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July 25, 2013

Feeling the Heat: Tires + Summer Heat = Trouble (Sometimes)

The Midwest and Northeast have been feeling the squeeze of a summer heat wave that just won’t seem to break.  The South is just hot, hot, hot all summer and the same goes for the Southwest.  What does all that heat mean on the road?  It can mean tire problems, so take heed and take care of your tires.

Let’s talk tire pressure.  If you’ve read many of my blogs, you’re probably thinking, “Not again with the tire pressure!”  Sorry, sisters, I’m saying it again.  If it seems like all roads lead back to tire pressure that’s just because so many of them actually do.  You need to maintain proper tire pressure!  In the summer months when it’s especially hot, tire pressure fluctuates with the heat (though not as much if you fill your tires with nitrogen.  Check this past blog out for more info on nitrogen fill!).  Your tire pressure can actually fluctuate as much as 1.9% for every 10 F temperature change.  Now, add to that ambient temperature change, the heat of the road and the heat of friction caused by the tire touching the road as it rolls.  It’s just plain old physics.  In one test performed by a tire maker, tires reached a temperature of 170 degrees after only one hour when the temperature outside was 73 degrees.  You can’t change physics; all you can do is try to prepare for it.

According to Bob Beasley of Beasley Tire Service in Houston, Texas, “As the tire loses air pressure, and more heat builds up, the tire starts to flex more. In addition to the 105-degree heat we’ve had lately, [it] will cause that tire to fly apart.”  That doesn’t sound good, does it?  And it’s not just you that you need to worry about.  Be mindful of other drivers when you’re on the highway, especially truckers.  Truckers call thrown treads “alligators.”  Know why?  Because rubber and steel flying off a big rig going 70 mph down the highway will take a bite out of you.  Physics, again.  In fact, this is the worst time of year for truckers and tires; so, you may want to keep your distance from the 18-wheelers traveling with you on the highway.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, from 2005 to 2009, 3,400 people died and 116,000 were injured in tire-related accidents.  That’s a lot of people.  Take care of your tires!  Here are a few things to consider to stay safe on the road this summer:

1.  Be mindful of other drivers around you.

2.   Check the pressure in your tires.

3.  Consider nitrogen fill for your tires (RNR does that!)

4.  Check your tires for wear or damage.

5.  Obey the speed limit and don’t travel at high speeds for long periods of time (if it can be avoided), especially in very hot weather.

6.  Check the tread on your tire.  Low tread or bald tires are unsafe!

7.  Don’t overload your vehicle.

RNR Custom Wheels and Tire Express are right here to help you this summer.  Whether its explaining the benefits of nitrogen fill, checking your tires for visible warning signs of potential problems, or helping you find a new set of tires to keep you and your family safe this summer—we’ve got you covered!

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