Why Hot Tyres Are Not Cool
Winter came hard on the heels of our long and isolated lockdown, so if you’re anything like us, you’ll be looking forward to hitting the road and chasing the sun. Now that spring is just about here, with summer right on top of that, we’ll be able to do that very soon. It’s an exciting prospect. But the car tyres of NZ are not as excited! Hot roads in spring and summer can do all sorts of weird things to our tyres and reduce their lifespan. As you drive, your tyres start to heat up, and that happens at all times of the year. But the hotter the road surface, the faster the tread rubber starts to soften and break down. Plus, many of the metal and gravel roads we travel on over summer – to get to the beach for example – will chew up all that delicious soft rubber they come into contact with.
Even though you can’t do too much about the weather, you can take steps to minimise any wear and tear caused by the higher temperatures. To start with, we suggest you take your time on your summer road trip and enjoy as many breaks as possible. We all know we should take regular rest breaks as drivers anyway, and while we’re having a breather, our tyres can as well. You’ll resume your journey feeling refreshed and your tyres will be a little cooler as well.
If you can travel during cooler periods of the day. The sun is at its hottest from midday to early afternoon, and the residual heat will mean roads will still be warm in the late afternoon. That’s why it makes sense to drive in the early hours of the morning, or in the evening if you have a flexible schedule.
Before you head off, make sure your tyres are properly inflated. Under-inflated tyres tend to flex more, which causes heat buildup. If conditions are already hot on the road, under-inflated tires are even more likely to fail. Take it from us, summer blowouts are common for this very reason.
Another pre-departure tip is to minimise the weight of the load you’re carrying. Your tyres will already be under enough stress on hot roads, but the lighter your vehicle, the less pressure they’ll be under. So don’t overpack – leave the kitchen sink at home!
One final thing. You’ll likely be on the road a lot over spring and summer, so it could be an idea to get your tyres and the rest of your vehicle checked before you go anywhere. Get in touch with us and we’ll take care of everything. The warmer months should be all about fun, and not about being stranded on the side of the road waiting for an emergency breakdown service to turn up.