Hot weather in Utah creates concerns about road conditions, tire damage

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 20:19:36-04

SANDY, Utah -- Before you hop in your car to drive on the hot Utah roads this summer, mechanics suggest you check your tires.

Taking that couple of extra minutes could save you hundreds of dollars.

Mark Robison, owner of Hillside Tire and Service in Sandy, said he's seen recent evidence of that fact.

“I had a Toyota Camry come in yesterday, hit one of these big potholes on the freeway doing 65 miles an hour," he said. "It blew the tire out, it bent the steel wheel. It ruined her TPMS sensor. The car came down on the wheel. The wheel, when it hit the big hole, bent the lower control arm. It was like 700 bucks to fix it."

Robison said he sees many blowouts that could have been avoided.

Robison said it all comes down to air pressure. He said for every 10 degree temperature change, tire pressure changes one to two pounds. For some, he said, it's the weathering and rot they need to be concerned about, especially if they have a trailer that has been in storage all winter. Robison suggested shining a flashlight on the tire's sidewall to look for cracks.

“If you have that on the tire, get it off your car," he urged.

Those things combined with hot roads increases the risk for a blowout, especially if you run over a buckle in the road.

“It’s just really where you have those joints, and they can get debris caught in them, and when we have hot temperatures like we’ve seen over the last few days the road expands, and when it expands and there’s debris caught in the joints, it really doesn’t have anywhere to go but up. It heaves up," explained UDOT spokesman John Gleason.

UDOT workers spent Tuesday night fixing a portion of Northbound I-15 near Parish Lane and closed the right lane on US 89 southbound from 8200 South to 3000 North in Weber County. They will reopen that area Thursday.

Gleason said if you see something, say something. You can submit information on their website or through their phone app indicating areas of concern.

Robison said you should check your tire pressure monthly, and you can bring your car in to most tire places to check and fill up the air for free. He said getting your tires rotated with every oil change also helps extend the life of your tires.