5 Useful Tyre Checks before Heading on A Road Trip with Kids

Post by another author. Embarking on a road trip with children can be rewarding and a good way of exploring the country. From London and Loughton to Dunfermline and Dunstable, there are plenty of places to explore in the UK by road that you and your kids may never have seen before. And yet, road trips can cause problems, too, especially if you try to drive too far in one day or you have younger children who need more comfort breaks. What you definitely don't want when you're on a road trip is tyre problems. Check them before you start so you won't face difficulties on the road. 

Edinburgh skyline from Carlton Hill, canva pro stock image by rabbit75_ist
Whether you are going a short distance or as far as London to Edinburgh check your tyres before you leave

Here is what you should be inspecting to make sure your car's tyres are up to it.

1. Check Inflation Levels

Whether you are visiting the home counties, the capital or somewhere north of the border, such as Fife, you should have tyres with the correct level of inflation. Under-inflated tyres tend to bow out as you corner which means you could end up losing traction when you turn. In addition, you will make the engine work harder so your fuel consumption will go up unnecessarily. On the other hand, tyres that have been pumped up too much won't offer full contact with the road's service and you lose grip as a result, dangerous whether there are kids in the car or not.

2. Confirm Tread Depth

Buy a tyre tread gauge because it makes checking the amount of depth left in your tyres much easier. Insert it into the tread to measure the depth and determine whether your tyres are legal to drive on or not. Be sure to make checks with the gauge all around the tyre, not just in one place. This is because even one balding spot is enough to require you to replace your tyres. You can also order new tyres in Dunfermline and get them fitted by experts at Fife Autocentre. Of course, there are plenty of other tyre fitters in other parts of the country, too. Therefore, there is no point in risking a tyre that is only street-legal before starting a road trip with kids. They'll only be safe if your tyres have sufficient tread for the entire journey.

3. Have Balanced Wheels

If you release your steering wheel momentarily and the car always pulls the same way, then you need to have the tracking and wheel balancing sorted. If not, your tyres will wear down prematurely. Even worse, it could result in you running into oncoming traffic which would be a disaster on a family road trip. Wheel balancing requires a professional mechanic but it's worth paying for ahead of longer-than-usual trips.

4. Inspect Your Tyres' Sidewalls

Look at the state of the side of your tyres. If they have gouges or scratches, then this means the rubber compound they're made from is deteriorating. As a result, you might have a blowout necessitating a change of wheel on the hard shoulder, unfortunate if you have to get the kids and luggage out to access your spare. Sidewalls with bulges are dangerous and children shouldn't be allowed anywhere near them wherever your car is parked.

5. Check Your Spare

From London to Leven and from Loughton to Land's End, road trips should only be undertaken when you have a spare ready to go in case of emergency. It is not obligatory to have a functioning spare tyre on board with you on UK roads. However, on a road trip, when you are relying on your car to protect all the passengers, making sure your spare is at the ready makes a lot of sense. 

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