Top tyre tips for school holiday road tripping

School holidays are here - make sure you check your tyres before heading off on the family road trip.

Most people are sensible enough check their car engine (oil, water etc) in preparation for the upcoming school holiday trips. However, one thing that is almost always overlooked is a car's tyres. The consequences of not checking can lead to a flat or blown tyre, decreased traction, and even increased hydroplaning (to you and me - when the driver loses control of tyres due to water on road).

So before you set off on your family holiday, ensure your family enjoy a safe and trouble free trip, by following our simple steps to get your car tyres are ready and willing for the school holiday period.

1. Ensure your tyres are not bald

While illegal in its own right, bald tyres on your car also present a severe safety issue. A tyre showcasing worn out threading has an increased risk of a tire blow-out due to puncture.

Regularly check the thread grooves of your tyres, if it has worn down to less than 1.6mm your tyres may be classified as unsafe.

2. Check the inflation of your tyres

While it is good practice to check your tyre pressure monthly, most people tend to let this slide. Use a tyre pressure gauge to certify that the amount of air in each tyre is the appropriate amount. Most service stations supply an air gauge, however due to exposure and abuse by customers the readings may be inaccurate or false. This is why it may be a good idea to invest in a quality air gauge for your own personal use.

Properly inflated tyres can perform to their intended capacity, while also improving your gas mileage by more than 3 percent.

 Over-inflation

  • Reduces the amount of shock your car can handle, resulting in a much bumpier ride
  • Will cause over excessive wear and tear of your tyre’s centre

 Under-inflation

  • Will cause excessive flexing, build up of internal heat, while also rapidly deteriorate your tyre’s thread
  • Creates rolling resistance which negatively affects your fuel efficiency

Another thing to remember is to always check your tyre pressure before you go out, or when your tyres are cold. The reason being, a tyre which is hot contains expanded air from the heat, thus your reading would be higher (not to mention inaccurate).

3. Check your wheel alignment

Uneven wheel alignment can lead to uneven thread wear of your tyres resulting in vibrations as well as compromising your tyres ability to perform.

4. Regularly rotate your tyres

Rotating your tyres every 5,000 to 8,000 Kms will help in reducing uneven thread wear and result in a prolonged life for your tyres.

5. Listen to irregular noises

Try to keep an ear out for any noises your car makes when in motion, particularly in excess of speeds of 50 kph. This could mean irregular wear or other problems associated with your tyres. Should you hear such noises, have a professional mechanic take a look.

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Categories: Driving Tips
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