One of my favourite ways to spend a weekend is visiting my family in Birmingham. I love curling up in cosy living rooms, getting one of Birmingham’s top notch curries and even catching a show or two whenever I am there. But one thing I don’t love so much? The roads!
Don’t get me wrong: I love a good road trip. But Solihull has tricky traffic, and with the winding roads combined with the hour’s drive that we have to make just to get to Birmingham, we always make sure our tyres are in top condition before we set off on our journey. Tyres play a key role in the road safety of us and our families, and you can have the best car in the world – but if your tyres aren’t healthy, it counts for nothing. Here are my five top tips for making sure your tyres are good to go before you take on Solihull’s busiest roads, whether it’s Stratford Road, Warwick Road, Coventry Road or Blossomfield Road.
So many accidents could have been prevented by making sure that tyres have a good amount of tread before heading off on a long journey. Carry a 20p piece with you every time you need to go out in your car, and stick it in the gaps in the tread; if the tread is lower than the ridge around the outer portion of the 20p piece, then your tyres are too worn out and you need to start looking in to new ones. Don’t leave this too long – it is illegal to drive with bald tyres.
Another leading contributor in road traffic accidents are tyres which have not had their pressure checked. Not only is tyre pressure important to make sure that your ride is smooth and comfortable, but it is better for your car during stop-start traffic like that you’d find at rush hour on Coventry Road. Keeping a pressure gauge in the boot of your car is always good practice, and make sure you know the optimum PSI for your specific tyres.
Keep a spare or know where to find one
It’s so easy to say it – but everybody should be keeping a spare tyre in their boot at all times. I know, I know – when you use your spare tyre, going out to get another one always seems like something you’re never going to have to do. Nobody ever gets that unlucky twice, right? That’s why I always make sure I have the details of somewhere local that I can grab a spare tyre in a pinch, so that I never get caught short. Better still, I found out that in all parts of Solihull it is easy to get tyres from local depots, for example you can buy tyres in Shirley Heath from Point S online, so I can make sure well in advance that I am totally prepared for my journey.
Check for lumps and bumps
It is vital that your tyre looks and feels like its healthy – so if there are any unusual lumps or bumps, you need to get them checked out or, better still, get yourself a new tyre straight away. Blemishes and bumps can be caused by damage to the tyre or incorrect tyre pressure, or even because you have driven over something that has got stuck in the tyre. The last thing you need to be doing is heading down Blossomfield Road in Solihull and hitting something in the road with the bump in your tyre, so its incredibly important to visually inspect your tyres before your journey. If something doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t.
Check they are weather ready
And of course, living in Britain, checking the weather report regularly is the best way to make sure you are prepared for your journey. Make sure you have a great set of tyres that are prepared for wet weather – because, in the midlands, you’re almost certainly going to get it at one time or another! Shop around for tyres that can cope with weather that changes quickly, and if you’re heading out in the Winter months make sure you are rotating your tyres regularly to ensure they are balanced and healthy.
What top tips can you give me before my next trip to Solihull? How do you keep your tyres healthy?