Drivers Warned To Check Tire Air Pressure During Heat Wave

A view shared this picture after his tire blew out due to extreme heat.

Augusta– There are many warnings on how heat can affect you or even your pets, but what about your car?

It’s hot when you get inside of your car and sometimes that makes you sweat or takes your breath away.  After you’ve pulled yourself together and start your car, driving in the heat can be dangerous.

“Man it’s frustrating. It can ruin you day or ruin your trip if you’re going on a long trip,” Discount Tire Company Store Manager Justin Kaplan said.

A tire blowout is the last thing anyone wants, but with the recent extreme heat it is happening.  So, when a viewer sent us a photo of his blowout, News Channel 6 went on a mission to a few local tire shops to find out why it happens.

A view shared this picture after his tire blew out due to extreme heat.
A view shared this picture after his tire blew out due to extreme heat.

Darren Smith is seeing tire blowouts come in his shop off Gordon Highway, Smith Tire Company.

“The heat goes to the actual belts of the tire and actually starts melting away some of the layers of where it’s put together and actual belts will begin to lift and separate.  That’s when you see it peel off like an onion,” Owner Darren Smith said.

He warns drivers, especially those hitting the road for vacation, to take notice of how their vehicles ride.

“It will be a little stiffer, generally.  Sometimes you may notice it and sometimes you may not. May be a little stiffer or could be bouncier,” he said.

Smith told us during this extreme heat, you want to check your tire pressure more. And when you do, he said it’s ok if it expands to about 37 or 38psi.

Renetta DuBose keeps a tire pressure gauge on hand to check air pressure during the hot season.
Renetta DuBose keeps a tire pressure gauge on hand to check air pressure during the hot season.

“If you’re going over 40psi, it’s too high,” Smith explained.

Justin Kaplan is seeing blowouts too with the heat wave at Discount Tire on Washington Road.

“20 percent increase in blowouts in the summer months,” Kaplan said.  “You could lose control of your car. It’s not a safe situation to happen.  So, you want to make sure that it doesn’t happen.  Keep your air pressure checked.  Keep your tread depth checked.”

If you don’t have a tire pressure gauge, don’t let that stop you from getting your air pressure checked. In fact, any automotive store will check, perhaps for free.  And don’t forget the check the spare tire too.

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