Summer Travel Safety: Preventing Overheating and Tire Blowouts

Summer is a season for road trips and adventures, but it also brings increased risks for vehicle issues. With temperatures rising, the chances of your car overheating or experiencing a tire blowout also increase. Proper vehicle maintenance is crucial to ensure a smooth and safe journey. In this blog, we'll cover essential tips to prevent overheating and tire blowouts during your summer travels.

Understanding the Risks

Heat and Vehicle Performance

High temperatures can significantly impact your vehicle's engine and tires. Overheating occurs when the engine's cooling system fails to keep the engine at an optimal temperature, which can lead to severe damage such as warped cylinder heads and blown head gaskets.

Heat and Tire Blowouts

Excessive heat accelerates tire wear and exacerbates any existing damage, significantly impacting your tires' lifespan and performance. As temperatures rise, tire pressure increases as well. This added pressure, combined with the strain of long-distance travel common in summer, makes tire blowouts more likely. Understanding these risks is crucial for preparing and taking preventative measures to ensure your safety on the road.

Young Couple Traveling On The Car In Sunny Day

Preventing Overheating

Routine inspections are crucial, especially before embarking on a long trip. Ensure your vehicle undergoes regular maintenance checks, focusing on the cooling system. Key components to check include:

  • Coolant Levels: Ensure the coolant is at the proper level and topped off if necessary. Low coolant levels can lead to overheating, especially during extended drives in hot weather.
  • Radiator: Inspect the radiator for any signs of leaks, corrosion, or blockages. A well-functioning radiator is essential for dissipating heat and maintaining engine temperature.
  • Thermostat: Check the thermostat to ensure it opens and closes correctly. A malfunctioning thermostat can prevent the engine from reaching its optimal operating temperature or cause it to overheat.
  • Hoses and Belts: Examine all hoses and belts for signs of wear, cracks, or leaks. These components are critical for maintaining the flow of coolant and ensuring the cooling system operates efficiently.
  • Water Pump: Inspect the water pump for leaks and proper operation. The water pump circulates coolant throughout the engine, and any failure can lead to overheating and severe engine damage.
Woman Inflates The Tire. Woman Checking Tire Pressure And Pumpin

Preventing Tire Blowouts

Tire Maintenance

Regularly inspecting your tires is essential. Check tire pressure and maintain the recommended PSI levels. For every 10°F the temperature changes, your tires will gain or lose around 1-2 PSI. Under-inflated or over-inflated tires are more susceptible to blowouts.

Tire Condition

Inspect your tires for wear and tear, ensuring adequate tread depth and checking for any sidewall damage. Rotate your tires regularly to ensure even wear and prolong their lifespan.

Driving and Loading Tips

Avoid overloading your vehicle and distribute weight evenly. Practice safe driving habits by avoiding potholes, sharp objects, and not speeding. These precautions minimize the risk of tire blowouts.

Young Woman Driver Standing Near Her Car With Popped Hood Having Engine Problems.

Emergency Preparedness

What to Do if Your Car Overheats

If your car begins to overheat, follow these steps:

  • Pull Over to a Safe Location and Turn Off the Engine: As soon as you notice signs of overheating, such as a rising temperature gauge or steam, find a safe place to pull over and turn off the engine immediately to prevent further damage.
  • Open the Hood to Allow Heat to Escape, but Avoid Touching the Radiator or Engine: Carefully open the hood to let the heat dissipate. Be cautious and avoid touching the radiator, engine, or any other hot components, as they can cause serious burns.
  • Wait for the Engine to Cool Down Before Checking the Coolant Level: Allow the engine to cool for at least 30 minutes. Checking the coolant level while the engine is still hot can be dangerous due to the risk of steam and hot coolant escaping.
  • If Necessary, Add Coolant and Restart the Engine. Seek Professional Help if the Problem Persists: Once the engine has cooled, check the coolant level and add coolant if it's low. Restart the engine and monitor the temperature gauge. If the overheating issue continues, seek professional assistance to diagnose and fix the underlying problem.
Adorable Little Girl Helping Father To Change A Car Wheel Outdoors On Beautiful Summer Day

Handling a Tire Blowout

In the event of a tire blowout:

  • Stay Calm and Avoid Abrupt Braking or Steering: Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and avoid sudden movements that could destabilize your vehicle.
  • Gradually Reduce Speed and Pull Over to a Safe Area: Ease off the accelerator and gently guide your vehicle to the side of the road or a designated safe stopping area.
  • Turn On Your Hazard Lights: Alert other drivers to your situation by activating your hazard lights. This signals that your vehicle is experiencing an emergency.
  • Change the Tire If You Have the Necessary Tools and Knowledge or Call for Roadside Assistance: Assess the situation. If you're equipped and feel confident, safely replace the damaged tire with the spare. Alternatively, call for professional roadside assistance if needed, ensuring the vehicle is parked in a secure location while waiting for help.
Young Man With Sunglasses And Beard In Brown Stylish Shirt And Jeans Checking On His Car Engine

Ensure you have the following items in your vehicle:

  • Spare tire, jack, and lug wrench
  • Coolant and a container of water
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Emergency roadside kit, including flares and first aid supplies

Keep a list of helpful resources, such as local service stations, emergency numbers, and relevant websites. Being prepared can make all the difference during an emergency.


Preventing overheating and tire blowouts is essential for safe summer travel. Regular maintenance checks, proper tire care, and emergency preparedness can help you avoid common vehicle issues. Before your next trip, take the time to perform a thorough vehicle check.

If an emergency does catch you off guard, contact Assured Emergency Services for professional towing and roadside assistance services by dialing our 24/7 live dispatchers at 855-MICHTOW.