7 Tire Hacks You Need to Know Before Going on a Road Trip

The road can be a cruel mistress. Not only do you have to exercise caution and vigilant driving in order to avoid causing mishaps, but you also need to pay attention to other participants and their conduct while at the same time reassuring yourself that your vehicle is in top condition, ready and able to traverse any distance.

Whether you are planning a road trip to the outback, or you’re heading to another city by car, you need to optimise your vehicle, run diagnostics and take it to your mechanic for a final check-up before it can truly be tarmac-ready. Here are seven essential tire hacks that might just end up saving your life.

Assess tire pressure

You might feel encouraged to pump as much air into your tires as possible, but that would be a rookie mistake that could spiral your vehicle out of control as soon as you hit a bump on the road. However, this doesn’t mean you should keep your tires underinflated either, as that might produce the same results.

The key to maintaining tire longevity is finding the pressure balance that will allow you to drive safely. Use a tire pressure gauge at your local gas station to determine the pressure levels, and pump the air accordingly.

Mind your driving style

More often than not, people don’t correlate their driving style with the quality and longevity of their tires. However, the way you drive has a major impact on the health of your tires, and the first thing you need to do is master the art of shifting. Shifting plays a key role in tire preservation, and rather than flooring the gas pedal in order to get the car moving, you want to alleviate any unnecessary pressure from the tires by gradually operating the acceleration process.

Wheel alignment and balance

Due to the constant wear and tear on the road, the entire chassis can become misaligned, thus causing the tires to become damaged and in need of replacement because of the uneven load. While you do want to avoid hitting potholes, bumps and sleeping policemen at high speeds, troubles with wheel alignment and tire positioning become inevitable over time.

That is why it is crucial to research wheel and tire packages so you can replace your worn-out tires, but the research also helps you make sure that your mechanic has positioned and aligned your new parts perfectly in order for your car to be safe and in good shape.

Rotate tire position

Replacing tires can be a pricey endeavour, but luckily, you will rarely have to replace all four tires at once. This gives you an excellent opportunity to rotate your rear tires to the front of the car, as you are most likely to change your front tires first, especially on a front-wheel drive vehicle. By rotating your tires, you will make substantial savings on tire replacement in the future.

Inspect tread grooves

Before heading out on a prolonged road trip, you need to check the tread grooves of your tires for any foreign objects and inspect the area thoroughly in case of any damage. Sometimes objects such as rocks, metal and other materials found on the road can get caught inside the tire grooves and produce microscopic damage that will start spreading as soon as you hit the road, so make sure you avoid that risk and clean your tires thoroughly.

Adhere to maximum vehicle weight

Maximum vehicle weight refers to the maximum weight at which a vehicle is able to operate properly without risking damage or endangering the passengers. You should be able to find the maximum vehicle weight clearly stated in the owner’s manual.

Excessive loads will put unnecessary pressure on the tires and cause substantial heat accumulation, which leads to the risk of damage and rupture.

Learn how to change a tire

Keeping a spare tire in your trunk is a must, and having the necessary skill set to change a tire on your own is a modern-day necessity that could one day save your time. If you’re on a busy schedule and are having issues with your car, it would be best to consult mobile mechanic and book your effective car servicing.

Ensuring a safe and enjoyable ride starts with the quality and state of your mechanical parts, so make sure you adhere to these seven essential tire hacks and you will be one step closer to the road trip of a lifetime.

Peter is a car lovin’ writer at Blades Magazine. Beside writing he worked as a journalist for many publications in UK and AU. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.

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