With warmer weather making its debut in most parts of the country, we should not forget that with the change from cold to warm comes a new set of worries for the rubber that rolls us gently along the highways. In winter we have things to worry about like chains damaging tires and catching a hook from someone’s thrown chain bungee in a steer tire (been there, done that)! As the warm weather approaches for Spring and eventually Summer, we have things to deal with like adjusting pressures for it and making sure tires are not over-stressed to deal with the increased temperatures.
Perhaps you may have been stretching a slightly cracked tire through the cooler months to get a little more life out of it, or maybe you just plain didn’t remember to check, but a tire in this condition should definitely be replaced prior to the onset of hotter temperatures. Cracked sidewalls are a sign of aging and stress on the support structure of the tire and can lead to a blowout caused by sidewall failure. With the increased heat in the warmer months, you may see the cracking start to worsen until the inevitable will lead you needing a road service call.
Another important part of warm weather tire care is making sure you are not seeing any tread separation happening. Although it should be part of a thorough pre-trip, making sure it is not happening prior to the onset of heat is a critical must! As the heat begins to build from normal operation in heat, it makes the rubber more prone to separate at these points, causing you to eventually throw a tread and possibly take out a mudflap or fender in the process! The last thing you want to see is one hit a car or motorcycle behind you either.
Make sure to check adjust your pressures accordingly, as increased air temperature can affect cold pressure as well inside the tire when changing from season to season. Good tread and proper inflation should not be only paid attention to when we are in months prone to inclement weather! Making sure your rubber is ready to take the heat and stress of this Spring and Summer will be time well spent, unless you like sitting on the side of the road waiting to take it in the pocketbook for a road service call. I don’t know about you, but I most certainly would rather spend the money now on new rubber, rather than later on lost time and frustration.