Winter weather can impact your tires

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Posted at 5:49 PM, Jan 18, 2024

HELENA — This winter weather can cause lots of problems for your vehicle.

One of the most common things seen is a problem with tires. The cold weather causes air to shrink causing a lack of air in your tires.

“Tires go low because air shrinks when it’s cold and because of that one of things that occurs is that they break the bead seal between the tire and the wheel,” said Tom Rippingale, the Secretary of Montana Tire Company Corporation.

The bead seal is a rubber sealant that fills spaces between the tire and the wheel where air would otherwise leak out.

Many auto and tire places will check and top of your tires for free.

“Everybody should have a tire gauge in their car or truck and they should be able to check on them to make sure that they’re within the specifications that are necessary,” Rippingale said.

In most modern cars, the door or door post will tell you the tire size for the vehicle and what the air pressure should be.

They recommended putting in a few extra pounds of air during the cold months, so if it does shrink overnight, you still have a safe amount to drive on.

Occasionally tires will still pop or gain holes from of number of items that can be on the road.

“If your tire goes flat on a country road somewhere and you may not have cell service, if you drive on it at any speed, you will destroy the tire and probably destroy the rim,” said Rippingale. “If you drive on your tire at about two and a half miles an hour you will basically harm the tire but it will still cushion the wheel from the road. You can drive 25, 30 miles on a flat tire at the speed you walk.”