This week here in Wales it’s half term and I’ve planned lots of road trips and days out with the kids. Before any school holidays and long journeys I like to make sure the car is well prepared for time on the road. One important way to keep cars safe is to take care of your tyres. Here are five ways to make sure that your tyres are ready for your next road trip:
Always check your tyre pressure before travelling on a long journey or when carrying an extra load (such as that overfilled holiday suitcase). Check your owner’s manual for the recommended tyre pressure. Modern cars are fitted with tyre pressure sensors which make it easy to keep an eye on the pressure and alerts you when needed. Driving with the incorrect tyre pressure is dangerous and can also cause tyre damage and make the car less fuel efficient.
Tyre Tread and Condition
Get into the habit of walking around your car and checking the tyre condition. I admit this was something I didn’t realise I had to do when I first became a car owner. I only realised my treads were worn during a required MOT. It’s not only dangerous to drive with worn tyres (which means the only contact patch between you and the road is past it’s best)- it’s also illegal. Since then I always check the condition of my tyres, especially before long journeys. The legal limit for minimum depth of the tread on your tyres is 1.6 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre. For safety reasons it is recommended that you replace your tyres before the legal limit is reached.
Talking of worn tyres, if you notice that you’re tyres are wearing prematurely and unevenly then it’s probable that your wheels are out of alignment. As well as causing wear to tyres unevenly balance wheels also cause poor fuel economy, wear on the whole suspension system and vibration leading through to the vehicle’s steering. I find that having my wheels balanced regularly means I need my tyres changed less frequently.
Another way to extend tyre length and save money in the long term is to have your tyres rotated (moving the wheels from one position to another). Car manufacturers recommend that tyres be rotated every 6000-8000 miles. This will encourage even tyre wear.
Repair and Replace
Of course even with the best possible tyre care eventually all tyres will need to be repaired and or eventually replaced. While I’m happy to check my tyre pressure and tread independently I bring my car to a local garage to have the other checks and alterations done. If you live near Middlesex you can get free fitting of tyres from their professional’s from Iverson tyres Middlesex branch. They are currently running a campaign to remind all road users that when it comes to tyres, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Our own car health affects others on the road too so it’s vitally important that everyone keeps their cars safe for the road.
Are your tyres ready for your next trip?