How to maintain the correct pressures on long journeys

Posted on September 2nd, 2019 by GEM Motoring Assist

inflate tyre

During the summer holidays, you may have found yourself embarking on long car journeys and carrying heavier loads than usual. It is likely that you, and your tyres, will have felt the pressure.

Unfortunately, this is not an advice blog about how not to lose your rag with parents/grandparents/children during long road trips but, rather, how to keep them safe.

As a quarter of motorway and main road breakdowns are caused by tyre failure and 40% of road traffic collisions that are caused by vehicle defects are tyre-related, both Ring Automotive and Tyre Safe are emphasising the importance of maintaining the correct pressures.

Getting pressures right

Handling, braking and accelerating are all affected by incorrect tyre pressures but driving at higher speeds and carrying heavier loads (without being disrespectful to your passengers) dictate that you need to not only increase your tyre pressures, but also decrease them afterwards.

Some cars require this to be done on the rear tyres only; other cars need all four tyres to be adjusted. Check for any inflation pressures that feature either on a sticker, applied to the vehicle’s door jamb, or within the handbook. Driving a heavily-laden car on a long, fast trip without adjusting the pressures accordingly will raise tyre temperatures, which can increase the risk of failure.

For this reason, think ahead to your next long, or unusually laden, car journey. It might be useful to make some room within your interior for a tyre inflator; the type that utilises a cigarette-lighter socket, or 12 volt port, tends to be the most convenient and compact option. It’s wise to carry a separate pressure gauge as well. That way, you will be prepared to adjust your tyre pressure accordingly.

Watch our video on how to check your tyre pressures