Hot-weather tire tips
Aug 1, 2008 12:00 PM
Good inflation pressure maintenance and pre-trip inspection programs are the best tools for combating the intense heat that affects tires in the summer, says the Tire Industry Association (TIA), an international association representing all segments of the tire industry. It recommends taking some basic steps to protect against tire problems:
Maintain proper inflation pressure on a daily basis. Don't rely on a tire thumper or the old “boot-o-meter” (kicking a tire). Use a calibrated gauge on the end of every valve stem.
Make sure dual tires are properly matched, so that one tire is not supporting more weight than the other.
Check the brakes to make sure they are properly adjusted. Improperly adjusted brakes create excessive friction in the drum and hub, which eventually works its way to the tires. In the worst-case scenario, the heat becomes so severe that the tires can actually catch fire shortly after the vehicle has been parked.
Be sure wheel bearings are properly installed and lubricated. If not, bearings can create excessive heat that could burn the beads - the ridged edge parts of the tire that makes contact with the wheel, or worse, cause a tire fire even after the vehicle is parked. Drivers should be made aware of any bearing work prior to a trip, and be instructed to keep watchful eye on those wheel ends.
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