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Summary
  • Tires are more likely to fail during the summer because high temperatures weaken tires. When a tire is underinflated, it flexes more, which creates more heat. The combination of stress and heat can cause a tire to fail.
  • Tires are more likely to fail when they’re exposed to high temperatures. Tire compounds typically start to deteriorate once they reach 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Underinflated tires are one of the most common causes of blowouts.

Tires are known to blow out more frequently during the summer season. This might seem like a mysterious occurrence, but there are reasons why tires blow out more frequently from around May to October.

You might think that the heat is the main reason tires blow out during the summer, but the primary cause of blowouts on the road is actually driving with underinflated tires. Thus, it’s the law that vehicles built after September 1, 2007 have tire pressure monitor systems (TPMS).

Why Underinflated Tires Cause Blowouts

To understand why tires blow out more frequently during the summer, we must understand what causes a tire to blow out.

Blowouts are catastrophic tire failures where a tire deflates rapidly while the car is being driven. Some tires violently shred and tear apart, while others simply go flat very quickly.

Underinflated tires may lead to blowouts because they can cause the tire sidewalls to overheat. As a tire spins, its sidewall continuously flexes, thus underinflated tires will create large amounts of sidewall heat. They also have a larger surface area resting on the road (the edges of the tire will be carrying the weight of the car rather than having it spread evenly across the tread) and that makes the belted part of the tire heat up as well, which results in more friction and even higher tire temperatures.

The heat from all of the flexing plus the hot summer sun can cause the tire compounds to break down and fail, which can lead to a blowout. Tires are most likely to fail when the vehicle is traveling at high speeds since the tire is under a lot of stress.

, Why Tire Blowouts Are More Common During the Summer

Pro Tips are nuggets of information direct from ASE-certified automobile technicians working with CarParts.com, which may include unique, personal insights based on their years of experience working in the automotive industry. These can help you make more informed decisions about your car.

Pro Tip: Low profile tires that are run low on air may or may not blow out while driving but frequently blow out while air is being added after driving miles underinflated.

There are several possible tire blowout causes, but underinflated tires are one of the most common.

Preventing Blowouts During the Summer

Here are some ways you can maintain your tire pressure.

Properly Inflate Your Tires

Make sure you inflate your tires to the recommended pressure, which can be found on your vehicle’s driver’s side door jamb or in its owner’s manual. Don’t ignore TPMS warnings, and if you have a TPMS error message, get it seen about right away.

Regularly Check Your Tire Pressure

It’s a good rule of thumb to check your tire pressure once a month regardless of whether you think it lost any pressure. This is because it can be hard to tell if a tire is underinflated based solely on its appearance.

A tire can be only half inflated and still look just fine. Tire pressure gauges are cheap, so get one and handle it with care. If you drop it, replace it.

half and full inflated tires
This is how difficult it is to just look at a tire and determine the pressure is low. | Image Source: Richard McCuistian

Get a Portable Compressor

Portable compressors allow you to conveniently check and inflate your vehicle’s tires without driving to the gas station. Most portable compressors have a digital gauge and can be stored inside your truck and plugged into your vehicle’s 12-volt socket. Some are even automatic and will, when set properly, inflate the tire to the pressure specified and then turn off. Portable air compressors can be beneficial in situations where you suspect that your tires have low pressure and don’t want to risk driving to the gas station since it can be unsafe.

, Why Tire Blowouts Are More Common During the Summer

Pro Tips are nuggets of information direct from ASE-certified automobile technicians working with CarParts.com, which may include unique, personal insights based on their years of experience working in the automotive industry. These can help you make more informed decisions about your car.

Pro Tip: Also, regularly check the air in the spare tire.

Overall, you should be aware that blowouts are more common in the summer because hot weather can put your tires under more stress. The last thing you want is to have a blowout that can lead to an accident just because you didn’t put enough air inside your tires. During the summer, you should regularly check your vehicle’s tire pressure to keep you and your passengers safe.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Technical Reviewer at CarParts.com

Richard McCuistian has worked for nearly 50 years in the automotive field as a professional technician, an instructor, and a freelance automotive writer for Motor Age, ACtion magazine, Power Stroke Registry, and others. Richard is ASE certified for more than 30 years in 10 categories, including L1 Advanced Engine Performance and Light Vehicle Diesel.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

File Under : Wheels and Tires
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