Cracked Tire Sidewall, Is it time to buy new tires?


A cracked tire sidewall can be a cause for concern, as it compromises the structural integrity and safety of your vehicle. It’s crucial to address this issue promptly to prevent further damage and potential blowouts while driving.

While it’s generally recommended to replace a cracked sidewall, there are temporary fixes you can employ to get you safely to a repair shop or tire professional. In this article, we’ll guide you through some steps to temporarily fix a cracked tire sidewall.

How to fix a Cracked Tire Sidewall

Assess the Damage

Start by examining the cracked sidewall carefully. Look for any other signs of damage, such as bulges or deep cuts, which may require immediate replacement rather than a temporary fix. Assess the size and severity of the crack to determine if it can be temporarily repaired.

If the cracks are sufficiently deep and any cords are visibly showing or if there are bulges present, it is strongly advised not to drive on the tire under any circumstances. Visible cords or bulges indicate severe damage to the tire’s structure, compromising its integrity and safety.

Gather the Necessary Materials

To fix a cracked tire sidewall temporarily, you’ll need the following materials:

  1. Tire repair sealant: Purchase a high-quality tire repair sealant or a tire sidewall repair kit from an automotive store. Ensure that the sealant is suitable for sidewall repairs.
  2. Tire plug or patch: Some repair kits include tire plugs or patches specifically designed for sidewall damage. These can provide added reinforcement and stability to the cracked area.
  3. Tire pressure gauge: It’s important to check the tire pressure before and after the repair process to ensure optimal safety and performance.
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Clean and Prep the Cracked Area

Thoroughly clean the cracked sidewall area using a mild detergent or tire cleaner and water. Remove any debris, dirt, or loose rubber particles from the crack. Dry the area completely before proceeding.

Apply the Tire Repair Sealant

Follow the instructions provided with the tire repair sealant or kit. Typically, you’ll need to shake the sealant well before use. Attach the sealant nozzle or tube to the tire valve stem and inject the recommended amount of sealant into the tire. This sealant is designed to flow and fill small cracks and punctures, providing a temporary seal.

Check Tire Pressure and Inflate if Needed

After completing the repair process, use a tire pressure gauge to check the tire pressure. Inflate the tire to the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) specified by the vehicle manufacturer. This can be found in your vehicles handbook or on the inside door jamb of your vehicle

Limit Driving and Visit a Professional

While a temporary fix can help you reach a repair shop or tire professional, it’s crucial to limit your driving as much as possible. Temporary repairs are not meant to be long-term solutions, and it’s essential to have your tire professionally inspected and replaced or repaired as soon as possible.

How long does a Cracked Tire Sidewall repair last?

When it comes to repairing a cracked tire sidewall, it’s important to note that the repair is typically considered temporary. The longevity of a cracked tire sidewall repair depends on several factors, including the severity of the crack, the quality of the repair, driving conditions, and the overall condition of the tire.

A temporary repair using tire repair sealant and possibly a tire plug or patch can provide a short-term solution to get you safely to a repair shop or tire professional. However, it’s crucial to understand that these repairs are not intended to be permanent fixes.

The repair may last anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on the circumstances. It’s important to remember that the sidewall is a critical component of the tire, responsible for its strength and stability. Any damage to the sidewall compromises the tire’s structural integrity, and there is always a risk of further deterioration or failure.

For long-term reliability and safety, it is recommended to have the tire professionally inspected and replaced or repaired by a qualified tire technician or specialist. They can assess the extent of the sidewall damage and recommend the most appropriate course of action, which may involve tire replacement.

Regular tire maintenance, including visual inspections, proper inflation, and avoiding hazards on the road, can help prevent sidewall damage and extend the lifespan of your tires. Remember to consult a professional and follow their recommendations for a lasting and reliable solution to a cracked tire sidewall.

What are signs of cracked tire sidewalls?

Signs of cracked tire sidewalls may vary in severity, and it’s important to regularly inspect your tires for any signs of damage. Here are some common indicators that your tire sidewall may be cracked:

Visible Cracks

Examine the sidewall of your tire carefully. Look for visible cracks or splits in the rubber. These cracks may appear as lines or fissures running parallel or perpendicular to the tire’s tread. The cracks can range in size from small hairline fractures to more significant gaps.

Bulges or Blisters

In some cases, a cracked sidewall can lead to bulges or blisters on the tire surface. These protrusions typically indicate internal damage or weakening of the tire structure where air has leaked from the inside of the tire into the outer cavities and they should not be ignored.

Uneven Wear Patterns

Uneven wear patterns across the tire’s sidewall can be an indication of sidewall damage. If you notice that certain areas of the sidewall are wearing more rapidly or unevenly compared to the rest of the tire, it could suggest a problem.

Loss of Tire Pressure

Cracked sidewalls can lead to air leakage, resulting in gradual or sudden loss of tire pressure. If you find yourself frequently needing to inflate the tire or if you notice a sudden drop in tire pressure, it may be a sign of sidewall damage.

Vibrations or Handling Issues

Cracked sidewalls can impact the overall performance and handling of your vehicle. If you experience vibrations, wobbling, or changes in vehicle control while driving, it’s essential to inspect your tires, including the sidewalls, for any signs of damage.

Age and Wear

Over time, tires naturally experience wear and aging, which can make them more susceptible to sidewall cracks. If your tires are old or have exceeded their recommended lifespan, it’s important to pay extra attention to signs of sidewall damage.

Regular visual inspections of your tires can help you identify any signs of sidewall cracks or other tire issues early on. If you notice any of the above signs, it’s recommended to have your tire professionally inspected and replaced or repaired as necessary to ensure your safety on the road.

How to prevent tires from cracking

To help prevent tires from cracking, it’s essential to follow good maintenance practices and take certain precautions. Here are some tips to keep your tires in good condition and minimize the risk of sidewall cracking:

  1. Proper Inflation: Maintaining the correct tire pressure is crucial for tire health. Under or over inflated tires can lead to increased stress on the sidewalls, making them more prone to cracking. Regularly check the tire pressure using a tire pressure gauge and inflate them to the manufacturer’s recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) levels.
  2. Avoid Overloading: Overloading your vehicle can put excessive pressure on the tires, including the sidewalls. Make sure you adhere to the recommended maximum load capacity specified by the vehicle manufacturer. If you frequently carry heavy loads, consider using tires with higher load ratings.
  3. Avoid Road Hazards: Potholes, debris, curbs, and other road hazards can cause damage to the tire sidewalls. Be vigilant while driving and try to avoid hitting or scraping against these obstacles. Also, stay away from parking too close to curbs to minimize the risk of sidewall damage.
  4. Regular Inspections: Perform visual inspections of your tires regularly. Look for any signs of damage, including cracks, bulges, or uneven wear patterns. If you notice any issues, have them inspected and addressed by a professional tire technician promptly.
  5. Tire Cleaning and Conditioning: Clean your tires regularly using a mild detergent and water to remove dirt, debris, and chemicals that can accelerate the aging process. Additionally, consider applying a tire conditioner or protectant that helps prevent drying and cracking of the rubber.
  6. Avoid Prolonged Exposure to Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV rays can contribute to tire aging and cracking. Whenever possible, park your vehicle in shaded areas or use car covers to minimize direct exposure to sunlight.
  7. Tire Rotation: Regular tire rotation helps promote even wear across all tires. By rotating the tires at recommended intervals (as specified in your vehicle’s owner manual), you can help prevent uneven wear and potential sidewall damage.
  8. Time-Based Tire Replacement: Even if your tires have sufficient tread depth, it’s recommended to replace them after a certain number of years due to aging. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for tire lifespan and replace them accordingly.

By following these preventative measures and maintaining proper tire care, you can significantly reduce the risk of tire sidewall cracking. Remember, if you notice any signs of sidewall damage, it’s important to have your tires inspected by a professional and replace them if necessary to ensure your safety on the road.


A cracked tire sidewall is a significant safety concern that requires immediate attention. We would only recommend attempting to repair a cracked tire sidewall when there is no option to replace the tire yourself. It is a temporary fix that can help you navigate to a repair shop or tire professional, they should not be considered a permanent solution.

Always prioritize your safety and consult a professional to assess the damage and provide appropriate repair or replacement options. Remember, regular tire maintenance, including visual inspections and maintaining proper inflation, can help prevent sidewall damage in the first place.