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Rotting(?) TIres

Hi, my Toyota dealer just told me I have two rotting tires (front and back, right side) on my 4 year old Matrix. It has just 14,000 miles, and I rotate the tires every 5,000 miles. I do not garage the car, and the summers here are extremely hot and sunny. Thanks for any suggestions.

Being on the same side, I can see this happening. UV rays from the sun are very powerful, and accelerate deterioration in rubber. I think you should consider replacing them. Also, get a car cover to protect the car from damage from exposure.

Tire rotation should have equalized the sun exposure on all four tires, unless they are only rotated front to back.

I’d get a second opinion, perhaps from a tire dealer who sells the brand you have on the car. A little bit of surface cracking may be harmless, but sun exposure is hard on tires.

Four years are kind of early for rot, but it is possible. I would have them checked by a second authority.

Do the tyres have a warranty on them? If so what is it. They normally do have a separate warranty from the tyre manufacturer. It may or may not be worth it to take advantage of any pro-rated tyre warranty.

I seem to recall that the usual max tire life in terms of time advocated here on Car Talk is 6 years.

Check with three tire dealers in your area; easy to drop by for a few minutes to ask. Their natural tendency may be toward selling tires but not always and to err on the side of caution.

Can’t see your tires here to make a judgement.

It’s quite possible that dry rot has set in and odds are the right side is the side that is usually facing the sun. The sun can certainly cause this.

Look closely at the sidewall of the tires and deep down in the tread. If you see a lot of very tiny cracks then the tires are dry rotted and should be replaced.
Low speed city driving may not be a problem for a while but high speed highway driving could possibly cause one to blow out, depending.