How Much Does Tire Pressure Increase When Hot

How Much Does Tire Pressure Increase When Hot?

Choosing the right PSI for your tires will maximize your vehicle performance and keep you safe on the road. But things get complicated when you realize that the temperature outside can affect tire air pressure. Ready for some summer road trips? You should find out how much hot weather can affect tire air pressure. Today, I’ll reveal the answer to the question: how much does tire pressure increase when hot?

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways of the Article
  • Hot weather expands air molecules. That is why it will increase the air pressure or PSI in your tires.
  • If your PSI goes too high, you could end up with a blown out tire.
  • Only fill your tires to the manufacturer recommended PSI, not the maximum.

How Does Heat Affect Tire Pressure?

Tire pressure increases 1 psi of air pressure for every 10 degrees that the temperature goes up. This means that your tire air pressure could increase by 2 PSI if the temperature gets 20 degrees warmer during the day. This kind of temperature change isn’t unusual in many places during the summer.

Big temperature changes can also happen in the winter. But instead of making the PSI increase, cold weather makes the PSI go down. For example, the PSI may go down 1 PSI for every 10 degrees that the temperature falls.

How Does Heat Affect Tire Pressure

Always keep track of temperature changes, and keep them in mind when thinking about your tire air pressure.

Proper tire inflation is important to safe driving. When the tires are inflated properly, in the summer or any other time of the year, it helps you enjoy a smoother ride, braking that is more responsive, and you even get improved fuel efficiency.

Yes, tires do have design features that help them handle some changes in tire pressure during the day.

However, you’ll find that they do their best work when you keep them at their recommended pressure levels as much as possible.

If a tire is underinflated, which is more common in the winter when the weather is cold, too much of the surface of the tire will contact the road. This can make the car harder to handle and sluggish, while also killing your fuel economy.

In the summer, the hot weather may make your tires overinflated. When this happens, too little of the tire’s surface area will come into contact with the road.

As a result, you’ll have less control of your vehicle, causing safety issues. You’ll have more difficulty with braking as well as general handling while driving.

In some cases, your tire may even become inflexible and rigid. This makes them more prone to damage.

Why Does Heat Increase Tire Pressure?

When you consider that most tires are usually only supposed to have somewhere between 30 to 35 PSI air pressure, even a small amount of extra pressure can cause a problem.

Why Does Heat Increase Tire Pressure

Let’s learn about why heat increases the PSI in your tires.

Heat Molecules

Every kind of matter in the universe is made out of molecules and atoms. This, of course, includes air. When the molecules in air start to heat up, they will vibrate more.

This vibration will cause expansion. And when the molecules in your tire air expand, they increase the air pressure or PSI.


The friction between your tire and the ground creates friction, and friction leads to heat. This heat can cause the air molecules in your tire to expand.

Heat Can Lead to Tire Blow Outs

Remember, tires are made of rubber. Rubber molecules have the opposite reaction to air molecules when it comes to how they react to vibration. Instead of expanding, they contract.

Heat Can Lead to Tire Blow Outs

Unfortunately, when this combines with your PSI increasing because of expanding air molecules, you can end up with a blown out tire.

How Can I Prevent a Blowout in the Heat?

Here are some things you should do to help prevent ending up with a blown out tire during the hot summer weather.

Remember to do these things to keep your tires at the right PSI during the hot weather.

Keep the Tires Inflated

Safe road driving will require the tires to be at a certain PSI. This will vary based on the car you drive and the tires you have, so make sure to find out this information.

Look at the manufacturer recommendations to see whether you have the right PSI in your tires.

As you fill up, remember that the maximum PSI and the recommended PSI will be two different numbers.

Check the Air Pressure

Measure the air pressure before you decide to drive any distance.

How to Check the Tire Air Pressure

If you’re worried there will be an issue with overinflation during the summer, it may be a good idea to check it every two hours or so to make sure you’re being safe.

Wait Until the Tires Have Time to Cool Down

Don’t try to air out the tires when driving if they become too inflated. This could result in an issue with underinflated tires, which can pose some dangerous situations as well.

The best thing that you’re able to do here is wait it out and make sure the tires have time to cool down before you drive again.

Replace the Tires When They’re Worn Down

Tires that are getting old and worn out are more likely to cause a blowout on the road.

Consider switching to some summer tires if you live somewhere that gets really warm to avoid this option.

Treat the Wheels

There are some great products that you can use to prevent your tires from drying out when you’re driving under the hot summer sun.

How to Treat the Wheels in the Summer

This can cut down on the chance that you’ll end up with a blow out.

Watch the Speed Limit

When you drive fast, there is going to be more friction. You’ll create less friction if you slow down a bit.

This leads to less heat, which can help protect the tires.

Monitor Your Tire PSI Closely During Hot Weather

You need to make sure that your tire air pressure stays close to the manufacturer recommendations. This will help to avoid issues like flat tires, increased wear and tear, and blowouts.

Monitoring Tire PSI Closely During Hot Weather

Remember there is a difference between the recommended and maximum PSIs for your tires.

Stay with the recommended PSI during the summer, not the maximum. Most tires should be somewhere between 30 to 35 psi.

As the air pressure will likely increase with the heat, avoid filling the tires all the way to 35 PSI. If you do, you’re likely to end up with a blown out tire.

For most kinds of tires, it’s usually best to fill them between 30 and 32 PSI for summer driving. This leaves some room in case the air pressure increases as you drive in hot temperatures.

Why is Tire Pressure So Important?

Your tire performance will be compromised if the air pressure is too high or too low. Inappropriate PSI may also lead to safety concerns.

The wrong PSI can also lead to extra wear and tear on your tires, meaning they wear out more quickly. It may also reduce your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

Why is Tire Pressure So Important

Make sure you know how to check the PSI on your tires. That way you’ll find it easier to keep the right PSI at all times.

Final Thoughts: Hot Weather Increases Tire Pressure

So, now you know! When you’re driving in hot weather, there is more of a chance you’ll have a tire blow out because the air molecules in your tire will expand, creating a higher PSI.

Check your tire PSI more often in hot weather. Also, make sure you fill your tires to the PSI recommended by the manufacturer. Never go to the maximum PSI during the warm summer months.

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