What causes car tyres to crack or burst

20 August 2019 / Lindleys Autocentres

Your tyres are arguably the most important part of your car, certainly from a safety point of view, as these are the only component in contact with the road. With that in mind, tyre maintenance is vital to the safety of your car on the road and you should check them regularly. 

When checking your tyres, it’s easy to focus all attention on the tread and check for wear or damage. But a crack in the tyre wall can be just as dangerous as it can lead to a blowout. If you spot a crack in your tyre wall, it should be replaced immediately. But what causes a cracked tyre? And how can you prevent your tyres from cracking in the first place? 

Causes of cracked tyres

The outer wall of your tyre is constructed of polymers which are bound together to form molecules. Cracks form when the molecule breaks down. This can be caused by a number of influences: 

Extreme temperatures and UV rays 

The polymers in the tyre will expand in the heat and constrict in the cold. Over time, this movement will weaken the bonds and cause cracks to appear. UV rays are also a key cause of this effect. 

Age 

As tyres age, they harden and become brittle and crack through the loss of elasticity. 

Water

Although rubber is waterproof, prolonged driving in wet weather can lead to moisture permeating into the tyre, causing a breakdown in the polymers. 

Degradation 

Tyres are made of organic material which does make them biodegradable, meaning that over time, the material will weaken and lead to cracks appearing. 

Tyre pressure 

Improperly inflated tyres will lead to cracks appearing. Be sure to check your tyre pressure regularly and ensure they are inflated in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. 

Preventing tyres from cracking 

Unfortunately, there’s no way to make your tyres last forever. However there are a few ways you can prevent cracks from appearing. 

Keep your car in a garage

There’s no way of keeping your tyres away from the elements, after all, you do all of your driving outside. However, you can reduce the impact by keeping your car covered or in the shelter of your garage or even by parking in the shade where possible. 

Regularly drive your car 

Car tyres will still degrade, whether you drive it or not but are more likely to become brittle if they are not regularly used. Regular use of your tyres will maintain the elasticity of your tyres and prevent them from cracking. 

Apply a tyre protector 

A tyre protector, regularly applied, will help to protect your tyres against UV or heat damage as well as repel dirt and dust from your tyres. 

If your car has cracked tyres, it’s important that you get them replaced in order to avoid a blowout. At Lindleys Autocentres, we offer tyre replacement and repair services, with tyre ranges to suit all vehicles and budgets. If you're on the road or away from home, then our mobile tyre fitting service will be a huge benefit, as we'll come to you and replace your car tyres.

 

 

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