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How to Prevent Tire Overheating, Graining, and Blistering?

What do tire overheating, graining and blistering have in common? These issues mostly have to do with racing when tires are pushed to their limits when enduring enormous friction and pressure build up. Tire experts from Tirendo, the leading online dealer of tires and automotive accessories, explain the risks of overheating, blistering, and graining and how to prevent them.

Why does a tire overheat?

Tires, especially those used in auto racing, undergo a huge stress. This stress along with the work being done result in a heat build-up that, in turn, leads to chemical and mechanical changes in the rubber compound. The thicker the tread, the greater the heat build-up and the higher the chance of a tire deformation. The tire that is overheated can burst anytime and even with a blast effect if it still has some air pressure inside. Tire overheating can also be a result of under-inflation. If the tire contains less pressure than it should, it becomes flabbier and its friction with the ground increases.

What is graining?

Graining is a type of the tire deformation that has to do with a low pressure (the tire become flabby and grippy) and aggressive manner of driving that both dramatically increase the tire friction with the track. As a result, the tread surface becomes grainy. Unfortunately, such condition is irreversible and even dangerous as the grainy tread cannot be loaded evenly and, therefore, loses grip.

What is blistering?

Blistering is another type of the tire deformation caused by the inner friction of the tire’s rubber layers. Rubbing against each other, they build up enormous heat that de-vulcanizes rubber (returns it to its natural soft state) and forms blisters on the tire surface. As the heat keeps increasing, it finds an outlet through separating (tearing out) these blisters from the tire’s surface. As a result, the tire loses chunks of rubber.

How to avoid tire overheating, graining, and blistering?

Heat build-up is a normal process taking place in all tires during a fast drive. But here are tips that help to prevent a dangerous tire deformation due to overheating:

  • Use correct type and size of tires.
  • Keep tires properly inflated. A lower pressure causes overheating in the first place.
  • Regularly do tire pressure checks (when cold).
  • Ensure that wheel nuts are properly fitted.
  • Ensure that axle parts and brakes are maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • If your driving style is pretty hard, minimize using steering lock, and be gentle with steering. Try to roll on corners and avoid applying brakes when it’s possible.

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