A lesson learnt – why you should check your tyres

**This is a collaborative post**

We recently ventured up north for a family wedding – after a huge amount of hours in the car we arrived, and enjoyed a lovely few days away.  We left to drive home, got half way home and on inspection noticed we had two rather bald looking tyres – we still had a few hours left and couldn’t risk leaving it.

We had of course budgeted for a week away, and saved long and hard for it – doesn’t everyone, so we ended up coming off the M1 in Northampton and searching high and low for somewhere that could fit us in and help us out.

After a mild panic, we found a local garage who sorted the tyres for us, problem solved.

But our holiday fun was severely hit – we hadn’t allowed for the extra expense and it caused a huge amount of stress.

Lesson learned!

So – before you go on holiday, here are a few tips for ensuring your car is running perfectly and you don’t have any unexpected problems such as ours:

– check the oil and water; without these the engine won’t run well and they are pretty standard things to be checking regularly.
– check the tyre pressures and check the tyre treads for wear and fraying, as low tyre pressures and tyre wear and fraying could lead to blowouts.  Balding tires can be more prone to blowouts and reduce the amount of traction your vehicle has when the roads are wet. Look for wear and damage on the sides of the tyres then do the “penny test” to check if the treads are too low.
– make sure your screenwash is topped up to keep your windscreen clean and clear.  A mucky windscreen that you are unable to clear is dangerous and limits visibility.
– check you have a spare tyre/spacesaver in case of flat tyres or punctures; without one you may be looking at a lengthy wait for a recovery whereas you can change your own tyre with a spare and not potentially lose a day of your trip.
– make sure you have the car manual and locking wheel nuts if you have them to ensure you know what do if any warning lights come on.  If you have alloy wheels make you you have them in case a tyre change is required.
– check your car insurance, MOT and car tax is all valid; with everything online these days it’s easy to lose track of renewals so it’s always good to check regularly, especially before going on a long road trip.  Cars older than three years old require an MOT every year in the UK; it’s a quick and relatively cheap(£50ish) test that can be done by most garages and is important to make sure your car is safe to drive and legal.

For cheap tyres in Northampton visit your nearest branch of Calmac Tyres autocentre – If you are unsure if your tyres need changing, it is worth getting them checked.

When driving anywhere tyres are the most important thing as blow-outs can cause serious accidents, they are the only thing in touch with the surface of the road and are often overlooked.

The UK driving test now even covers questions about car maintenance now so new drivers are taught to know your vehicle.  Learner drivers are taught about how to check the engine and tyres in driving lessons to set them in good stead going forward.

Safe travelling 🙂

**This is a collaborative post**


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