Have you noticed that your tyres seem to need more frequent replacement? If so, you've just gotten a lesson on what rising temperatures can do to your tyres. The hotter it gets, the more your tyres can be adversely affected, with issues ranging from dried-out rubber to terrible road grip. And as Australian summers get hotter, the effect of the heat on your tyres will only become more pronounced. Knowing what happens and why can help you plan better for tyre replacement, as well as take steps to protect your car.
Heat Deforms Tyre Materials
The hotter it gets, the more your tyre rubber can dry out and crack. And if it dries out too much and cracks in the wrong spot, you've got the right conditions for a blow-out as you drive. You may have seen small surface cracks on old tyres and not worried about them, but the problem is that you never know if those surface cracks actually head deeper into the tyre rubber. Pressure from the road, as well as a poorly placed piece of debris, can cause the tyre to finally give way.
Heat Also Causes the Air Pressure to Rise
Heat also causes the air pressure in the tyre to rise. On very hot days, that rise adds up to a lot of extra air pressure. In an old, damaged, heat-cracked tyre, that's a recipe for disaster. At the very least, it can add to the damage if not outright cause problems on the road.
A Change in Air Pressure Affects Grip
It gets worse. When that air pressure changes, the amount of tyre tread that makes contact with the road changes as the shape of the tyre is affected by the air pressure. That affects your handling and ability to brake, which could have its own secondary effects on the condition of the tyre.
Australian Summers Are Getting Hotter
So, heat affects tyres, but what does this have to do with having to replace your tyres more often? Australian summers are getting hotter — so hot, in fact, that the Bureau of Meteorology needed to add a new colour in 2013 to account for the higher temperatures. And road surfaces absorb heat, making what the tyres experience even worse than you think.
It's essential that you keep an eye on your tyres. Have them inspected every few months throughout the year and more often in the summer when it gets very hot. It may seem annoying to have to get new tyres more often and have them inspected so much, but it's necessary for your safety on the road.Share