Don't Let The Summer Heat Damage Your Tires

The intense heat of summer isn't just taxing on your body. It can put a great deal of strain on your vehicle as well -- particularly on your tires. In order to ensure your tires are protected all summer long, make sure you know what the heat risks are and what you can do to minimize them.

The Risk of Heat

When tires glide across the road, they generate friction, which ultimately results in heat production. In normal driving conditions, the heat caused by the friction wouldn't put your tires at risk. However, the higher temperatures of summer increase the temperature of the ground, which is where the problem lies. The combination of an elevated ground temperature and heat from friction puts a great deal of stress on the rubber.

This causes the rubber to wear away at an accelerated rate. If your tires are already cracked, under-inflated or otherwise damaged, wear will occur even faster. A tire with a somewhat good level of tread can quickly decline to poor condition over the course of the summer, especially if you drive a lot.

Minimizing Heat Wear

Although you can't change the temperature, you can make efforts to protect your tires from escalated heat wear.

Proper Inflation

Ensure that you keep your tires properly inflated. If your tires are under-inflated this will escalate your problems. The main issue with poor inflation is sidewall flexing, an issue where the sidewalls of the tire make contact with the ground excessively. Excessive sidewall flexing will typically result in greater friction, thus generating more heat.

Since more heat generated means a greater risk of damage, make sure you are taking the time to check the inflation pressure of your tires periodically. Your owner's manual will provide details as to what pressure level you should maintain.

Inspect for Damage

Inspect your tire's condition more aggressively during the summer. The main thing to look for is cracking. Higher temperatures and increased sun exposure often go hand-in-hand. If your tires already have cracks in them, the increased exposure will only further degrade their condition.

A cracked tire can lead to deeper ozone cracks along the tire's surface, which is similar to dry rotting. Depending on the severity of the cracks, you may be able to have the tire repaired. Otherwise, you will need to replace the tire.

The more effort you put towards caring for your tires during the summer, the lower your risk of damage will be.

Go to websites about tires and tire maintenance for more helpful information.