Is Extreme Heat Dangerous To Your Tires?

Is Extreme Heat Dangerous To Your Tires?

If you equipped yourself with a set of summer tires, good for you! You have made a good choice to give your car optimal traction and safe stability on the road in the hot season. We all know that tire manufacturers take into account the high summer temperatures when producing summer tires. I mean, for sure they add special components to make them more resistant to high temperatures. However, how dangerous is the summer heat for tires? How extreme heat can they withstand during the summer?

It's not enough that the sun is roasting from above, but the pavement also heats up to extremes of 145 Fahrenheit. How long can a tire last in such conditions? Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is that everything depends on the condition of the tires. If you think about it a bit, a new tire, with an optimal and resistant tread, is not quite as sensitive to a blowout as one that has been used for the 5th year, right? So, we should have a maximum check on the condition of our tires. But what other aspects cannot be neglected regarding high temperatures? Let's see in the following article.

What Can Happen With High Temperatures?

What are the tire hazards associated with high temperatures? Even if the manufacturers have this aspect in mind, some physical processes can naturally affect the tire due to excessive heat. One of these processes is friction.

Friction is a natural physical process that occurs during driving. The tire generates friction for the simple reason that it rubs against the asphalt. So, it heats up just from the fact that it rolls on the road. This complimentary heat overlaps with that of the asphalt, leading to tires' overheating.

Another aspect that influences the heat from the tires is the material from which these are made. The rubber structure consists of a polymer connection. The high temperature due to friction generates a vibration at the level of these polymers. The vibration of the polymers, in turn, leads to their expansion. And this whole chain of physical processes can lead to tire bursts.

So, you realize that high temperatures are not at all friendly with our tires. It is important to be vigilant in this aspect and to check the condition of the tires from time to time to estimate how prone they are to damage due to heat.

Symptoms Of A Hot Tire And A Blowout Is Likely

It is not a mistake to check your tires by touch. If you feel that they are extremely hot to the touch, most likely the tires undergo an overheating.

In the same context, you should monitor the tire pressure. Along with the high temperatures, the pressure in the tires also increases. This happens due to the expansion of the air molecules in the tires. It is most likely that you will have to adjust the pressure during the summer, to avoid a blowout. Checking the pressure is mandatory when you feel that the tires are too hot. Even without it, you have to make sure of optimal pressure whenever the temperatures go crazy.

The safest method of checking the pressure remains the pressure gauge. I know many will mention TPMS sensors for more modern vehicles. However, I would not rely on these sensors. TPMS system is a reliable program when it comes to low temperatures. As for the high ones, the sensors can sometimes suggest erroneous data. For more accurate indicators, a pressure gauge will do much better. Keep in mind that any weather temperature has a certain impact on your tire. So regular checking is a must. 

Factors That Affect Tires In Hot Conditions

Indeed, we cannot influence the summer heat and the way it affects our tires. But we can influence certain factors that indirectly lead to the impact of tires during the summer. I am sure that you never thought that these factors had any influence. Well, they have, and you can reduce it. These factors refer to underinflation/overinflation, potholes, load, and opting for bald tires. Let's discuss each of them separately.


Be honest, how many times have your neighbors whispered to you that underinflating tires is a good way to reduce fuel consumption? Many times, isn't it? Unfortunately, many drivers still believe that underinflating their tires is beneficial for their car for various reasons. Well, this thinking is totally wrong. An under-inflated tire not only affects the vehicle's traction on the road but is also more sensitive to heat. Many tend to underinflate the tire as it tends to increase in pressure due to the high temperatures. This approach is wrong. If the high temperature is constant, the pressure is less likely to suffer fluctuations. So, the best idea is to maintain the optimal pressure recommended by the manufacturers.
This is also true for the reverse scenario, i.e. that of overinflation. Overinflation is always a risk factor for a blowout in high-temperature conditions.


Believe it or not, road potholes are somehow more dangerous during the summer. Once the tire is hot from the high temperatures, it becomes more sensitive to any impact with potholes. In this context, it is not excluded that either the tire starts to decompress air gradually, or that it blows out without you even expecting it. So, if you know that there is a difficult section of road ahead, reducing the speed would help the tires to withstand the impacts as much as possible.


What do you usually do in the summer? You load your vehicle with all kinds of stuff for picnics and outdoor explorations. You invite a couple of friends with you for more fun. However, your vehicle is no fun at all with a few tens of kilograms extra. Your tires will not cope perfectly, bearing in mind that they are sensitive because of the mega-high temperatures. You would do your vehicle a favor if you took into account the load and the maximum allowed pressure of your tires. Do not exceed the limits recommended by the manufacturer, unless you want to find yourself with a blowout in the middle of the road. Keep in mind that a heavier load, in combination with high temperatures, significantly reduces the response of the tires to braking and cornering.

Opting for bald tires

You are right when you say that summer tires do not need to have the same deep tread as winter tires. Indeed, the winter ones must provide a better grip in extreme conditions and for this reason, they have a much more aggressive and deeper tread. But this is not enough reason to opt for bald tires for the warm season. The balder the tires are, the more they heat up to extreme temperatures.

Quality summer tires contain treads with a specific design. This is not exactly very deep, but it has logic in its architecture. The small channels in a good summer tire serve as a ventilation zone between the tire and the road. So, an expressive tread somehow reduces the friction between the road and the tire due to the air space between them. Alternatively, the bald tire comes into contact with the road on a flat portion, without ventilation/cooling channels. Respectively, overheating and possibly a blowout is inevitable, especially on long journeys. What should you do in that case? That's right. Avoid bald tires categorically.

How To Prevent Tires From Overheating And Cool Them Down?

First of all, choose a set of quality summer tires. No bald and worn-out tires, no under/over-inflated ones. Second, buy a pressure gauge, which is very cheap and allows you to keep the tire pressure under control. Remember that tire pressure plays an essential role in the risks that arise due to heat.

If you still notice that the tires have heated up too much, reduce your speed. Don't rush and let them roll in a lighter rhythm. A good solution is to stop the vehicle near a water source and water it thoroughly to cool it down. Leave them for a few minutes to lower the temperature in them while you grab a snack or coffee.

An optimal solution for those who drive a lot during the summer is filling the tires with nitrogen. This substance has properties to keep the tire cool, avoiding all potential risks.

And the last recommendation is to be consistent with the care of your tires. The more they are cared for, the more resistant they are in any condition.

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