Summer Heat And Your Tires

This summer we have already seen record heat in some parts of the country, including dramatic highway and train rail buckling.  If our roads have been so drastically distressed, you have to ask how does this affect my tires?

Heat can diminish your tire integrity, and failures are common.  Much like you would not walk barefoot through a parking lot on a hot day, you should consider your tires during summer months on the same surfaces.

Friction causes heat.  Your tires create friction. Your tires can increase in pressure by as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit just from driving.  Normally, a properly inflated tires in good condition will not be affected, but older, under-inflated, or cracked tires are much more susceptible to failures.  Maintaining proper inflation is important, as it is during winter months.  Under-inflated tires can increase in temperature much quicker.  Under or over inflation on hot, slippery asphalt can become dangerous during long drives, especially when you are over-loaded with family and gear for a summer road trip.

It is a great idea to check your tire pressures once per month.  Give your tires a quick visual inspection when checking pressure for bulges, cuts, or pesky foreign objects.  If you have concerns, take your vehicle to a professional before you have a problem on the road.  Your mechanic will inspect your tires as part of a regular vehicle inspection when having service and maintenance work performed.

Your tire will have a maximum tire pressure stamped on the side, but as long as you have your original, or factory recommended replacement tires, proper inflation will be in driver’s side door jam, or owner’s manual.  If you are not sure, you can ask your mechanic or tire service center.  If you lose more than 1-2 PSI per month, you need to take your vehicle in and have further inspection done on your tires or have them replaced.

Be aware of potholes, especially when you are loaded to capacity.  Taking your time with safer, slower driving allows for more time to react, and less of a chance for your tires to fail during evasive maneuvers.  Hot tires will not react the way you anticipated.

To schedule a tire inspection or make sure your tires are in the best condition, stop by our shop in Hayes or call our experienced technicians at (804) 642-2440. Drive smart, be safe, and have a great summer!