Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Cracked,dry-rotted tires with good tread still

asked by on

I would like to know if I need to replace cracked,dry-rotted tires with good treads still.The cracks are along and in between the treads and on the outside wall of the tires. The dealership said they are still good to drive with. I have doubts and am worried. Should I replace them or keep driving with them?

My car has 84610 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Rubber degrades over time. Your tires are constantly exposed to the atmosphere, o-zone, etc. The rubber goes through constant heating and cooling cycles causing the rubber to get harder and eventually crack. As a rule of thumb, for safety sake, tires should be replaced once dry rot becomes noticeable. Most tire manufacturers actually recommend replacing tires once they reach 6 years old regardless of how good the tread depth appears to be.

If you want to know how old your tires actually are, look for the DOT number imprinted in the sidewalls. Most tires only have the DOT number imprinted on one side so if you look at a tire and don’t see it, it’s facing inside. The DOT (Department Of Transportation) number consists of a series of letters and numbers which indicate manufacturer, plant, tire, etc. The last 4 digits will give you the age of the tire. So if for example, the last 4 numbers are 0210, that tire was made the 2nd week of 2010. If the last 4 digits are 4312, the tire was made the 43rd week of 2012. You may want to have this looked by another expert in order to verify whether the tire should be replaced or not.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: The P0010 error keep coming up and my car keeps jumping, and turning itself off and on while I drive sometimes.

Hello, thanks for writing in. If you took your vehicle in for repairs, and it was returned with a check engine light then I would immediately return to the shop and have them take care of the issue. If the...

Q: Car not changing gears

If the shifter will not move from park to another gear, you may have a problem with your shift lock solenoid. If the vehicle will go into drive but will not shift out of first gear, you may have internal...

Q: Gas isn't getting to engine after changing filter and tank

Hi there. One of the more common issues that leads to this type of problem after this repair is not having a good ground wire connection to the fuel pump. This causes restricted flow of fuel and can even disable...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...