Summer Tire Maintenance: What You Need to Know

As the temperatures rise and we gear up for summer, it’s important not to forget about one crucial aspect of our cars: the tires. Summer driving can take a toll on your tires, and it’s essential to take steps to maintain them properly. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about summer tire maintenance, from checking the pressure to inspecting for wear and tear.

Why Tire Maintenance is Important

Your tires are your car’s only point of contact with the road, making them a critical component of your vehicle’s safety and performance. Proper tire maintenance is essential for ensuring that your car drives smoothly, handles well, and stops effectively. Neglecting your tires can lead to a variety of problems, including reduced fuel efficiency, uneven tire wear, blowouts, and even accidents.

In addition to these safety concerns, proper tire maintenance can also save you money. By keeping your tires properly inflated, rotating them regularly, and replacing them when necessary, you can extend their lifespan and avoid costly repairs or replacements down the line.

Checking Tire Pressure

One of the most important aspects of tire maintenance is keeping your tires properly inflated. Underinflated tires can lead to a host of problems, including reduced fuel efficiency, uneven wear, and decreased handling and performance. Overinflated tires, on the other hand, can be equally problematic, leading to a harsher ride and increased risk of blowouts.

To ensure that your tires are inflated to the correct pressure, it’s important to check them regularly. Most cars have a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb that lists the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure. You can also find this information in your car’s owner’s manual or online. Using a tire pressure gauge, remove the valve cap from each tire and press the gauge onto the valve stem. The gauge should provide a reading in pounds per square inch (PSI), which you can compare to the recommended pressure.

If your tire pressure is too low, use a tire inflator to add air until you reach the correct PSI. If it’s too high, release air by pressing down on the valve stem with the gauge until you reach the correct pressure. Remember to check your spare tire as well, as it’s important to have a properly inflated spare in case of a flat.

Inspecting for Wear and Tear

In addition to checking the pressure, it’s also important to inspect your tires for signs of wear and tear. Summer driving can take a toll on your tires, with high temperatures, rough roads, and frequent use all contributing to potential damage. Regular inspections can help you catch problems early and prevent more serious issues down the line.

When inspecting your tires, look for the following signs of wear:

  • Uneven tread wear: If your tires are wearing unevenly, it could be a sign of alignment issues, suspension problems, or improper inflation. Uneven wear can also occur if you regularly drive on rough roads or make sharp turns.
  • Bald spots or bulges: Bald spots or bulges on your tires can be a sign of internal damage or weak spots in the tire structure. If you notice any of these issues, it’s important to replace the tire as soon as possible to avoid a blowout.
  • Cracks or cuts: Small cracks or cuts in your tire’s sidewall or tread can be caused by debris on the road, potholes, or other hazards. While small cracks may not be cause for immediate concern, larger or deeper cuts can compromise the tire’s integrity and increase the risk of a blowout.

If you notice any of these signs of wear or damage, it’s important to address the issue promptly. In some cases, a simple repair may be sufficient. In other cases, however, you may need to replace the tire altogether. In general, if the damage is limited to the tread and is less than a quarter-inch deep, a repair may be possible. However, if the damage is more extensive or affects the sidewall, it’s best to replace the tire to ensure your safety on the road.

Rotating Your Tires

Rotating your tires is an important aspect of tire maintenance that is often overlooked. Tire rotation involves moving the front tires to the back and the back tires to the front to ensure even wear and prolong the life of your tires. Most manufacturers recommend rotating your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, although this can vary depending on your driving habits and the type of vehicle you have.

Rotating your tires is a relatively simple process that can be done at home with a few basic tools. To rotate your tires, follow these steps:

  • Use a lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts on each tire, but do not remove them completely.
  • Use a car jack to lift the car off the ground, and place jack stands underneath the car to support it.
  • Remove the lug nuts and take off each tire.
  • Move the front tires to the back and the back tires to the front, ensuring that each tire is rotated to a new position.
  • Replace the lug nuts and tighten them by hand.
  • Lower the car back onto the ground and use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts to the manufacturer’s recommended torque.

While rotating your tires may seem like a minor task, it can have a big impact on the lifespan and performance of your tires. By ensuring even wear, you can prolong the life of your tires and avoid the need for premature replacements.

Replacing Your Tires

While proper maintenance can extend the life of your tires, there will eventually come a time when they need to be replaced. The lifespan of a tire depends on a variety of factors, including the type of tire, driving conditions, and how well they are maintained. In general, most tires will need to be replaced every six years, although some manufacturers recommend replacing them sooner.

When it’s time to replace your tires, it’s important to choose the right ones for your vehicle and driving needs. There are a variety of tire options available, each designed for different conditions and performance needs. Some common types of tires include:

  • All-season tires: These tires are designed for year-round use and are suitable for most driving conditions.
  • Summer tires: These tires are designed specifically for warm weather driving, offering better performance in hot and dry conditions.
  • Winter tires: These tires are designed for cold and snowy conditions, providing better traction and handling in slippery conditions.

When choosing new tires, it’s important to consider factors such as your driving style, the climate you live in, and the type of vehicle you have. You should also consider factors such as tire size, load capacity, and speed rating to ensure that you choose a tire that is suitable for your vehicle.


Proper tire maintenance is essential for ensuring that your car is safe, efficient, and performs well on the road. By checking your tire pressure, inspecting for wear and tear, rotating your tires, and replacing them when necessary, you can prolong the life of your tires and avoid costly repairs or replacements. Summer driving can take a toll on your tires, making it even more important to stay on top of maintenance during the warmer months. By following these tips and staying vigilant about your tire health, you can enjoy a safe and smooth summer on the road.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *