Armor All Causes Dry Rot On Tires?

Mathew Shelby

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 5, 2002
Messages
344
Is this true? My girlfriend supposedly heard this from one of her friends and now she refuses to let me put any sort of tire protectant (can I call it that if this is true) on her tires. In my opinion, I use BlackMagic TireWet and have had no problems on my 1999 Chevy Blazer. Is it just certain brands that are bad or is this a no all together?
 

Scott_lb

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 7, 2002
Messages
592
I've heard similar statements. However, I've been using Tire Gel (not spray- the gel lasts longer) for at least two years and have had no problems whatsoever. Nor have I heard of any problems from others who use either spray or gel.
 

Karl_Luph

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 5, 2002
Messages
974
I used to hear that Armor All had a high concentration of vegetable oil. I've never heard that it caused dry rot on tires though.
 

Walt N

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 23, 2001
Messages
417
I just put new tires on my truck and I researched this a little bit. What I read from doing a Google search on tire dressings is that ozone causes the cracks to appear, and Armor All in particular robs the tire of the chemicals in the rubber compound that were designed to minimize the effects of ozone.

Nothing overly scientific, but many "experts" say to stay away from it so I guess I will.
 

Walt N

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 23, 2001
Messages
417
What I read talked mostly about ozone generated by electrical appliances, like motors and generators one might find in a garage however if you do a Google search on "tires+ozone" you'll see that environmental ozone is a major concern among tire manufacturers, along with UV exposure.

Another site was less specific and simply said: "Do not use products on your tires such as "Armor All". These products rob the rubber of chemicals which keep the rubber soft and pliable."
 

Dan D.

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 29, 1999
Messages
215
As was explained to me a number of years ago, several tire protectors, including Armor All, contain formaldehyde which slowly causes the rubber to deteriorate. This is what is responsible for the slight patina of brownish color you'll see on the tire when the Armor All wears off.

I have seen the brownish color change, but I really can't verify the formaldehyde information or its actual effect on rubber. I was told to use only silicone-based treatments which are usually the wipe-on gels. Frankly, I suspect that you'll wear out your tires from driving faster than you will from Armor All.
 

Keith Mickunas

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 15, 1998
Messages
2,041
I recall my dad used it a lot on our cars, and they were mostly low mileage cars considering their age. For example, my '77 Impala was 15 or 16 years old before it hit 100,000 miles. I never recall a tire showing problems on the sidewalls, they were all replaced because of normal tread wear. Perhaps it might be a problem with snow tires if you treat them before storing them, but you have to treat them with something to keep them lasting a long time.
 

Steve Schaffer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 15, 1999
Messages
3,756
Real Name
Steve Schaffer
Try this:

Apply some armor-all to a plastic or vinyl or rubber surface, then try to get scotch tape or a post-it note to stick to it. Then try to stick that piece of tape to anything else.

Armor all destroys adhesives.

It can soak thru the porous outer surface of modern dashpads, or any other porous surface and cause underlying adhesives and bonding agents to be ruined.

I have seen many bubbled and swollen auto dashpads due to application of armor-all, as I work in an auto dealership service dept. The stuff penetrates the outer porous surface plastic and delaminates it from the underlying foam pad, and can cause the pad itself to swell up like a marshmallow over a campfire.

It was great stuff back in the 70s for shining up those stupid vinyl car tops, but is nasty stuff otherwise.

I can't comment on other tire preservant products, but won't let anyone within 20 feet of any part of my car with Armor-all.
 

Shawn C

Screenwriter
Joined
May 15, 2001
Messages
1,429
Doesn't Armor All also "dry out" vinyl since it contains alcohol? I ruined the dash of my old escort back in '88 from that stuff. There are alot better products out there now.
 

Keith Mickunas

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 15, 1998
Messages
2,041
I've heard if you put armor all on a dash it will evaporate and leave a nasty film on the windshield. I've seen that kind of thing in some of my cars, and haven't used armor all there for a long time and it seems better.

Steve, I appreciate your insight. I still have some armor all left from my prior car, I used different stuff for my VW because of its different materials, so I'll be very, very careful about where I use that armor all if ever.
 

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