Summer heat can take a toll on your car's tires

Summer heat can take a toll on your car's tires

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ATLANTA -

Atlanta residents have sweated a pretty mild summer, so far. But, more 90-degree temperatures are lurking right around the corner. And, when that mercury starts to rise, so does the likelihood that the heat will take a toll on your tires.

The key to avoiding this is staying a step ahead of the problem by taking care of your tires.

Now, technically, the tires are the second most important item – just behind the brakes – on your car. Derek Cassey, of Midtown Tire, will tell you that warmer weather can definitely wear on them.

First, there's your traction. If you have more of the tire expanded out, then you're not going to get as good of a drive. And rising heat, typically, makes an object expand.

Cracks in your tire can turn into magnets for nails and other debris when the cracks warm up and start to soften. As you drive, your tire can expand even more and allow more nails and other similar-sized objects to get wedged into the cracks.

Even the road can be dangerous and cause blows out when things heat up. The pavement will start to expand. Cracks in the pavement become even more jagged edges.

Protecting yourself starts with your tire pressure. The air pressure in the tire is what's holding the weight of your vehicle. If you think of it like that, then you'll want to check your air pressure because that's what holding your car off the ground.

Also, be sure your tires are not under- or over-inflated. Often, you can tell by listening for your tires to make a squealing noise when you make a turn. Your car will also tend to jar quite a bit more when a tire is over-inflated.

Tires are only rated to withstand a certain temperature increase before it starts to internally malfunction.

Lastly, don't forget to check on your spare tire, too. Mechanics say many drivers overlook it.

It doesn't hurt to set aside a few minutes first thing in the morning – when it's cool – to check the condition of your tires. Take an accurate reading by avoiding the heat of the day.

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