It’s imperative to check your tyres regularly to keep safe. This is especially so before a long family trip when the vehicle is fully laden.
Tyre pressures can drop in a short period of time and this can have a drastic effect on the efficiency of the tyre to grip the road surface. Vehicle handling and therefore safety, braking distances and effect on handling due to sudden adverse weather conditions can be the result of poor tyre pressure maintenance. Excessive tyre wear and lower fuel economy are secondary consequences if pressures are low, even by as little as 5psi. So it really is false economy in all respects to ignore looking after tyres.
Manufacturer pressure recommendations for specific sizes of tyre fitted can mostly be found inside the driver’s door surround or fuel cap. As a last resort refer to the owner’s manual or google. As a rule of thumb check tyre pressures at least every month and weekly if in constant use. Don’t forget the spare too if you are lucky enough to have one.
Besides the minimum tread depth of 1.6mm by law across the whole width of the tyre the general condition should also be maintained. Rubber perishes and unfortunately, cracks can open up in warmer Summer conditions, especially on long sustained motorway trips or when excessive weight is carried in the vehicle when frictional heat drastically increases. This is often one of the main causes of a blowout. Tyre pressures should also be increased to manufacturers recommendations if more weight is carried.
It is vitally important to check the tyres from the front and back of the vehicle and not only from the side. This allows the inside of the tyres to be observed and is often where excessive wear can occur unnoticed. We see this regularly and can be another main cause of a blowout if it is missed and tyre condition is not checked properly.
Think of it this way… there is not much rubber on the road surface at any one time.
Tyres can last a long time if looked after regularly but It really is best policy to be prepared to invest in a new set of tyres sooner rather than later.