Drivers often hear about having to prepare their vehicles for freezing weather and winter roads, but high temperatures during the summer can also bring specific challenges for vehicle maintenance. In particular, hot weather can cause higher pressure and temperatures in your vehicle’s tires, leading to other car problems.
(Sebastian Huxley / unsplash)
Why is Tire Pressure Important?
Due to the lower air pressure inside the tire, underinflated tires slump under the weight of the vehicle. More of the sidewalls and tread come into contact with the road. Not only does this cause premature wear to the rubber in the tires, but the extra friction and contact with the road cause more heat to build up in your tires. Increasing heat in your tires causes tread and sidewall damage.
This premature damage may mean a costly replacement much earlier than planned. On the other hand, you could also suffer a blowout while traveling on the road, possibly causing a traffic accident or stranding you on the side of the road. As neither of these options is ideal, it is important to maintain good tires with the correct tire pressure.
Proper Tire Maintenance:
Car maintenance, in many cases, should be left to the experts. However, taking care of your tires is a task almost any driver can do with little effort. Here are six simple steps to care for your tires this summer.
- Use the Tire Ratings: Be aware of what kind of tires your vehicle has. Whether new or used, their information—including size, composition, traction, and temperature—should be located on the sidewall. Temperature ratings run from A to C. A-rated tires are the most ideal for high summer temperatures.
- Check on Your Vehicle’s PSI: Your vehicle’s PSI is the recommended air pressure for your tires. Once you know how much pressure they should have, you can determine whether your tires’ current air pressure matches up. Usually, you can find the PSI on a sticker located in the door jam on the driver’s side. If not there, you can find it in the owner’s manual.
- Place a Tire Gauge Inside of the Glovebox: A useful item to keep in your glovebox is a tire gauge, which measures the tire pressure in your tires. Since it is an item you’ll use relatively often, avoid buying the cheapest one available. Spend a few dollars more on a high-quality gauge that will last a long time. Your can find one at your local auto parts store or at online retailers.
- Keep a Maintenance Schedule: It can be difficult to remember when you last checked your tire pressure. Utilize your phone apps or whatever scheduling devices are at your disposal to create regular reminders to help you keep a consistent check on the tire pressure. Another way to make a habit of checking the tire pressure is to pair it along with another vehicle-related activity such as filling up your gas tank or paying the insurance.
- Maintain Good General Tire Maintenance: As you might do more driving during the summer months, it is a good strategy to keep an eye on tire wear. Take a look at the way the tires look. Are there cracks, bulges, or uneven wear? Are they dirty from your last road trip? Regularly wash the dirt off of your tires. Consider buying an extra protectant product to keep your tire rubber from dehydrating. Be sure to get your tires rotated as well, and keep an eye on the vehicle’s tire pressure monitoring system. It could be the first indicator that your tires are losing pressure.
- Get Your Tires Checked: If you do see that one or more of your vehicle’s tires are underinflated or if you often continue to have issues with underinflation, then you should get your tires checked. Bring your vehicle into our Cottonwood tire shop for a tire inspection. There might be a leak in your tires from badly functioning valves or from tiny punctures. Often leaks are an easy fix, which will save trouble and money in the long run.
Many drivers are not aware that summer weather and hot road conditions can cause unnecessary wear and tear, especially to your tires. Be sure to take extra care of your vehicle this summer! With a little bit of TLC, you can extend the life of your tires and keep your loved ones safe as you drive down the highway. If the time is right you can buy new tires at our Salt Lake tire store or visit any of our Utah auto repair shops for maintenance across the Wasatch Valley.