If you are heading out on a road trip, you need to get your vehicle ready first. If you don’t prepare it properly, it may be unsafe to drive and you risk breaking down in the middle of nowhere. Ideally, you should get it serviced beforehand so they can check everything over. There are a lot of potential problems to watch out for, but checking the wheels and tyres is one of the most important steps.
Aside from the brakes, your wheels and tyres are some of the most important safety features on the car. If they don’t provide enough grip or keep you straight on the road, your risk of having an accident is greatly increased. So, before you set off on your next road trip, make sure you go through these important wheel and tyre checks.
Tyre Tread Depth
The tread on your tyres is there to provide grip. Even if you are driving in sunny conditions, it’s still dangerous if your tyres are worn down and you don’t have much grip on the roads. Things get really serious if the road is wet because you can easily lose control of the vehicle. So, check the tyre tread depth and see how far the tyres have worn down. New tyres come with 8mm of tread, which gradually wears down over time. The legal minimum you need is 1.5mm but it is recommended that you change your tyres once the tread wears down to 3mm. If you are planning a long road trip, you should consider changing your tyres even if they have more than 3mm tread because they will wear down a lot during the drive, especially if you are tackling rough terrain.
Checking the wheel alignment is very important too, but a lot of people forget this one because they are focused on the tyres. If your wheels are not aligned properly, the car can pull to the side while you are driving and it also increases tyre wear. The car handles much better and you are much safer once you sort out the wheel alignments, so get this checked before you leave. You should have this checked on a regular basis because your wheels can slip out of alignment over time.
Checking the tyre pressure is simple, but very important. If the tyres are under or over inflated, you increase the risk of a tyre blowing out while you are driving, which is incredibly dangerous. Underinflated tyres also increase the fuel consumption and on a long road trip, that quickly adds up. You’ll have to make more stops to fill up and your trip will be a lot more expensive.
Before you set off, make sure that you have a spare tyre with you. If you get a puncture in the middle of nowhere and you don’t have a spare with you, you’ll find yourself in a very sticky situation. Double check that you have one and it’s in good condition, and make sure you know how to change it too.
As long as you make these tyre and wheel checks before you leave, you can have a safe and successful road trip.