Extreme weather is starting to become a normal part of modern life with frost bringing Texas to a standstill at the start of 2021 and intense heat wreaking havoc throughout Europe this summer.
Unfortunately, scientists are warning that these freak weather events are not one-offs and that we can expect many more of them in the coming years and decades.
Whilst warmer summers may be welcomed in some areas, every seasoned car owner knows that higher temperatures are bad news for vehicles.
In this article, we cover what hot weather does to your tires and give you some handy tips to help keep you on top of your tire maintenance during the sizzling summer months.
What Heat Does To Tires
Heat makes things expand. When your tires are in contact with the road and motoring away, heat will be generated by friction causing the molecules within your tire to expand. Usually, this is not a problem as your tires are designed with this in mind.
It only becomes a problem when your tires are overinflating and expansion causes them to pop or, when increased outside air temperatures have heated your tires up already before you begin driving.
In short, then, heat from friction and heat from the weather can cause your tires to pop.
Contrary to perceived wisdom, your car tires will not melt in the heat. Car tires are designed with specialized rubber polymers that can withstand up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit so a warm summer day isn’t going to melt down your new tires.
How To Avoid Exploding Tires
Prevention is better than the cure and the ultimate prevention, in this case, is to head to a site that offers a range of summer tire brands like Atturo or Radar and find four perfect tires for your vehicle. Summer tires are specially adapted to withstand higher temperatures and having them on your vehicle will reduce your risk of a blowout.
The number one way to avoid a blowout though is to make sure that your tires are inflated to the correct level. You can find the recommended air pressure for your tires in your car manual, online, or sometimes down the interior side of the driver-side door.
Overinflating your tires dramatically increases your risk of having a blowout. On the flip side, having underinflated tires is a surefire way to drain your bank account in increased fuel costs and maintenance costs.
(Guided tutorial on how to find out the right pressure for your tires.)
Top Tire Tips
It’s not just in the summer that you should be keeping an eye on your tires and looking after them, maintenance is an all-year job. Here are three handy tips to help you get the most from your tires all year round:
Tread Depth: Keep an eye on your tread depth regularly, at least once every two weeks to make sure that you are above the legal limit. Tires with good tread depth are more fuel efficient and will also help your car run better.
Check for Cracks: One of the first signs that your tires are suffering from increased heat is the formation of cracks and ridges on the outside of the tire. Every time you get out of your car have a quick glance at the edges to check for cracks.
Reduce Loads: How many things are sitting in the trunk of your car or the back seat that actually need to be there? Most of us drive around with a lot of junk in our cars that don’t really need to be sitting there. By reducing the loads in our cars, we can reduce the pressure on our tires and therefore extend their use.