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Severe Tire Cracking Michelin LTX

Find Out About Tire Cracking

Most drivers wear their tires out before tire cracking becomes a problem.

But if your tires sit for months at a time without being used, they’ll start to crack prematurely. That’s because tire rubber uses a chemical called antiozonant, to stop tires from cracking due to ozone, UV, and road-grime.

Antiozonant is also what makes tires turn brown, known as “tire bloom“, is only effective while the tires are being used, going through their normal heating and cooling cycles.

That’s why most of the bad tire cracking I see, is on trailer, motorhome, classic, collector, and performance car tires.

Tires need to be driven!  Even if you have nowhere to go, getting your tires hot occasionally will make them last longer.

Tire cracking is part of a tire’s life.

After 2-3 years you’ll start to see light sidewall, shoulder, and tread cracking. These cosmetic ozone and weather cracks are usually normal wear and tear caused by a combination of miles driven and age.

But sometimes manufacturing errors can also cause abnormal tire cracking – If your tires are less than 3-years old and showing significant cracks, contact the tire manufacturer’s customer service department directly.

showing severity of tire cracking

Most tire manufacturers recommend replacing your tires every 6 years, whether they’re worn out or not.

At Kenwood Tire we use Michelin’s Ozone or Weather Cracking Visual Tool to make a determination. 

If your tires have signs of cracking or dry-rot, send me a picture for an opinion.

Steps you can take to protect your tires.

  • Cleaning – Use a special tire and wheel cleaner every time you wash your car. I use Meguiars at the shop because it’s safe to use on all wheels.
  • Protection – It’s ok to use a tire protectant. Make sure it’s not silicone or petroleum-based because they speed-up tire cracking and dry-rot.

I use Wizard’s because it’s a water-based and doesn’t leave a residue.and won’t sling protectant all over your car!


If you’re concerned about tire cracking, email me a picture and I’ll give you my opinion free.

Check out some of these pictures of tire cracking people have sent me and compare them to yours.

I’m Spencer, the owner of Kenwood Tire & Auto Service and it’s my goal is to provide you with a good, honest, and hassle-free experience.