There is nothing that can ruin a road trip holiday faster than having suffered a flat tyre or not having a spare in the boot.
Suffering a flat tyre at the beginning of a trip would be a nightmare start to what should be a relaxing and enjoyable trip. But a flat replaced with the wrong type of spare can endanger safety and have a lasting damage to the vehicle.
If you need to get a matching spare or notice that either the car or caravan tyres have finally reached what would be legally the end of their tread life (1.6mm is the legal minimum in the UK) before you hit the motorway then it would be a sure time to get them replaced.
Stocking up a spare will provide peace of mind and brand new tyres definitely improve the handling, performance and driving of any car, 4×4 or caravan especially if there are luggage’s and passengers.
Here are six tips for tyre maintenance whilst travelling:
- Checking the tyre pressures.
It makes sense to check the tyre pressures on your existing tyres before embarking on any long journey. If carrying extra load to normal ensure your tyres are inflated to account for this (check vehicle manufacturer’s handbook).
- A tyre with a minimum tread depth of 3mm
The legal requirement of tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm however an independent research conducted by the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) showed that tyres which had a tread depth of a minimum of 3mm performed 25% better then tyres that had threads 1.6mm in wet conditions. It would be worth changing these even if they are cheap tyres.
- The right tools for the right job
Most new cars come with all the necessary tools to changing a spare but sometimes you either end up lending it out or misplacing it. Older cars at times end up with the wrong tools especially the torque wrench and it is only too late you realise that it does not fit on the nut. Make sure you do a tool check and actually check to see that the nuts can be taken off.
- Changing a tyre in an emergency
Be prepared to be able to change tyres in an emergency situation. If you need to stop on the hard shoulder of the motorway you want to gain easy access to your tools especially if there are passengers and luggage’s. For this you want to make sure that all tools are accessible easily.
Following on from point #3 you should have already checked the nuts to ensure that they can be easily taken off. Passengers may want to get out of the car to stretch their legs, get some fresh air or just to see what you are doing. This is not a good idea on the motorway so the quicker you are at getting the tyre changed the safer it will be.
- Driving carefully in different weather conditions
Depending on the number of miles you are travelling you could see different weather conditions including rain, snow or ice. If necessary change summer tyres with winter one, avoid part-worn tyres that do not have the guarantee of quality assurance. At the least drive carefully and safely in any adverse weather condition.
- Breakdown service
Many breakdown services do cover within the policy the change of a tyre also covering international destination. If you have an existing policy then ring up and find out if you are covered as this could prove to be much more convenient then changing a tyre yourself.[facebook] [retweet]