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Weather cracking on tires

Dear Barbara,

I have read your column in the Houston Chronicle for several years and have a question about tires. I have a Dodge ram 2500 quad cab with a six cylinder Cummings diesel engine. I bought this truck new in 2001. The truck currently has 34,000 miles on it, so the tires also have 37,000 miles. These tires have started weather cracking around the edges of the tread where the tread bonds to the sidewall. The treads have not yet worn down to the wear marks that are built into all tire treads so I think they're still good for several more miles yet. I also have a trailer that sits around most of the year without use, and it's tires are also weather cracking even though the tread hasn't worn down to the wear marks yet.

A friend tells me that if they are cracking then they are dangerous and need to be replaced.

Who is right on this, me or my friend?

Thanks in advance for your advice.


Dear Odell,

Weather cracking on trailer tires is way more dangerous than your truck but do not mistake that either is good idea. If it just started with the truck you should be able to squeeze a few more miles out of them. I would however find a local and honest mechanic and ask for their advice on how they look.

Another thought is that we should always put safety first and it is better to be over-prepared rather than being under-prepared. If it were me…I would spend the small amount of money on new tires verses the value on what our lives and others are worth.

Thanks for writing in,



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