Does Winter Cause Extra Cracking in Your Tires?

November 30, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

How long did your last pair of sneakers last you? Maybe six months or, if you bought a top-quality shoe, maybe a couple years. Your sneakers wear out rather quickly because of all the wear you put on them. If you’ve ever used a step counter, you know how much you expect from your shoes.

Now think about your tires. You put thousands of miles on your tires, and tires are exposed to the elements like rain, as well as harsh chemicals. Tires go through a lot, so it’s not surprising that they start to crack after a while. If you’ve ever looked at your tires, especially if they’re older, you’ve probably started to notice cracks along the sidewall of your tire. As a local tire shop in Lubbock, TX, we often have customers asking us what these cracks mean and if it will affect their tire’s performance, especially as we enter the colder months. Well, we’re here to answer all your questions.

Does winter cause tire cracking?

Tires may crack for a wide variety of reasons, but it’s usually a combination of aging and exposure to the elements. Here are some of the things that cause your tires to crack:

  • Age
  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Excessive heat
  • Cold
  • Ozone
  • Low tire pressure
  • Speeding

So the short answer is, yes, cold weather can cause tire cracking, and here’s how. Think of your tires as a rubber band. Your tires stretch with every rotation, meaning they are stretched millions of times in their lifetime. Tires need to be stretched because they need to remain flexible. In winter, tires can become brittle. In fact, in freezing cold temperatures, certain tires can lose almost all their flexibility. It’s under these conditions that cracks can occur.

What does cracking mean for my tires’ performance?

Tire cracking is a normal side effect of aging, and your tires may still be safe to drive on for a long time after you start to notice cracks. However, if you notice deeper or extensive cracks or your tire feels less elastic, it’s worth having the tire checked by a professional. It may be time to replace your old tires, or the cracking may have been caused by hitting a curb. In either case, cracking can cause blowouts and other performance issues if you are not careful.

How to prevent tire cracking

If you want to get the most life out of your tires, there are a few things you can do to help prevent cracking:

  • Exercise your tires: If you don’t drive your car that often, make an effort to take it for a spin and stretch your tires at least a couple times a week, especially in the winter.
  • Keep up with maintenance: Be sure to check and maintain your tire pressure regularly.
  • Drive carefully: Speeding and scraping against curbs can be the cause of tire cracking, so drive carefully.

If you find that your tires are cracking and you need to replace them, be sure to stop in at M & M Tire & Service Center, your local tire shop in Lubbock, TX.

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