Tyres drying out

Wonder if you can help me with this one. My girlfriend has a two years old March with about 42,000Km on the clock. We went to get a pair of front new tyres recently and the garage said that the back pair had “dried out” and was statrting to crack up. They are “Firestone”.

I’ve driven for years in the UK and never heard of tyres “drying out”. Maybe it has to do with the climate here, but two garages have said the same thing.

I had a very close look around the edge of the tyre. There are tiny scratch marks - which could have been done by backing into the curb, and between the tread on the face of the tyre there are again tiny cracks. There is plenty of “meat” on the tyre itself , making me wonder if they are just pulling my wad to sell us a new pair of tyres. Obviously safety is a priority, I wouldn’t want to think that leaving those tyres on could lead to ablow-out or accident.

What do you think?


L :smiley:

I’ve had tyres go hard. Never heard of drying out.
When they go hard (in my experience), the rubber has tiny tiny cracks and you can’t push your fingernail into the rubber anymore.
They seemed to lose their grip very easily (woohoo), while still having plenty of tread left on them. :s

Two years old, huh? I’m going downstairs right now to check my tyres. :astonished:

Happened in 4 years for my car in Aus.

Or maybe you could take some photos of the tires and send them to “Firestone” Taiwan or USA along with a letter of complaint explaing how long you have used them and any concerns you have when you see damge like this. If they say it is the conditions in Taiwan, then tell them that they should not be selling tires that are not suited to Taiwan

Maybe you can get yourself a free set of tyres :wink:

Sounds possible. 42,000 in 2 years the car is parked more than it’s driven. Humid, rainy environment, car parked in same spot for days on end, ozone-heavy atmosphere etc… yeah. It sounds possible. I wouldn’t think the problem as immediately life-threatening, but I’d avoid high speeds on the freeway or 4 wheel drifting on mountain roads IIWY. Tires in that size are bloody cheap though… it’s not a lot of cash for peace of mind.

You think that’s low mileage for tyres? :astonished:

I used to dream about getting 42,000kms out of tyres. Of course they’re dried out. Completely knackered as well.

In the UK I got 6,000 miles out of my Pirelli 6000s (rear wheels) and my record is 18,000 miles out of a pair of Michelin’s most expensive tyres (

Replace those tires!!! If you don’t, it’ll be mighty dangerous in the rain and at high speeds.

You’ve seen all the reasons as posted above. If there are any cracks (usually very fine ones, and all over) in the tire, and the tires’ rubber isn’t soft and somewhat pliable… they without-a-doubt, most-definitely need replacing.

I don’t trust Firestone, either. Don’t you know they were the OEM suppliers of tires for Ford Explorers a couple years back in the USA; when there were numerous blow-outs on brand-new vehicles and many people died as a result? I don’t trust Firestone.

Absolutely. Better to buy cheap and replace often than buy expensive and wait 'til they’re knackered and dangerous.

Though I could be wrong, I don’t think tire cracking is caused by “drying out” since rubber should contain no water. I believe long-term exposure to sun, heat and pollutants is what causes the rubber to gradually break down and develop cracks.

Of course, bottom line is that if it gets bad enough, the tire will eventually need replacing.


I think you may have been unlucky and some tyres sat around on the back shelf for many years before they found themselves on the March.

Either that or Firestone have them made in China then anything is possible.

As stated. They are bloody cheap.

If in doubt, throw it out is my motto.

(Its actually “if in doubt l**k her out”) but it can be modified to suit different situations.


Thanks for all the replies. I just wasn’t too sure if they were trying to make a quick buck from a big nose with a pretty woman!

L :smiley: