Thursday, July 10, 2014

Before a road trip: Do you need to change your tyres?

Tyres are an important part of any car. As they are the only part of your vehicle to come into contact with the road, it is important that they are in good condition if you are planning to go on a road trip. They will have a dramatic impact on the quality of your journey as well as the safety of any of your passengers and other road users.

Yet, when drivers are making those last checks to their lights and fluid levels before taking their car on their holidays, many forget to check the condition of their tyres. This could see them setting off with tyres that are under-inflated, damaged, or do not have the necessary tread levels to comply with the law.

Before you set out on your trip, check to make sure there are no tell-tale signs that your tyres need replacing. The process of buying tyres has become much easier in recent years, with companies such as ATS Euromaster providing an online tyre shop and mobile tyre fitters that can change tyres at a time and place that suits you.

While it is best to have a trained technician look over your tyres, certain faults in your tyres are easy to spot when preparing your car for a lengthy road trip.

Cracks in the sidewalls
You may have to put your holiday on hold if you discover a crack in the sidewalls of your tyres. This can happen when a tyre gets old and is a sign that there may be a leak or that the tyre has become weak.

If you notice cracks in the sidewalls of your tyres when you are planning a long journey it is imperative that you get them replaced before you set off as they can result in a blowout. This can occur when the tyre is under pressure or stressed, such as when it is rolling at high speed along the motorway or a country road.

Tread depth
Your tread depth is determined by the amount of rubber available to create grip and friction on the road, which in turn affects how quickly you stop when you brake heavily. As such, you need to check this before you set off for your holidays.

Legally, your tread must be at least 1.6mm deep across the central three quarters of the breadth of the tyre. If yours fall below this then you should get your tyres replaced immediately. The last thing you want when on holiday is to be unable to stop your car when you need to or to be caught by the police and given a fine and penalty points on your license.

Blisters and bulges
A blowout can quickly leave you stuck at the side of the road when trying to get to your holiday destination and is most likely to occur in weakened tyres, so make sure you have checked yours over for signs of this and get yours replaced if need be before you leave.

Look over your tyres for blisters and bulges at least a few days before you go on holiday, leaving enough time to get professional advice from a trained technician and have yours replaced in time. Then you can set off knowing that your tyres shouldn't let you down.

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