FROM AAA KANSAS -- The mercury is soaring this week, and hot temperatures are bringing an increase in tire-related calls to AAA. Heat impacts tires much more severely than cool weather because tires build pressure and overheat more quickly, causing tire blowouts. Drivers are encouraged to be aware of how extreme temperatures take a toll on their tires this week.
“Tires, especially those that are worn, heat up and become more vulnerable to blowouts as the day gets hotter,” said Jim Hanni, executive vice president of public and government affairs at AAA. “Luckily, there are simple ways drivers can beat the heat and stay safe on the road.”
AAA recommends the following tips to keep tires running smooth during the hot summer months:
Check air pressure regularly. Properly inflating tires once a month will make tires last longer, delay the need to buy new ones and avoid dangerous blowouts in hot weather.
Examine all four tires. Check tires for cracks, bulges and worn tread that indicate it’s time to replace them. Drivers should also check tires’ manufacturer dates to be sure they aren’t driving on old tires that are more likely to be impacted by heat.
Inspect valve caps. Metal caps have the potential to weld onto the tire valve when the weather gets hot, making it difficult to refill air pressure to appropriate levels. Drivers should consider using plastic caps which tolerate the heat better. Also be sure to check that valve caps are tightly secured.
Have tires inspected by a professional. Drivers should visit a repair facility to ensure their tires can handle the heat when it gets hot. Consumers can visit one of AAA’s nearly 8,000 Approved Auto Repair facilities for an inspection. To find an approved auto repair shop, drivers can visit AAA.com/repair.
Be prepared in case of an emergency. In case of a blowout, be sure to carry emergency supplies such as a car care kit with jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, flashlight, hazard signs, snacks, water and a charged cell phone.
For more information about AAA, members and non-members can visit AAA offices in Topeka, Manhattan or Lawrence, go online to AAA.com or call 800-365-5222.