Inspect Your Sidewalls

One of the best ways to identify dry rot on tires is to give the sidewalls a good once-over. If you come across a series of cracks, whether large or small, you may be dealing with dry rot. Lone cracks are not necessarily an indication of dry rot, unless the crack is exceptionally deep. Should you notice any discoloration while inspecting the sidewalls, particularly if it is located in the immediate vicinity of any cracks, you most likely have a case of dry rotted tires on your hands, and they need to be replaced before they blow out while the vehicle is moving in traffic.

2. Check Your Treads for Irregularities

Discrepancies in your tire treads are another indication that rot has developed. In much the same fashion as your sidewall inspection, take care to check your treads for any deep cracks or discoloration. Any large cracks in your tire treads, even lone ones, are often indicative of rot. In order to inspect the entirety of your treads, turn the steering wheel as far to the right or left as it will go. Shut off the car and proceed to look over the tires.

Prevent Dry Rot

Moisture attracts the fungus that causes dry rot, so in order to prevent dry rot in the future try to limit the wood's moisture. You can do this by sealing the wood and having proper ventilation.

Treat Dry Rot

If you have dry rot, you should treat it immediately. Make sure to get rid of any areas affected by dry rot and protect the unaffected areas with a fungicide.