When can tires freeze? Anywhere that consistently get under 20 degree Fahrenheit can risk tires freezing to the ground. Here’s what you need to know to protect and thaw them.
It’s that time of year again when the temperature starts to drop and we all have to start worrying about our cars. Will the cold weather cause my engine to freeze? Will my pipes burst? Is it going to be safe to drive in the snow?
These are all common questions that people have this time of year. In this blog post, we will answer one question that often comes up during winter: can tires freeze?
Can tires freeze?
Technically, a tire cannot “freeze” as rubber is a solid and only liquids have the capability to freeze. However, semantics out of the way, it is possible for the tire to freeze to the ground in extreme temperatures.
If the temperature outside is low enough, and there is water or moisture on the ground, the tire can freeze to the surface. This usually happens when it’s around 20 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. When this happens, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to drive the car as the tires will have no traction on the ground.
Factors that cause a tire to freeze
Outside of just cold weather, there are in fact, other factors that can cause a tire to freeze to the ground.
Salt on the ground
It’s pretty common for salt to be used on the roads during winter as it helps to prevent ice from forming. However, this salt can also cause tires to freeze to the ground. This is because the salt corrode metal components which can lead to freezing.
If you allow your tires to get wet and don’t dry them off you leave yourself at the mercy of the elements and you might wake up to tires completely stuck the the frozen ground.
How to prevent a tire from freezing?
The best way to prevent your tires from freezing to the ground is to park indoors if possible. If that’s not an option, you can try parking on a mat or something that will insulate the tire from the cold ground. You can also purchase tire covers specifically for this purpose.
Other ways cold weather can damage tires
It’s not just freezing that can damage tires in cold weather. The cold weather can also cause the tire tread to become hard and brittle. This can lead to cracks and holes in the tread which can reduce traction and cause a blowout.
Cold weather can also cause tires to lose air pressure. This is because when it’s cold, the air becomes denser and takes up less space and as a result, the air pressure in the car will be reduced.
Finally, the rubber of most summer tires can become stiff as a result of cold weather which will affect the grooves in the tread. This leads to a loss of traction that can make already icy roads even more dangerous.
Why winter tires work better in the cold
One of the best ways to combat all of these problems is to simply switch out your tires for winter tires. Winter tires are designed specifically for cold weather and as a result, they don’t suffer from many of the same issues that regular tires do.
The rubber in winter tires is softer which means it won’t become as brittle in the cold. They also have deeper treads which provide better traction in icy and snowy conditions. Winter tires can also be filled with a special type of winterized air that won’t lose pressure as quickly in the cold.
If you live in an area where it gets cold during winter, we highly recommend making the switch to winter tires. It could end up saving you a lot of money (and headaches) in the long run.
How to thaw a tire frozen to the ground?
If your tire has already frozen to the ground, there are a few things you can do to try and thaw it out.
The first thing you’ll want to do is pour some warm water over the tire. You should be careful with this though as too much hot water can damage the tire. This can be done repeatedly until the tires can move freely.
Tips on how to protect your tires in the winter
As you can see, cold weather comes with a whole host of challenges for your tires so it’s important to your your best to look after them in the winter months.
Here are a few tips on how to do that:
- Park indoors if possible: parking in a garage can keep the elements away from your tires and help to prevent them from freezing or becoming damaged.
- Check your tire pressure regularly: as we mentioned before, cold weather can cause tires to lose air pressure. Checking your pressure regularly can help you to catch this early and avoid any issues.
- Consider switching to winter tires: as we’ve discussed, winter tires are specifically designed for cold weather conditions. If you live in an area where it gets cold, they could be a worthwhile investment.
- Inspect your tires regularly: it’s always a good idea to give your tires a once over every now and then, but it’s especially important in the winter. Keep an eye out for any cracks, holes, or other damage that could cause problems down the road.
- Add a layer of protection: there are a number of products on the market that can help to protect your tires from the cold weather. Things like tire covers and mats can help to insulate your tires and prevent them from freezing or becoming damaged.
What to do now?
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of when can tires freeze and why it happens. If you do try to thaw out your tires make sure you are careful not to use water that is too hot or harsh chemicals like de-icers as it can damage your tires.
If cold weather conditions are commonplace where you are, you may just want to consider getting a pair of winter tires instead.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email or through social media and we will read and respond to every comment, email or question. Thanks for reading!