Tyre Checks Before A Long Journey

The boot is packed and you’re ready to hit the road for a long journey. But have you checked your tyres before you hit the road? When it comes to safe, secure and comfortable driving over long distances, you need total confidence in your tyres.

These are the five checks you need to do to ensure that your tyres are up to a long journey.

1. Check your tyre tread

Bald isn’t beautiful when it comes to your tyres. The legal minimum depth for tyre tread is 1.6mm although at Protyre we recommend you replace tyres when they have 3mm of tread remaining.
You can check your tyre tread in three ways:

  • The 20p test: insert a 20p piece into a tread groove on your tyre. If you can’t see the outer rim of the coin, your tyres are roadworthy. If you can see the rim then consult our tyre professionals about replacement tyres.
  • Tyre tread wear indicators: if the rubber of the tyres is flush with the indicators then your tyre tread is below the legal limit.
  • Tyre tread depth gauge: these professional tools are cheap and widely available and should be used before every long journey.

2. Inspect for cracks and bulges

Take a few minutes to do a close inspection of your tyres. If you see any cracking, splits or cuts, then your tyres could need replacing. Pay particular attention to any bulges in the sidewall which indicate separation in the structure of the tyre and could result in tyre failure sooner rather than later.

3. Match your tyres

While you’re inspecting the tread and sidewalls of your tyres, take a minute to check that each pair of tyres across both axles match in terms of size, load rating and tread pattern. Ideally, all four tyres will make a matched set but if they don’t, ensure that you have matching pairs of tyres in terms of brand, tread, construction and load rating.

Manufacturers also recommend that you have tyres rotated every 5,000 miles for even wear and tear, so why not book into your nearest Protyre garage and get your tyres rotated before you set off on any long journey.

4. Check the pressure

Always check your tyre pressure before a long journey, particularly if you’re carrying a heavy load. Check the pressure when the tyres are cold and inflate to a pressure that’s consistent with the load you’ll be carrying.
If there’s no indication in the handbook or on the driver’s door jamb, inflate the rear tyres 2 - 5 PSI higher than the front tyres. Check that your tyres are rated to carry the load and avoid packing unnecessary items that could make the car unstable.

5. Book in for a Protyre tyre safety check

Your car tyres are the key to fuel efficiency, performance and safety so why not book in for a Protyre tyre safety check before you travel? It’s the smart way to ensure that every inch of your tyres is ready for the journey.
If they’re not, our qualified fitters will advise you on the best brands for your vehicle from premium tyres, such as, Pirelli to good quality mid-range brands, including; Falken and Sumitomo so you get the brands you like at a price that’s right.

Book Free Tyre Check

About the author

David Sholicar

David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and ...

View author

Related Articles

How to make sure you buy the tyres best suited to your vehicle

Any car enthusiast will know that not all tyres are created equal. However, the quality of tyres is an issue that should be of importance to anyone who drives, as the tyres on your car have a direct effect on safety in wet conditions, stability, the degree of comfort you have on the road, cornering and general road handling. A car with the wrong tyres will not only feel lacklustre to drive, but its safety could be compromised.
Find out more

Time for new tyres?

New tyres may be needed if you find your car is taking longer to stop after braking or your vehicle is not handling as it should in wet conditions.  
Find out more

The role of a tyre

At all times and in all weather conditions they are the only element in contact with the road - yet they are one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of vehicle maintenance.
Find out more