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How Does Heat Affect My Tyres?

We might take it for granted here in the UK, but not all countries get to enjoy seasonal weather. Enjoying the long, hot evenings in the summer and then being able to watch the leaves fall in the park in autumn is a privilege, after all.

Our cars might not see it this way though. No, for them, the changing seasons can be a bit of a pain. Take summer, for example. Heat can do all sorts of things to our cars – particularly our tyres – if we’re not properly prepared for it, which is why this month the Tyres Northampton team are going to be covering some telltale signs of an overheated tyre and how you can keep them in check when it’s scorching!

What effect does heat have on your tyre pressure?

Firstly, let’s talk about how heat actually affects our tyres.

As you might have learnt at school, all material substances are made up of tiny little particles. When these particles are exposed to heat, they gain energy and start to move or vibrate vigorously. Of course, we don’t actually see any of this movement or vibration, all that we may notice is the expansion of that particular material. Do you remember your parents ever running the lid of a jar they couldn’t open under hot water? The same thing applies.

So the sun’s heat causes our tyres to expand. And not just the surrounding material, the particles that make up the air within the tyre also vibrate, causing the pressure within the tyre to rise.

What makes overheating tyres so problematic is that the heat is actually coming from two sources: 1) you’ve got the heat from the summer sun we’ve already mentioned, and 2) as your tyres generate friction as they spin on the hot road, this also causes them to get hotter.

How to spot an overheated tyre

Spotting an overheated tyre isn’t always easy when you’re driving along, which is why it’s important to check your tyres every now and then if you’re out on the road on a hot day.

  • Tyres are extremely hot to touch: One of the most obvious signs that your tyres might be on the brink of a blowout is if they are extremely hot to touch. It’s normal for your tyres to be warm or a little hot after a drive, so only take action if you think they’re dangerously hot, or you notice any other signs of wear that might accelerate the blowout.
  • Your tyre pressure is too high: Not all vehicles will have a digital tyre pressure gauge built in, but some will. If you’re lucky, you might be able to monitor your tyres while out on the road. If not, you will need to go to a petrol station forecourt to gather this sort of information. It’s still well worth doing though, as it could tell you some vital information and avoid you having an on-road blowout.

How to make sure your tyres stay safe in summer heat

  • Take your car for tyre checks and replace worn tyres
  • Take advice from the professionals
  • Check your tyre pressure regularly and make sure that your tyres are at the recommended pressure. Over or under inflated tyres are dangerous.
  • Try to wait until it is cooler at night and your tyres are not hot from many miles of driving to check pressure/inflate
  • Don’t rely on TPMS light
  • Check for visible wear and tear on the tread
  • Read our guides about why tyres go flat and how to spot different types of wear and tear

Tyres Northampton are one of the leading tyre suppliers in the region. With a dedicated team of highly trained staff and a newly refurbished workshop with state-of-the-art equipment, you can trust us to take good care of your vehicle and fix any problems you might have. Call us today and let’s get your vehicle in for a check up!

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