Road trips in your van or car can make for some of the best journeys and holidays, but the last thing you want to face at the end of a long day on the road is a problem with your tyres. Therefore, keeping your tyres in good condition before you set off is always a great idea. Remember that smoothly running tyres doesn’t just mean that you are less likely to suffer a puncture or a blow out, but will mean you end up spending less on fuel (winning!). This is simply because well-maintained tyres are more efficient on all types of road surface.
• Inspect your tyre tread for signs of excessive wear before setting off. Remember to roll your van or car forwards a little, part way through the check so that you can look at the section of tyre that was on the road. Tyres often do not always wear evenly and the problem area may be hidden if it happens to be on the tarmac when you start to look. My tyres were wearing unevenly so I had the tracking re-aligned which fixed this.
• Check the route before heading off. Knowing where your turn-offs are on dual carriageways and motorways helps you to drive more efficiently and stops you from doing the dangerous ‘oh shoot, I need to turn off here’ swerve and brake turn off at the last minute. This helps you to not put your tyres under unnecessary strain and wear.
• According to tyre manufacturers, tyre pressure should be checked once a month, but this is particularly worth doing before a big adventure or road trip, especially if your usual journeys are short trips to work or the beach. Apart from tyres, brakes, exhausts and fluid levels should all be checked. It’s also important to have a steady supply of snacks, this isn’t a safety tip – it’s just good advice!
• Slow down on uneven road surfaces. “British roads are the flattest, smoothest, most pothole free roads in the world,” said no person ever; watch out for the many holes, lumps and bumps on the road. They are wheel and tyre killers! Often car parks and lanes near the beach, for example, will be rough or not covered in tarmac, so take care with your tyres in such places by slowing down and taking your time.
• According to tyre safety experts, your tyres should be checked every 10,000 miles or following a incident when a pothole (darn councils!) is driven over. An MOT test and tyre exam can be booked online all over UK with companies like Point S Tyre Services, so there is no excuse!