We know the heat of the summer can sometimes go to extremes in the UAE, resulting in a lot of crazy things. We’ve seen an egg being fried on a Dubai sidewalk in less than a minute and a lot of people with sunburns, but what happens with tyres when the weather is too hot?

By definition, extreme heat can make tyres explode. When temperatures soar during the summer, a tyre blowout is more likely to happen. Below, we are explaining why that’s the case.

The link between heat and tyre blowouts

Heat does have an intense effect on tyres. The reason for that is simple – the inside air pressure increases as the temperature goes up. According to science, every increase of 10 Celsius degrees allows for the tyre pressure to increase by one pound per square inch (PSI) or 0.1 bar. While this doesn’t sound like much, there is typically only 30 to 35 in a passenger vehicle tyre, and a few pounds of air pressure can often make a big difference.

Hence, a difference like this can cause a tyre to blow, and even if it doesn’t give it out, over-inflation can also cause a tyre to prematurely wear and interfere with braking. When the heat causes air pressure to build, three things happen:

  • Hot molecules, which vibrate intensely, allowing for an expansion. Since these are in-air molecules, air-filled tyres expand in the summer heat.
  • Frictionis caused by the actual driving. As you drive down the road, tyres are rubbing against the asphalt, which in turn generates a fair amount of friction. That creates heat that makes the tyres even hotter during the summer.
  • Rubber, which is the tyre’s compound. Rubber molecules are linked together in long and twisting chains. When these polymers vibrate, they contract rather than expand. Just like a rubber balloon where if you keep blowing air, it bursts, the same thing can happen to a tyre when the outside weather is hot.

How to avoid a tyre blowout in Dubai

If you think that your vehicle is on the brink of a tyre blowout, it may be a cause for concern at any time of the year. The heat in the UAE is extreme, and in the summer, tyre blowouts do happen on the road. Here are some signs that you need to pull over and cool down or immediately replace your tyres:

  • Tyres that are hot on the touch, which is the most obvious sign that tyres are overheating
  • Excessive air pressure, which is overinflation – seen by connecting a tyre pressure gauge

To prevent a heat-related tyre blowout, make sure to properly inflate your tyres. No matter if you are living in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, or Sharjah, you should know that safe driving starts with understanding the rules of the road and maintaining your vehicle properly. Some of the steps you can take include keeping your tyres properly inflated, keeping an eye on the air pressure in your tyres, and not driving until your tyres cool down.

You can also replace your tyres if they are worn out or too old. A good place to shop for new tyres in the UAE would be our top-rated tyre shop. Another thing you could do is deep-clean and treat your wheels.

Drivers that stay within the speed limits can also prevent tyre blowouts on the road. Pay attention to the load weight and your driving habits – excessive turning or braking can only increase the risk of a blowout in the heat of the summer.

Final thoughts

As you can see, hot molecules, friction, and rubber are the three elements that lead to a tyre blowout in the heat of the summer. The science is simple – while cold contracts, heat expands. A few pounds of air pressure can make a big difference, causing a tyre to pop, which can result in a road incident.