4 Ways to Protect Your Tires from Summer Heat
During the heat of the summer, it’s important to keep your vehicle in great shape — not just inside, but outside too. While routine engine and oil maintenance is common, many drivers forget to take care of other important aspects, especially the tires.
Humidity and heat can do a number to your tires — drying them out, deteriorating them, increasing their pressure, and increasing their sensitivity to damage. To ensure your vehicle is ready for the hot asphalt, we’ve even created a handy acronym to help you remember how to take good care of your tires this summer.
Use the acronym T.I.R.E. to prepare for summer heat
Clean your tires regularly and coat them with a protectant to help them withstand the summer heat. Keeping them clean and waxed will stop them from drying out or wearing too quickly.
You can easily clean your tires at home using a tire cleaning spray and brush. Alternatively, you can go to an automatic car wash that offers tire cleaning, or have your car cleaned professionally (inside and out) by an auto detailer.
Check your tires regularly for signs of unusual cracks, lumps, bubbles, or wear. You should also check your tire pressure biweekly and inflate or deflate them to the recommended PSI. Tire pressure decreases naturally over time, so it’s important to ensure that your tires are at the pressure recommended by your manufacturer. Bridgestone Tire recommends checking your tire pressure when your tires are cold (in other words, your car hasn’t been driven in 3 hours or has been driven for less than 1 mile).
You can also ask your mechanic to check your tire pressure and fill them to the appropriate psi when you take your car in for routine service.
Have your vehicle examined by a mechanic to ensure the alignment is centered and the wheels are balanced. Keeping an eye on your tires will help you catch problems before they catch you.
If you use winter-specific tires in the colder months, it’s important to remember to replace them with all-weather tires once winter is over. High-temperature-grade tires can better withstand the heat and expansion of the summer months. If the tread is low, or damage is found on them, replace them. Also, rotate the tires to ensure they’re wearing evenly.
Summer tires are also a thing, but most everyday vehicles don’t need specific tires for warmer months. Instead, summer tires are more frequently found on performance vehicles that are regulars at the race track. If you’re just driving around town or heading on a road trip for your vacation, all-season tires should work just fine.
Easy does it
Don’t overload your vehicle with extra weight. The heavier your car is, the longer the braking distance it will need to come to a stop. This means more friction on hot pavement which results in quicker wear. Also, be careful of fast accelerations or quick stops.
Of course, if you’re off on a family road trip there’s no way to avoid adding extra weight to your car. In this case, make sure you check your tire pressure after you’ve loaded up your car and before you set out on your trip. Your tire pressure might be fine when your car is unloaded, but once you’ve added the extra weight of your kids, dogs, and luggage, your tire pressure might be too low.
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Having fully functioning tires is vitally important for your safety on the road. This summer, make sure you keep an eye on your tires to make sure they are healthy and in good working condition, and see your mechanic if you have any concerns.
Catherine Hiles (she/her) is a native Brit living and working in Dayton, Ohio. Cat has written about a variety of subjects, including finance, cars, and parenting. She is a frequent contributor to Dayton Mom Collective, The Penny Hoarder, and WDW Magazine.
Cat lives with her husband, their two kids, and their energetic pitbull mix. She counts running, lifting weights, walking, and reading among her hobbies. See more articles by Cat.