Thursday, 30th July 2020

Summer Car Health Check

Checking your tyres before you set off on your holidays can prevent any unwanted mishaps that could ruin your fun. The last thing anyone wants is to be stranded on the side of the road awaiting rescue with the whole family when you’re supposed to be enjoying yourselves.

If all that inconvenience can be prevented with a few simple tyre health checks, then it’s worth your time to do so, right? Tyres may be the last thing on your mind when you’re planning a long drive, trip or holiday, but they are extremely important for your safety.

Here’s our top 10 tips to make sure you are 100% ready to go.

  1. Check your tyre pressures – the correct tyre pressure will help you keep your fuel economy at its best, so it’s vital for a long drive. The wrong pressure will also affect the way the tyre performs and can lead to uneven wear.
  2. Tyre Condition – check for cracking and uneven wear on the tyres. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for you can pop down to your local garage who will advise you.
  3. Tread Depth – the minimum legal tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm. If you are near to this limit and have a long way to go, it may be best to get your tyres changed. The easiest way to check is with a 20p coin. For a full guide, see this Goodyear article.
  4. Check the weather before you go – hotter temperatures mean hotter roads which can take its toll on your tyres. If it’s raining, this will allow time for you to slow down in the wetter patches to ensure you get to your destination right on time.
  5. Legalities abroad – there are additional laws in some countries such as different tread depth levels and legislations dictating whether you need winter tyres or summer tyres. Check this before you leave to ensure that your car is legal if you are driving abroad.
  6. Roadworthy tyres – if your tyres are not roadworthy, you can be fined up to £2500 and three points on your license per tyre. That could buy you another luxury holiday. Also 12 points and you will lose your license. So, it’s worth the check.
  7. Towing – if you’re towing anything, you should be checking tyres on your car and what you’re towing. For example, if it’s a caravan, check the caravan tyres as you would your car tyres and your tyre pressures. Increased loads will need higher tyre pressures; you will find these in your manufacture’s guide.
  8. Pets – it might sound silly, but make sure that if you are taking your family pet that you have checked the car is safe for travelling. A comfortable place for your pet to rest for example a cage, bed or car harness. Also check that your pet cannot control the windows themselves. That would be quite the accident.
  9. Fluids – pack plenty of water and snacks. Plan regular stops so you can take a break from driving and cool down. If you’re taking a pet, you’ll obviously need to think about them too. It can get pretty warm in a car, so make sure they get a chance to cool down.
  10. Coming home – check all the above when you’re ready to come back home. Which might be about an hour after you’ve arrived if you’re taking everyone in the family. You may forget to check the above points on your way back, but things can change such as tyre pressure especially if you have done a lot of miles.