The Impact of Temperature on Tires

Sep 11, 2023 | Technical, Tire Balancing

Factors Influencing Tire Performance

Tires are subject to various influences arising from temperature, necessitating careful consideration by manufacturers during the design process. These factors encompass tire operating temperature, recommended tire pressure, tread designs, vehicle workload, and materials used.

The Optimal Operating Temperature

Many experts believe that an optimal operating temperature for tires hovers around 195 degrees Fahrenheit. This specific temperature range allows tires to function efficiently and safely over extended periods. Beyond this point, temperature fluctuations begin to negatively affect tire life by reducing structural integrity and initiating thermal degradation.

The Crucial Role of Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is a primary factor that can push tires beyond their ideal operating temperature. Inadequate tire pressure causes increased sidewall movement during driving, subjecting the rubber to repeated stretching and contraction, which generates heat. Prolonged neglect of low tire pressure can result in tire failure, including blowouts, tread separation, or other tire defects. Preventing such heat buildup necessitates proper wheel-end assembly balancing, tire pressure in alignment with vehicle load recommendations, and selecting the correct tire for the intended application.

Geographic Impact on Tire Life

Atmospheric temperature plays a significant role in tire longevity, with a notable correlation between geographical regions characterized by hot and humid conditions and shortened tire life. When driving in extreme heatwave-like conditions, it is important to exercise extra caution while ensuring adherence to the considerations outlined above.

Cold Weather Effects on Tire Efficiency

While heat poses a significant threat to tire efficiency, cold weather can also have an impact. Lower temperatures cause the rubber compounds within the tire to become more compact and stiffer, while reducing tire pressure by roughly -1 PSI for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit drop. This can affect tire traction with the road but does not cause the same level of harm as excessive heat would.

Maintenance for Prolonged Tire Life

To avoid excessive wear caused by temperature-related factors, we strongly recommend implementing routine tire maintenance measures. Making sure the tire pressure matches the vehicle’s weight and load, having a well-balanced wheel assembly, and choosing the right tire for the specific job are crucial for keeping your tires in good shape for a long time.

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