Tire cracks


I just replaced all 4 tires on my 2000 Olds Silhouette (van).

All 4 tires had heat cracks between each tread all the way around.

At first I saw small cracks starting, then after a few months and one trip down to MB, South Carolina and back (2200K miles) those small cracks all joined up (end to end).

Those tires only had about 35k miles on them on tires with a 75k expected life.

None of the mileage was done on any road other than asphalt.

Are high speed driving and UV rays the only reason for this failure?

I have BF Goodrich Precepts on now and find these great for holding the road in heavy rain.

Plus, they are quieter than the old ones (which turned out to be noisy from the get go).


“Are high speed driving and UV rays the only reason for this failure?”

No. Age is also a factor. 7 years is a long time to keep a set of tires. Also, there is tire maintenance. Using a protectant can prolong the life by keeping the rubber lubricated. Lastly, overinflation can contribute to premature cracking.


I forgot to mention the tires were not OEMs. They were bought and installed April/04 and still had 6/32" remaining. Even wear, never over-inflated or under inflated.

Yes Jeremy, I know you are just answering my post.

I should have also asked HOW LONG DO YOUR TIRES LAST? (In my op)


Were the tires you just too off made in China? Chinese tires have had some serious quality problems these past years, including having omitted the bonding ply between the carcass and the tread.


Manufacturing should be done by trainable people. Many times, it is not. I’ve seen people working who look just like qualified people and they almost do the job right. Almost is ok to finish the shift, but it shows up when people have to use the product. It usually shows up as a negative. If that one person who knows what he’s doing doesn’t show up for a few days, the product either suffers or doesn’t get made at all.


A lot of ink could be saved if the OP just told us the NAME on the sidewall of the tires… Cracks in the tread grooves? Did these tires have steel belts (2) or were the belts made of some other material that allowed the carcass to stretch and caused the rubber to crack open…35,000 miles? Stop whining and drive on…


We had a motorhome that came with Michelin tires that developed cracks between the tread rows. The tires were replaced at around 10 years of age with no problem encountered due to the cracks; in fact, no problems of any kind were encountered with the tires; not even a flat.


Here’s the scoop:

Rubber is an organic material and it degrades over time. Like most materials - both organic and inorganic- it shows this degradation in the form of cracks. The quantity and size of these cracks is a function of the material properties (so older rubber would crack more readily and heat speeds the aging process) and the amount of stress the material experiences (so high speed operations, overloading, under inflation all promote cracking).

Even unsed, but old tires would have rubber that would be prone to cracks when stressed.

Put another way, cracking of rubber is to be expected as the tire gets old.

But the real problem is not what you can see on the outside. It’s the rubber on the inside that’s holding the tire together. It is aging as well.

Recent bulletins from tire manufacturers say that tires should be removed from service simply due to age. Some say 6 years, some say 10, and my take on the different has to do with whether you are in a hot climate (6 years - AZ, CA, NV, TX, and FL) or a cold climate (10 years - MN, WI, MI, ND and MT) and states in between would be…ah…in between.

So if you have a concern, take the tires back where you bought them and ask them to evaluate them.


Age and sunlight are enemies of tires as well as wear. I had a camper trailer which was always parked outside, and not used often enough to wear out the tires. At about 10 years we had to replace all the tires, including the spare, which was never used, because of cracking. These were good, American made tires. My fussy neighbour had a motorhome, and he had plywood boards cut to cover the tires from the strong sunlight we have here. So, I’m not surprised by your cracked tires. In warm, sunny states, don’t leave the car in the driveway, put it out of the sun in the carport or garage.


Thanks for the replies guys. (about what I expected. Even from caddyman)

Those tires I changed were made by Toyo for Canadian Tire and they put there own name on them under Motomaster.

Since I’ve been living and driving (Many miles) here in Ontario since 1967 I’ve used These kinds of tires with NO problems.

Given the price (on sale) I really didn’t expect to have them crack where they did.

Neither the dealer nor Toyo would honor the warranty due to this type of cracking sying it was from UV rays and heat. D’oh. When then did all those past sets of tires NOT crack?

Anyway rather than stay pissed I just threw them away and vowed to quit buying that brand.

Who knows? like was said, it may just have been a faulty set that day they were made.

BTW, they were steel belted radials, that’s all I ever use.

I know exactly what your saying about RV tires too. I’ve gone through the change of those too due to age.


At 6/32 the tires were done anyway. Most of your wet weather traction was gone too. Pretend that you just dodged a tire-wear bullet.