What Should Your Tire Pressure Be In The Summer

Underinflated or Overinflated Tires

Summer time is for people to get out and have a good time. In that regard, you are advised to also maintain the proper tire pressure in your car tires. This would make someone ask, what is the best tire pressure for summer?

The rule of thumb is to always have the tire pressure as recommended by the manufacturer. Like for passenger cars, the tire pressure would be around 32 to 40 PSI depending on the car. So, make sure to maintain the tire pressure within that range.

How Summer Temperatures Affect Tire Pressure

It is possible for you to experience tire failure because of the rapid changes in temperature during the summer months. To make the situation worse, it is during this time that you will find people packing more cargo for road trips putting more pressure on the tires.

Having proper tire pressure is vital to get the most useful life out of the tires as much as possible. You would also avoid having a blowout and get the best gas mileage from the car.

Overinflating the tires would easily lead to a bumpy ride most of the time and also the car can be hard to control. The underinflated tires on the other hand are not fun to drive also. It is possible to wear the side of the tire in such a scenario.

Just as cold temperatures would make the air pressure in the tires to shrink, this time it would expand because of the hot weather. Warmer temperatures would make the air in the tires to increase so proper adjustments are necessary.

You would want to check the tire pressure more often compared to other seasons. The aim is to prevent over inflation due to high temperatures.

Do this each time you notice there has been a dramatic change in weather conditions.

Here is a video with recommendations for the best tire pressure in summer

How to Check Tire Pressure

Maintaining the tire pressure within the recommended range is crucial. That is why you have the check the tire pressure after every two weeks and adjust the tire pressure to the right levels.

If the tires have the right pressure, you can expect to get better gas mileage, improved handling, and better service life for your tires.

Do the following to check your car tire pressure;

  • Ensure the tires are cold before checking the tires. This should give you an accurate reading. If you have been driving the car, it should be parked for at least three hours to get the right reading.
  • The driver door would have a stickerindicating the recommended PSI for your vehicle. It will indicate the PSI for both your front and rear tires. If you cannot get this sticker, check the car’s owner manual or consult a professional at an autoshop.
  • If you are ready with your tire pressure gauge, proceed to remove the cap and insert the gauge into the stem. Press it down with enough force until the hissing sound stops. Give it a few seconds and you should read the tire pressure.
  • Compare this reading with the PSI the tire it is supposed to have. In case the pressure is high, deflate until it gets to the right number and vice versa.

Here is a video on the best tire pressure to get the best performance

Why Tires Might Expand and Have Blow Outs in Hot Weather

Blowouts are more common during summer than any other season. The spike in temperature can lead to such issues and many others. However, how does it happen?

Heat always has a significant effect on the tire performance. This is because there is increased air pressure in your tires with the increase in temperature. Scientists indicate that for each 10 degrees F, the tire pressure changes by 1PSI.

So, with every change in the temperature, you are a step close to a blowout.

The heat will make the air pressure increase because of the following;

  • More hot molecules

An increase in temperature means more molecules will vibrate. The result is now you have more vibration in the tire. That is not what you want most of the time. As such, there will be an increase in the air pressure in the tire.

  • More friction

Each time you drive on the road, there is friction between the tires and the road surface. This friction increases in the summer months and now you have more heat being generated. The increase in heat generation leads to more air pressure.

  • Limit of the rubber compound

Just like a balloon that would burst if you keep pumping air into it, the same happens to the tires. If the air pressure keeps increasing to dangerous levels, that is when you can experience blowouts.

That is why you have to consider using the right air pressure in the tires for the best results.

Underinflated or Overinflated Tires: Comparison

king in auto service. Mechanic Holding Car Tire At Gara

Since we have claimed that tires can get overinflated in summer, some people might be intrigued to try underinflating the tires so that there is no risk of overinflation.

An underinflated tire will still process risk of damage to the tire just as an overinflated one.

In the case of an underinflated tire, you will end up with more surface of the tire touching the road surface. This would mean that the sidewalls are also affected. Expect that the vehicle risks a blowout and also a negative fuel economy because of rolling resistance.

This type of wear makes it hard to keep the tires for long. You may have to replace them sooner than expected.

In the case of overinflated tires, it means that it is only the middle section of the treads that is in contact with the road surface. The tire would now only wear at this point meaning you have uneven wear.

The tire would also have a likely chance of a blowout since all the wear is concentrated in a single point.

Drivers with overinflated tires have also experienced poor braking performance and a bumpy ride. This is not fun especially for those taking road trips.


Can you get tire blowouts during summer months?

It is possible to have blowouts if the tires are overinflated all the time. So, it is better to have them checked more often and adjust the tire pressure accordingly.

Should you keep the tire pressure low or high in summer?

It is expected that the tire pressure may rise in summer. Even if that is the case, keep the tire pressure within the recommended range. Overinflating and underinflating leads to uneven wear and tear.

Why does air tire pressure increase during hot months?

Air will increase due to the increase in the temperature. When anything is heated, expect it to increase in volume. That is what happens with the air pressure in this case.

For a passenger car, the best tire pressure would be 32 to 40 PSI when the tires are cold. Make sure to check the tire pressure before embarking on a long trip just to be safe.

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