weather tires

Prepare for the Elements: The Effect of Weather on Tires

October 2023

As the chill of winter approaches, it’s crucial to understand the significant impact that weather can have on your tires. Whether you drive a passenger vehicle, light truck, semi, or construction equipment, seasonal changes can effect the performance and safety of your tires. In this article, Take Off Tire will discuss the effects of different weather conditions on your tires and what you can do to ensure your safety on the road.

Changing Temperatures and Tire Pressure

First, let’s talk about the effects of hot weather on tires. High temperatures can cause the air inside of your tires to expand, resulting in increased tire pressure. This can lead to overinflation, which can cause uneven wear and can even lead to a blowout. 

On the other side of the temperature gauge, cold weather can also have an impact on tire performance. When temperatures drop, the air inside your tires contracts, which can lead to underinflation. Underinflated tires can cause a decrease in fuel efficiency, an increase in uneven wear, and a reduction in traction.

To avoid driving on tires that are either overinflated or underinflated due to changes in temperature, it’s important to remember that seasonal changes can lead to these air pressure issues. A good rule of thumb is to check your tire pressure regularly, especially before long drives or road trips, and adjust it as needed.

Effect of Weather on Tires

Another weather related concern is the affect of rain and snow on tires. Wet roads can cause your tires to lose traction, making it harder to control your vehicle. Driving in icy or snowy conditions can cause your tires to lose their grip, making it difficult to stop and steer. 

To prepare for winter weather conditions, it is important to have tires with good tread depth and to use tires that are at least designated as all-season tires. It is not a safe practice to use summer or street performance tires in the winter if you live in a climate that is cold and often delivers ice and snow.

Vehicle Specific Notes

Passenger and Light Truck Tires:

In terms of a daily driver, the most important factors have been discussed above. Making sure your tire air pressure is accurate and making sure that you have tires suitable for winter are the most important factors when it comes to safety and tire performance. Routinely check your tire pressure during winter months. If you’re having issues with grip or traction, it is likely time for new tires with a safe amount of tread depth.

Another excellent option to be prepared for the winter months is having a separate set of winter tires. Winter tires are designed with special tread patterns and rubber compounds to provide better grip in cold conditions. Having a separate set of tires for the winter season allows you to safely run a performance tire during the warm months and make the switch to winter tires when the temperatures drop. 

Commercial Tires:

Commercial vehicles such as semi trucks and trailers, delivery trucks, buses, and emergency vehicles are often subject to heavy loads and long hours on the road. The cold weather can lead to faster tire wear and tear, increasing risk of blowouts. Just like passenger and light truck vehicles, make sure that your tires are properly inflated, have good tread depth, and have the appropriate load carrying capacity.

For commercial applications, consider a more aggressive tread pattern if you are driving in a climate where ice and snow is common. An open shoulder drive tire will offer better traction and performance in colder conditions and will vastly improve the safety of the driver and crew.

Preparing for winter means understanding how weather can affect your tires. Regardless of the vehicle you are driving, proper maintenance, regular tire pressure checks, and, if necessary, switching to winter-specific tires, are all essential steps to ensure your safety on the road during the cold months.

Take Off Tire is one of the premier tire shops in Lincoln, NE and a great place to get your tires serviced. We offer free tire checks so come get your tires looked at before the snow flies. 

If new tires are needed, we have an extensive selection of new tires to choose from. If you have any questions, give us a call at 402-413-6646 to talk to a dedicated tire salesman who will help you with any tire advise, or service, you may need!