Without a doubt, extreme temperatures can affect your car, including your tires. Tires expand and contract as temperatures rise and fall, and they typically can handle those variations without much problem. Yet, those temperature extremes can also lead to tire failure, which may happen at the most inopportune time, such as when you are on the highway far from home.
Taking care of your tires will ensure that your trip goes as planned, barring any other problems that may suddenly arise. To that end, we have listed some of the more useful tips to help keep your tires cool this summer.
1. Inflate your tires to the proper level. What confounds not a few drivers are the inflation rates for tires. On the sidewalls themselves, there are recommended inflation levels embossed by the manufacturer. However, the inflation rate you should use or PSI is what the car manufacturer identifies as being correct. In this case, it is information found in your owner’s manual or on a placard located on the driver’s door jamb or in the glove box.
2. Purchase a quality tire pressure gauge. There are tire pressure gauges and then there are tire pressures gauges. Some gauges are cheaply made and may not render a correct number. Others are better constructed and will deliver the most accurate reading every time. In any case, spending $10 on a tire gauge will be one of the best investments you have ever made.
3. Check your tires when they are cold. To get an accurate reading on air pressure, only check your tires when they are still cold. Drive more than a mile to a tire pump and you will get an inaccurate reading. That reading may cause you to over-inflate your tires, which can lead to premature wear. In a worst-case scenario, it could also lead to tire failure.
4. Be consistent with your tire care. Tires, like the rest of your car, need maintenance. You should rotate your tires about once every 6,000 miles or twice per year. The front end should be aligned if you have hit potholes and the tires may need to be balanced from time to time. In between, you should inspect the tires and check inflation levels. A monthly check is typically sufficient, but do this more often if you drive a lot.
5. Be mindful of hard-to-find punctures. If one tire is constantly losing air, that’s a sure sign that it has a puncture and may eventually fail. On closer inspection, you may find that the tire has a nail, hidden away within the grooves or otherwise out of sight. Remove the nail and seal the puncture. You can do this yourself or take it to a garage for work.
Inspect Your Tires
Hot weather can fool you into thinking that your tires are fine, especially as your cabin keeps you cool. But pavement temperatures and rubber can become quite hot, putting your tires at risk of failure. Therefore, before you take that big trip this summer, inspect your tires carefully and have all maintenance performed before you hit the road.
And if you have an auto club membership, ensure that it is up to date and offers the coverage that you need. Bring with you the proper emergency phone number or download the related app to contact roadside assistance, if needed.
Finally, if you are in need of new tires, talk with your service center about the options available for your car. If you replace two tires, those should be placed on the back of your vehicle. If you replace four tires, you should receive a discount, perhaps receiving one tire for free.
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