Heat Wave Causing More Tires to Blow on Minn. Highways

Updated: 08/30/2013 7:26 AM KSTP.com By: Maricella Miranda

File photo of a vehicle on the road.
File photo of a vehicle on the road.
Photo: Photo: MGN Online

Trucks are shedding more tire tread on highways due to the heat, just in time for one of the biggest travel days of the year.

Every driver has a story.  Even the Auto Technician, himself.

"On 35W, two days ago, there was a muffler in the left lane," Ethan Brandt with Bobby and Steve's Auto World said. "My dad got a blow out yesterday on the way to work."

The extreme heat is the driving force behind the high number of blown tires on the highway. Members of MnDOT's Freeway Incident Response Safety Team usually handle eight to 10 calls each for help overnight, but this week one responder helped 20 people in one night all due to the heat.

"Been trying to go home since last night," driver Candice Jackson said.

Jackson broke down on the side of the road with four kids in tow.

"We're hot and bothered!" she laughed.

Luckily, Jackson knew how to do her own car work because auto shops are booked up anywhere from 5-50 percent.  The bump in business is both due to the heat and going into a holiday weekend.

Mechanics warn, if you do nothing else, at least check your tire pressure. It'll also help with your gas mileage.

"You're saving money and keeping everybody else safe," Brandt said.

As for tips from those with experience...

"Carry tools - and some water!" said Jackson.

You can't always make it to an air pump, but you can buy a portable one at any big box or automotive store for between $30 and $40.