Sure tires are round, made of rubber, and designed to provide traction where your ride meets the road. A proper check usually consists of a visual inspection and air pressure check, right? Unfortunately, the part that most people do not pay proper attention to is the visual check. A bulge or large chunk is easy to spot and address as a problem that deserves some attention. If you take a little closer look though, you may save yourself some unnecessary downtime as the summer months approach!
As your tires endure the changing of the seasons and bearing the brunt of whatever weight you are hauling, the stresses on the sidewalls can be tremendous. From hot to cold, then cold to hot again, the forces at work here are rigorous! If you have not given proper attention to using a protectant, you might want to consider it for more than just the vanity of your truck’s appearance.
When tires age, the signs can be seen in not only tread wear, but as wear on the sidewalls as well. It comes in many forms ranging from discoloration to cracking. One way to prevent this is to use a good rubber tire protectant that seals in the added chemical compounds designed to extend your tire’s life cycle. These compounds usually come in the form of wax (ozone protectant) and carbon black (UV protectant). Using the proper protectant can add plenty of life to your tire sidewalls and tires overall. A little hunting may be required to find the right one, as most nationally advertised brands that are readily available are silicone based to aid in the “high shine” that most desire from a tire dressing product. The problem with silicone is that it can actually cause premature tire cracking and shorten tire life. I use a “high shine” product that I have found works really well, while being both water based and contains a strong UV protectant. Many different brands are available and with a little hunting, you can find the right one for the shine and protection you desire.
So the next time you stick your tires to check the air, walk around with your thumper, or scan for nails and bolts sticking out, you may want to take a moment to apply a little protection on your hard-working, over-stressed sidewalls. If you are dumping that kind of money on a set of rubber, you might as well take good care of them and get the most life out of them that you can. Whether it is a gel or a spray, a little goes a long way! Nothing will earn you the annoyance of unwanted downtime faster than a little neglect where the rubber meets the road!