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How to Prevent Dry Rot in Tires The tires are one of the most overlooked parts in any recreational vehicle. The very fact alone that we know what tires are made of should make us realize that they will degrade in time. The reason why rubber loses its flexibility and becomes brittle is because chemicals and oils in the rubber start to evaporate. If you have a dry tire then this means that the chemical bonds have broken down. When this happens the rubber in the tire fades from black to dull gray and small hairline cracks on the surface of the tire’s sidewalls and tread begin to show. When the vehicle is driven long distance, the heat will cause the rubber to expand and the tires will break apart while driving. You can ruin your well planned vacation with this. The reason why the tire industry has set a ten year maximum tire replacement period is for this reason. The reason why most tire companies suggest a six year replacement period is for your own safety because if the rubber degrades it can cause a serious accident. If you do not use your tires, or if they are not inflated well or are stored near excessive heat, it can cause dry rot. When vehicle or tires are not used frequently they are the first candidates for dry rot like tires of motor homes, classic and vintage cars, and trucks and jeeps. It has been shown by surveys that owners of classic and vintage cars rarely drive their vehicles more than once a month. Trailer tires are also candidates for dry rot. Dry rot can also occur in recreation vehicles more than on more often used vehicles. Trailers owners have expressed alarm over find their trailer tires experiencing dry rot only after two years of ownership.
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Inactivity is not the only cause of dry rot; it can also be cause by low tire pressure and exposure to excessive UV rays. You risk your safety with tires that are not properly inflated because they wear out easily. Tire pressure should be checked once a month with an inexpensive tire gauge and the vehicle should be driven often.
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A tire exterior can also provide you information about your tire aside from tire pressure. The greatest threat to tire sidewall cracking or dry tor is constant exposure to the sun. Your tires will deteriorate quickly if you store your vehicle on a black asphalt or any petroleum based product or other heat absorbing surface that will attract UV rays. If your tires are exposed too much to the sun then it can speed up the effects of dry rot upon it.