How does summer heat affect your tires' air pressure?

June 20th, 2014

Tires in TN & VANo one wants to be stuck on the side of the road in the blazing summer sun changing a flat – especially on vacation. So make sure your tires are inflated to the appropriate pressure. This means keeping your tires at the pressure recommended by the manufacturer (check your vehicle’s owner manual for this information), not to the maximum pressure found on the tire's sidewall.

Having over-inflated tires can be dangerous in the summer heat. Tire pressure typically goes up about one pound per square inch (PSI) for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit that the temperature rises. Friction also causes tires to get hotter as they roll.

So if you go for a long road trip on a sizzling summer afternoon with your tires at maximum inflation, it could be a recipe for disaster. With the added heat, you could experience a blowout. At the very least, driving on tires inflated above the manufacturers recommended PSI will lead to increased wear and could cause poor vehicle handling.

It's recommended that you check your tire pressure, including the spare, once a month and always before starting a long trip. Also, check tires "cold," before you've driven on them.

You can check your tires’ air pressure yourself, as long as you have an accurate, high-quality pressure gauge. Or, to make sure your summer vacation road trip isn’t brought to a halt by a flat tire, make an appointment to have a professional check them at Free Service Tire today.

  Posted in: Tires 101