If you’re anything like me, your car probably hasn’t moved much for the past 4 months. Even post-lockdown, I’m only making the shortest of essential trips so my poor little car really hasn’t seen much action at all this year! If you’re planning a bit of a road trip this summer, important to give your car a check-over before you make any long journeys, and especially after it’s sat idle for any length of time, whether that’s during a period of local lockdown or at any time in the future.
Keeping your family safe while driving is the main priority so you’ll want to make sure that not only are the main functioning parts of the car are working properly, like the engine and battery, but the tyres and brakes should also be checked regularly as they play an important part in safe driving too. So, if you’re going on longer road trips with you family this summer, check your tyres before you all pile in with a packed lunch!
1 CHECK THE TREAD
It’s important to check the tread depth of your tyres for wear and tear, and you may know from experience that this can cause an MOT failure if the tread isn’t deep enough. The tyre tread is an outer layer used to protect tyres from road bumps and potholes. The more the tread wears away, the quicker your tyres will wear out. First of all, try not to skid when braking or wheel-spin when pulling away, as these actions will leave a layer of rubber on the road, and reduce your tyre tread at the same time.
Yes, those are Lego tyres above! If your tyres are looking worse for wear, there’s a quick and easy test you can do with a 20p to check the tread. If needed, you should invest in some good quality tyres to get you back on the road. These days it is possible to order new tyres online from places like the JWT website or find a tyre provider in your local area. That way you’ll be sure that the tyres are in-stock and available for you when you go to have them fitted.
2 CHECK THE AIR PRESSURE
No one wants to get stranded in a middle of nowhere with their families when they are on a road trip. Flat tyres can occur if you havn’t checked your tyre pressure before leaving for the trip, as underinflated tyres means that the air pressure in the tyres is not up to the appropriate level and they may flatten while you’re on the road. You can regulalry check the tyre pressure by measuring through tyre pressure gauge, usually found on a jump-start kit like that one I have. You can also check it at the garage when you’re filling with air and re-inflate the tyres to the recommended air pressure level.
3 WHEEL ALIGNMENT
Major car handling problems can occur if your car’s wheels are out of alignment and it can cause wear-and-tear on your car’s tyres. There are a few ways to spot this issue: Is there vibration in your steering wheel? Or does it you feel your car is pulling in one direction while driving? You may even be able to hear a bit of a wobbling sound. If you spot any of these issues the wheel alignment of the vehicle definitely needs to be checked asap.
Taking a look at all the above tyre care points will help you have a smooth road trip with your family without any road mishaps. Let me know if you have any other hacks for car maintenance in the comments below, I’d love to hear your tips 🙂
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