What Extreme Heat Does to Your Tires

It’s nice that summer is here and all, but what extreme heat does to your tires might surprise you. Because temperatures rocket up from mid-May through early October, it is said to be “tire blowout season.” And not for good tire deals. Typical summer days can heat up pavement to as much as 145 degrees. Not quite hot enough to fry an egg as the saying goes, but hot enough to push a neglected tire to the point of no return.

Because older tires are more likely to fail due to stress from heat, it’s important to know the condition of your tires. Below are the major issues associated with tire failures and blowouts because of extreme heat.

Underinflation

It’s no secret at RightTurn how we feel about proper tire inflation. Because after all, it’s the tire that supports the weight of the vehicle and whatever is in it, right? WRONG. Sure the tire does its job, but the air in the tire and its preciseness is what works with the tire’s construction and design to keep it rolling. Without proper tire inflation, tires can weaken and fail, leaving you out to dry in the hot, hot heat. Driving long distances on summer trips on an underinflated and compromised tire can affect safety, and at the very worst, your car’s fuel efficiency.

Load

Load typically would apply to those that need to go out and haul some stuff. But if you’re just out hauling the fam with some extra luggage, you still have to pay attention to the load index of your tire. If you’re carrying some extra weight, it’d be a good idea to check your tire’s maximum tire pressure on the sidewall. Keep in mind, that’s not the recommended psi. The numbers on your sidewall only tell you how much weight your tires can carry at maximum pressure. Ultimately, increased temperature combined with high-speed driving, friction, cornering, and braking can cause your tire to heat up well past the capabilities of the tire. So pack light, pack smart, and consider your tires.

Potholes

Road hazards like potholes can be even worse during the heat of summertime. In extreme heat on a worn tire, the great impact of a pothole can pinch the tire and cut into the design. Two things can happen from here: 1) Your tire dies a slow death from slowly releasing air over time, or 2) It blows out right then and there. The strain from potholes can cause major damage not just to your tires, but also to your wheels and suspension. Be alert and don’t let potholes sink your summer vacation.

As things begin to heat up this summer, make sure your tires are properly inflated for your safety. Check your tires regularly, and know that burning rubber and hot pavement at 145 degrees is just a recipe for disaster.