Driving On A Flat Tire

Can Tires Go Flat From Changes in Air Temperature?

— by Shari Coxford

What are the odds of getting four flat tires at the same time for no apparent reason? The odds are better than you’d think.

Would you know if you were driving on a flat tire or do you just take things for granted when you get in the car?

Fluctuations in the outdoor air temperature can cause your tires to lose air pressure. Air expands when heated and it contracts when cooled. This is more pronounced when the seasons are changing and the air temperatures are rising and falling by as much as 50 degrees in a day.

Changes in air temperature can cause the air pressure in your tires to decrease, which in turn can cause your tires to deflate. The average loss is 1 psi (pounds per square inch) for every 10 degrees of temperature change. A 50 degree change in air temperature can cause your tires to lose 5 psi of air pressure. If you aren’t checking your tires regularly the loss can add up until your tires are nearly flat.

Driving on an under-inflated tire can reduce the tread life of the tire, make steering your vehicle more difficult, and cause poor gas mileage. Driving on a flat or nearly-flat tire can damage the tire beyond repair. It can also damage your tire’s rims.

Do not assume that just because your tires are new that you don’t need to check the air pressure. It’s a good practice to check the air pressure in your tires at least once a week. A properly inflated tire will last longer, steer more smoothly, and give you better gas mileage.

Check out our FAQs that talks a little more about tires. Tags: driving on a flat tire, flat tires

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