Did you know that tire temperatures play a major role in how a car performs? In fact, tires are the single most important component when it comes to grip.
As the temperature of your tires changes, so does their ability to grip the road. This can affect braking distances and handling. In this article, we will discuss why tire temperatures matter and what you can do to ensure that your tires are performing at their best.
Why Tire Temperatures matter
When you drive on your tires, they will begin to heat up. This is due to the friction between the tire and the road. As they heat up it can affect how your tire behaves, how fast your tires wear out and even your tire pressures.
Tires are designed to withstand high temperatures, but there is a limit to how hot they can get. If your tires get too hot, they can start to break down. The tread can separate from the tire, and the tire can even melt.
To avoid these problems, it is important to monitor your tire temperatures. This is why it is important to be aware of the effects of tire temperature on your car.
How tire temperature affects tire pressure
Your tire temperatures are important as they directly affect the pressure inside the tire. This is because the air inside the tire will expand and contract with the tire temperature as it heats up and cools down.
It is worth noting that your tires pressure will also change depending on the outside temperature.
If your tires get too hot, the air pressure inside will increase and could cause the tire to become overinflated. An overinflated tire will behave differently on the road and may begin to make improper contact with the road, which can reduce your vehicle’s safety and your ability to control the vehicle.
Similarly, as the weather gets colder the air inside tires will contract and the pressure will drop. This is why you may come out to your vehicle one day in the middle of winter and find that your tires appear to look a little flatter than usual.
This is why it is important to look after your tires, especially if you are driving in extreme hot or cold weather conditions.
How tire temperature affects handling
Another important factor that is affected by tire temperature is the way your car handles. As the tires heat up, they will begin to soften and will affect how your vehicle will behave. This includes changes to your vehicle’s braking performance, cornering grip and traction in the rain.
How a tire handles and performs comes down to a variety of different factors. One of the main factors is the compound of the tire. The compound is the material that the tire is made out of and will determine how well the tire performs in different conditions.
Since the ambient temperature and the temperature of the tire as it warms will change the hardness of its compound, it will in turn affect how your car handles and performs. Generally as the tire warms up, the level of grip will increase and as the temperature drops, the level of grip will decrease.
This is because as the tire compound heats up, it will become softer and will offer more grip. However, if the tire gets too hot, then the level of grip will decrease as the tire compound will become too soft and the tire will begin to wear very fast.
Similarly, as the weather and roads get colder, a tires rubber compounds becomes harder and is able to offer less grip. This is why in colder temperatures it is advised to fit specially designed winter tires and to drive slower and more carefully as your vehicle is more likely to lose traction and skid.
Types of tire and temperature
The type of tire you have on your vehicle will also determine how they will react to the temperature of your tire.
Winter tires are the softest kind of tire as they are designed to remain soft and pliable in sub zero temperatures. This means that in cold temperatures and on snow and ice they provide the most amount of grip.
However when the outside ambient temperature begins to warm up, winter tires are no longer suitable. This is because winter tires are not designed to be durable in warm climates and driving on them in warm weather will cause them to wear down very quickly.
All-season tires are designed to perform well in a wider range of temperatures, but they are not as effective in extreme conditions as winter tires or summer tires.
Summer tires are the hardest type of tire and are designed to withstand the high temperatures that are experienced in the summer months. This makes them ideal for use in hot weather conditions as they will not wear down as quickly as other tires.
However, summer tires are not suitable for use in cold weather conditions as they will become hard and brittle, which lead to them not being able to grip the road and will offer the least amount of traction and grip in cold conditions.
It is important to remember that no matter what type of tire you have on your vehicle, the performance of your tires will be affected by tire temperature. This is why it is important to check your tire pressure and tread depth regularly, as well as keeping an eye on the temperature of your tires and ensure that they are suitable for the conditions you plan to drive them in.
If you are driving in hot weather conditions, be sure to take breaks often to allow your tires to cool down. This will help to prolong the life of your tires and keep you safe on the road
How to keep your tires from overheating
Tire temperature can be affected by a number of factors, including the type of tire, the type of road surface, the weather, and even your driving style. In general, the hotter the environment, the higher the tire temperatures will be.
There are a number of ways you can help to keep your tires at a safe temperature.
The second way is to avoid driving on hot pavement and to make sure to park your vehicle in the shade or a cooler area if the weather is particularly hot outside. Direct sunlight can heat up the road surface and there have been times when roads have begun to melt. This will also affect tires left out in this weather.
Another way to keep your tires from overheating is to avoid doing burnouts. This is because burnouts involve overcoming the traction of the tire and spinning them on the road which generates a huge amount of heat and can wear down a tire within a few minutes.
Finally try avoid hard braking and acceleration. This will help to prevent your tires from overheating. This will also help to maximise your tires tread life.
How tire temperatures affect race cars
For race cars, tire temperatures are even more important as they can mean the difference between winning and losing a race.
Race cars go through a process called tire scrubbing where they are driven around the track at low speeds to help warm up the tires prior to the race. This is done because if the tires are not at the correct temperature, they will not offer the same level of grip and the car will not perform as well.
Formula 1 car tires and other race car tires are designed to operate at much higher temperatures as they are solely focused on performance and grip. This means that they are very soft and not as durable as regular tires. Some tires will not even last the entire duration of the race before needing to be changed.
Tire temperatures are important to consider as they can have a big impact on the performance of your tires. Extreme temperatures can cause your tires to wear down quickly or to lose grip and become less effective.
It is important to regularly check your tire pressure, tread depth, and to maintain their temperature to ensure that your tires are performing at their best and to help prolong their life. If you are driving in hot weather conditions, take breaks often to help keep your tires cool.
We hope you enjoyed this article on why tire temperatures matter 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!
What is a normal tire temperature?
Once a tire is up to operating temperature, it should be between 30-60°C. However, there are a number of factors that can affect this, including the type of tire, the type of road surface, the weather, and even your driving style.
Can I read my tire temperature?
You can use a tire temperature gun to measure the temperature of your tires. The ideal range for most tires is between 30 and 50 degrees Celsius. They should be warm but not overly hot to the touch.