Summer and autumn are the best times of year to jump in the car and head out on road trips. But before you do, it’s important to make sure that your car is up to the challenge, and particularly that your tyres will go the distance.
As a car’s tyres are constantly in contact with the road (unless you drive like the Dukes of Hazzard, which we don’t recommend), and therefore their proper functioning is critical, it’s vital that they’re in great condition before taking a long journey. There are many tasks you can do yourself at home.
Tyres which are over- or under-inflated can cause safety issues when you’re driving. If they’re under-inflated, it can affect your ability to steer and brake, as well as damage the wheel rims if you hit a pothole or speed hump too quickly. Over-inflated tyres could actually burst if you hit an object, as well as lower the amount of traction due to less surface area of the tyre being in contact with the road. You can check the tyre pressure at most service stations, or you can buy a portable pressure gauge. Also remember that as the temperature rises, the air in your tyres takes up more volume, so you may have to release some of the air if they appear over-inflated.
While you’re checking the tyre pressure, look at all the tyres and see if they have any signs of damage in the tread or walls, if any stones are lodged in the grooves, or if one or more of the tyres appears to be flatter than the others. You don’t want to be on the road, far away from home, when you discover you have a slow leak or the tread is worn down, which can cause major safety issues.
Most cars come with a portable jack that you can use to prop up the car when you need to change a tyre. It can also be handy if you have a pump, particularly if you’re going to be far away from civilisation. Also check that you’ve got a nut wrench (for removing the nuts on the wheel), as well as a wheel chock to wedge under the tyres so the car doesn’t move if you need to change a tyre. It’s also a good idea to have a reflective, high-visibility vest and emergency triangle in case you have to change a tyre at night.
Spare tyres are often forgotten about as they sit in the boot of the car and are rarely seen. If the spare is a “proper” tyre and not a “space saver”, you should also check its pressure and condition when you check the other tyres. If you need to drive on the space-saver tyre, be aware that it’s not recommended to drive on them for extended periods.
If your tyres are looking old and cracked, have had puncture repairs, or are getting quite old, it might be time to replace them. Jim’s Mobile Tyres can come to you. We offer all kinds of services, such as new tyre sales, emergency breakdown repair, tyre pressure checks, and more. Give us a call on 13 15 46.