Tires are supposed to be black, but you might notice them turning brown on the side, like these Michelin Pilot tires I was working on.
That’s because tires contain Antiozonant, an ingredient that protects them from ozone which causes early tire cracking.
By design, a tire constantly pushes Antiozonant to the surface, replenishing itself throughout its lifetime as it is driven. That’s why tires that don’t get driven much, like RV’s and trailers, develop severe cracking before the tire wears out, and why good tires with more UV protection turn brown faster.
When Antiozonant is released and exposed to the air, it reacts and turns brown, also known as “tire blooming”.
If you want to make your tires look good again, you’ll need to wash them often and apply a protectant.
I recommend washing your tires with a simple car wash soap.! We use Eagle One A2Z All Wheel & Tire Cleaner at the shop because it’s strong enough to clean tire grime, but not so strong that it could damage the tire or wheel coating.
After a wash, it’s time to protect your tires and slow the blooming process…
There are two main types of tire protectants out there, water-based and solvent-based:
- Water-based dressings won’t harm rubber. They are usually a combination of natural oils and synthetic polymers. Some contain UVR blocking agents to further help prevent tires from fading, cracking and hardening.
- Solvent-based tire dressings that use silicone and leave a clear, glossy film on the surface of the tire. I recommend staying away from solvent-based products that use a petroleum base that speed up the tire cracking.
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