Driving in warmer weather can be a great experience when you’re prepared and know what to look out for. While we all dream of perfect sunny days with the windows down and the radio a little louder than usual, all drivers need to know how hotter tyres can affect their driving.
Remember that you’re using compressed air
Whenever you use the air pump to fill up and balance tyres, remember that you’re using compressed air. Unlike blowing up balloons or any kind of inflatable, the compressed air your tyres need is always just oxygen, water vapour and mostly nitrogen. While water vapour makes up a small percentage, it’s a great visual aid to have as you’ll know what water expands as it gets warmer. So, when the temperature goes up, the air inside your tyre will too, but not by a lot.
If you’ve ever noticed a half-empty bottle of water or mineral in the car on a hot day with a little condensation in the bottle, something similar is happening in your tyres, although not to the same extent. Just remember to keep your tyres to the recommended pressure/PSI that is marked on the car. If you’re driving a new car you’re unfamiliar with, the recommended PSI limits are typically on a sticker on the petrol flap, the inside of the driver door sill or the handbook.
Double-check pressure appropriately
There is a general rule of thumb that when you’re not using your car in warmer weather, and the temperature is 10°C higher than normal, tyre pressure increases.
You may think that underinflating will prevent any problems, but this is not recommended. You don’t want to give your tyres a tougher time working, as lower pressure will wear on them & reduce fuel efficiency.
If you’re not 100% confident in checking your car or ensuring it’s in good condition, an AA-approved service might be something to consider. Using your Eircode, we can help get you booked into a local service centre.
Understand changes in weather
On those summer days when the weather takes a turn, and some showers see a week’s rain in just a few hours, roads will go from being hot to being slick or seeing larger puddles you’ll need to take care of around. To know what to do, we recommend reading about what happens when you drive on a wet road.
Don’t rely on your car to tell you everything
This a good reminder for those drivers who will always abide by signals and warnings the dash provides. Most cars do have pressure alerts in place that comes up when the car detects a tyre is under-inflated. Remember that it doesn’t do the opposite, i.e. tell you when a tyre is over-inflated in the heat.
Easier Driving With The AA
Prepared motorists are better motorists on our roads. If you’re loading up the car for a trip around the country, get everything ready by reading how to prepare your car for a long journey. And if you are using the car a lot more on the weekends in warmer weather, we have a very handy Summer driving checklist you’ll want to follow.
And as always, if you want help in the event, you have an issue on Irish roads, consider getting an AA membership, which offers 24/7 cover and Rescue Plus as standard.