Spring into Warmer Seasons with Tire Pressure Maintenance.
As we move into warmer weather this spring season, now is the perfect time to implement valuable spring maintenance to keep tires healthy as temperatures heat up. Remember these temperature-related tips as you prepare your tractors and trailers for warm weather driving:.
Account for Added Heat and Sun Exposure
Believe it or not, just like us, tires can get ‘sunburned.’ Tires heat up when exposed to direct sunlight, which can cause tire pressure to increase by as much as 20 PSI. As a result, tires may experience irregular wear which will shorten their lifespan and increase your tire bill. To avoid irregular wear due to over-inflation this summer, check tires after they have effectively cooled following operation and drop tire pressure if readings are over their target cold inflation pressure (CIP).
Account for Operational Heating
Tires in motion are hot tires. The operation of a vehicle causes tires to heat up by as much as 20 PSI. It is natural for tires to bend, stretch, and deflect while in motion, creating heat and a temporary increase in inflation pressure. This phenomenon causes optimally inflated tires to produce manual pressure readings up to 20 PSI higher due to operational heating while driving. Whereas underinflated tires will produce pressure readings that wrongly suggest they are optimally inflated.
Unless using a tire analytics platform like Halo Connect to secure accurate real-time temperature-adjusted pressure readings, tires should cool for 3-4 hours before pressure is checked to avoid the pressure-reading inaccuracies that lead to irregular tire wear.
Account for Ambient Temperature
Your tires’ ambient air temperature fluctuates seasonally, daily, and even hourly. In response, the air molecules inside your tires adapt their movement. Every 10°F increase in ambient temperature causes tire pressure to rise by 1 PSI. Similarly, for every 10°F decrease in ambient temperature, tire PSI drops 1 PSI. While summer temperatures are commonly 40-50° F higher than those in the winter, even daily afternoon temperatures are often 20° F warmer than morning lows.
Account for seasonal temperature fluctuations by securing cold inflation readings on your tires during planned maintenance this spring, and adjust pressure up or down as needed. Consider investing in Halo technology to add air and balance pressure between tires to account for daily and hourly pressure fluctuations.
Figure 1 below highlights the impact of temperature fluctuations on tire pressure. Notice the increased tire pressure during the day and in warmer months, and decreased pressure during the evening and in cooler months.