Dry rot is a disease caused by a fungus that can ruin tires, form cracks or cause them to explode. Some of the main causes of dry rot are low tire pressure, not using the vehicle enough, and high temperatures. Whatever the cause, you can make sure this doesn't happen to you by keeping your vehicle clean, not leaving it in direct sunlight, and changing tires regularly.
Method 1 of 2: Prevent Dry Rot with Maintenance
Step 1. Clean the tires with mild soap and water once a month
Use a slightly soapy rag (dish soap is fine) and wash the surface of the tire, then rinse it off with a hose. Soapy water cleans tires without removing valuable antioxidants that protect them.
Keeping them clean will prevent the fungi responsible for dry rot from spreading
Step 2. Apply a tire protector once a month
After cleaning, apply a few drops of water-based tire protector to a cloth or sponge and cover with it. Wait 5-10 minutes before driving because the protector needs time to adhere to the tires.
- The tire protector costs $ 5 to $ 25 at most auto supply stores. The label may say "tire polish" or "tire care."
- The tire protector protects them from UV rays, one of the main causes of dry rot.
Step 3. Make sure the tires have enough air
Check the tire pressure every time you go to put gas. If the tires do not have enough pressure, the rot will be more dangerous and can lead to explosion.
Step 4. Replace the tires when they no longer have enough grip for the road
Replace old tires when the tread becomes thin. Old tires are not only dangerous (because of the worn tread) but they are also more prone to dry rot.
- If you're driving a car, truck, or SUV, you can measure this by sticking a coin into one of the tire grooves. If half the coin sinks, it means it's time to buy new tires.
- For large vehicles like semi trailers, use a larger coin. If it sticks out a lot, replace the tires.
Method 2 of 2: Caring for a Parked Vehicle
Step 1. Move your vehicle at least once a month
Make sure you don't leave it in one place for 6 months in a row; keep it moving to decrease the risk of dry rot. The rubber of the tires must flex so that the antioxidants that protect them reach the surface of the tires.
Even if you have an older vehicle that you never drive, try getting it out of the garage and driving it a few miles a month. This will help the antioxidants work more effectively and keep the tires safe
Step 2. Move the vehicle out of direct sunlight
Since UV rays are the main cause of dry rot, you can protect it by storing it in your garage or under an awning when not in use.
- If you don't have a garage or awning, most auto supply stores sell inexpensive tire covers, which protect them from UV rays.
- You can also park it in a parking lot instead of on the street. Not only will it keep the vehicle out of the sun's rays, but you'll be doing your tires a favor by keeping them off the streets.
Step 3. Do not park the vehicle where there are oil spills
Petrochemicals can dissolve antioxidants in tires, making them more prone to dry rot.