What Makes Tires Hydroplane?

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When your vehicle hydroplanes, it means the tires have lost their grip on a wet road and you’ve started to skid or slide. With winter just around the corner, it’s important to know the basics of hydroplaning and how to avoid it. Auto Solutions is here to help. Here is a rundown of the conditions that make tires hydroplane and what you should do in the event your vehicle loses its grip on the road.

Hydroplaning 101

When you break down the word hydroplane you understand what it means. Hydro represents water and plane represents movement. As mentioned above, your vehicle’s tires are designed to grip the road at all times, but if they lose that grip, you could lose control of the automobile. As you drive on wet roads, water is pushed underneath your tires. This can separate the tires from the road and that is why the tires lose traction and you lose control of the car, truck or SUV.

First Rain

As you know, wet roads are the most slippery when it first starts to rain. The precipitation mixes with oil residue on the road to create a very slick surface. After about 10 minutes, the oil residue washes away if the rain is a hard one. If it’s just misting, that’s not enough water to wash away the oil. Any type of moisture can increase your risk of hydroplaning. Even fog, if it’s thick enough, can moisten the road and the oil residue on it to create slippery conditions.

How to Avoid Hydroplaning

Slow down on wet roads. That’s rule number one. If you drive fast, your tires have a harder time scattering the water away from them. Avoid standing water, too. Make sure your tires are inflated to their recommended PSI and in good shape. Bald tires cannot grip wet roads. Rotate your tires on their recommended schedule, too, to wear down the tread evenly. Stay away from lanes where water accumulates and don’t use your cruise control or make sharp turns.

These steps help you maintain control of your vehicle on wet roads. Auto Solutions can help you maintain control as well by inspecting your tires now. If they’re in good shape, we’ll add air and rotate them if necessary. If they need to be replaced, we can do that, too. Call our Orlando, FL, shop at 407-271-8518 to set up an appointment for a tire inspection.

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