Navigation Menu

Part of the Road Trip Rules Series

Tyres wear down over time and there is no getting away from the fact. Unfortunately, there is no method which will mean that a set of tyres will go on, mile after mile, forever. However, there are a number of things that travelers can do which will mean that their tyres are not worn down unnecessarily.

Since the cost of replacing tyres is never something that car owners welcome, preserving them for as long as possible makes a lot of financial sense, though there are other benefits that are associated with keeping your tyres in good condition which ought to be factored in as well.

Adjust your Driving Style

Don’t pull away with your foot to the floor. Even if you don’t dump the clutch and hit the accelerator so hard that you wheel-spin when pulling away, a heavy approach to getting a vehicle moving puts unnecessary pressure on your tyres.

Sometimes, for instance if you are driving a fully laiden van and need to perform a hill start, there is no getting away from revving hard. However, at most times you should pull away in a more regulated manner and get into second gear sooner rather than later.

Simply adjusting your driving style in this way will help to preserve your tyres.

Driving Hands

Adjust your driving style. Photo CC by Robert Couse-Baker

 Check Tyre Pressure

Another common way of getting the best from your tyres is to keep them under the correct pressure. It has been observed that under inflated tyres have greater chances of wearing down more quickly.

According to Point-S, a tyre dealer network in UK, tyres can lose pressure without it being easy to detect, so using a pressure gauge is advisable. Not only do under pressure tyres wear quickly, but they also make it harder to steer and brake, so keeping them topped up means you drive more safely, too.

It is also worth noting that under inflated tyres are less economical to run and you end up using more petrol per mile travelled if you don’t pump them up.

Wheel Balancing & Alignment

Avoiding obstacles is always a good idea when driving, but even small bumps in the road can cause problems. Potholes, sleeping policemen and kerbs can all be hit which means that the wheel alignment becomes out of place.

The unwanted outcome of poorly aligned wheels is that one set of tyres will tend to wear down more rapidly than other. Sometimes, just the outer rim of a tyre becomes worn due to the lack of alignment, but this means that the whole tyre needs to be replaced.

If you cannot avoid a bump or two on your journeys on the road, then take the time to have the wheel balance checked professionally once in a while.

Driving wheel

Have a wheel balance check performed. Photo CC by Thomas Anderson

Rotating Tyres

When you replace a tyre on your car, it is infrequent that you will need to swap all four. If you want to get the best from a rear set of tyres, for example, then sometimes it makes sense to move them to the front of the car when swapping a pair, especially for front-wheel drive vehicles.

Rotating your tyres like this can mean that you spend less on tyre replacement over time.

According to the AA, replacement tyres do need to be compatible with those already fitted to your vehicle, but there is no need to have them all made by a single manufacturer if you don’t want to.

INSPIRED? PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS ↓

Hear about new posts on Facebook: Please click “like”!

Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Featured Pinterest Photos CC State Farm & Robert Couse-Baker

    60 Comments

  1. Some good tips there Meg. An important tip we learned when purchasing tyres is that not all tyres are created equally. While you do not need to buy ‘brand’ name tyres, be aware that some imported ‘no name’ tyres may not meet the same stringent requirements for your care and not last the distance better quality ones will

    • Excellent tip Trev, thanks for sharing. Will definitely have to keep that in mind the next time we change out and consider no name tyres.

  2. So much good info here! I had no idea you could just move back tires (tyres, as you say) to the front of the car. Then again, I haven’t owned my own car for years so I’m not exactly an expert on such things!

    • Glad you found it helpful Leah. Good knowledge to keep on hand for when you do find yourself with a car again :)

  3. Some good tips. It’s always good to look after your tyres especially when driving abroad!

    • Glad you found the post useful Sophie :) Absolutely – I think too many people neglect to think about their tyres and maintenance there-of.

  4. I have always said that you have to take care of your tires. I practice it every day. Thank you for sharing these great tips. I mean, who likes to spend money on getting new tires.

    • Absolutely – not only are they expensive if you continually blow through them but it’s a safety thing as well. We saw a woman blow her tyres in the middle of a highway a few weeks back – she nearly crashed head on into incoming traffic, it was scary!!

  5. Great post! I don’t take too many road trips so this is perfect information for someone like me who domes;t know much about the road haha

    • Glad you found it useful Christine :) Feel free to come back as a refresher before your next roadtrip!

  6. Great tips!Going on a road trip is amazing, but it’s good to know all of the best tips to make your journey a safer one…especially this info about “tires” ;) Cheers.

    • Thanks Dariece! Road trips truly are amazing, they’re our favorite form of travel – though you absolutely do need to be prepared and knowledgeable re how to travel safely while doing so :)

      Bahaha lol and I was waiting for an American to comment on my non American spelling of “Tyres” – there’s still some Australian left in me yet :D

  7. Great tips! I remember our road trip back in Europe, at one point when we got off the car to rest in a spot, we smelled our tires burning a bit LOL Anyhow, we will definitely take note of these tips!

    • That’s definitely not something you want to start smelling when you still have a ways to drive!! Glad it turned out ok for you though! I seriously hate it when you drive over something as well and you’re just waiting to see if you actually punctured a tyre – worst suspense ever!!

  8. These are great tips for us road-trip lovers, guys. Rotating the wheels is one of the best things you can do to keep the wear even… and also one of the things I almost never remember to do! And how about paying to put air in your tyres in parts of America & Canada? What’s that all about? Hehehehe ;)

    • I noticed that when I first got to the US and thought it was so odd – paying to put air in your tyres. Shocked me to my Australian core haha I’m like “but it’s air!!!!”

  9. Great set of tips here for my next long road trips, that’s for sure! Is tyres the Australian version of tires? Just curious, never seen it like that before :)

    • Lol yep, tyres is the commonwealth spealling (Britain, Australia etc) of your “tires” – I may be now speaking with a touch of an American accent lol though there’s still some Australian in me yet!!

  10. very useful tips! I might go on a road trip in America. I have some concerns, including about the car issues, such as the tyres. Thankfully, I learned how to replace tyres, but I should be more aware how to prevent these issues, and you just posted tips about it! thanks for the post!

    • We’re about to head on another roadtrip throughout the States, and we absolutely love them, so you’ll have a fab time. America is a fabulous destination for a roadtrip, and there are so many amazing attractions which you miss when you fly.

      You do need to know how to properly maintain your car though, especially if you’re on the road for long periods of time – so glad you learnt how to replace tyres recently; let us know if you want any other tips!

  11. These are some great tips Meg! Having car trouble while on a road trip is the worst! People often take their tires for granted, so this was a good reminder. :)

    • Thanks Vicky – glad you enjoyed the post; car trouble while traveling is definitely the worst, especially if you’re in a foreign country and in the middle of no-where!

      Glad we could be the reminder to properly maintain everything as a prevention method for an interruption on the road!

  12. It makes sense that adjusting your driving style could help you get the most life out of your tyres. I’m going to be getting a new set before a road trip with my friends, and I want to be sure to make them last as long as possible. It’ll definitely take a conscious effort on my part to change my driving habits to make that happen, but it should be well worth it.

    • Glad to hear it McKayla! It will definitely be worth it, we’ve been on numerous roadtrips now and have only had to change our tires out once using all of the tips above, and that was general wear and tear.

      Plus they’re so costly and expensive, so better to change up your driving just a little bit to make them last and be able to spend that money on the actual trip :) Good idea to change them out before you go so you’ve got a fresh start for the trip.

      Happy travels! X

  13. Running over small bumps and dips in the road while driving is completely unavoidable, especially if you live in a more rural area like I do. I’ve noticed that the tires on the left side of my car are wearing more quickly than those on the right, but I wasn’t sure how to fix it. Thank you for the suggestion about wheel balancing. I will be sure to ask a mechanic about it soon. Hopefully it will make driving my car more safe.

    • Glad we could help you out with the tips on wheel balancing Albie – as you said, it’s realistically probably impossible to avoid every single bump and dip in the road when you live in certain areas, we noticed driving in Alaska recently was definitely a region where this is true!! Though there are definitely different little things we can implement into our routine to make driving more safe.

      Happy travels & drive safe out there!

  14. That black round tire gauge looks super heavy duty. Typically, I only ever see the small ones that are like a pen. What is the brand of that tire gauge you have? If I had that one, I sure wouldn’t lose it as easily as the pen style gauges.

    • Hey Bryan, yep that’s definitely a heavy duty tire gauge!! That photo is actually one I sourced from Creative Commons, so I’m not 100% sure which brand it is as it’s not my photo. Sourced it up from here: http://www.breakerlink.com/blog/maintenance/tyres-maintaining-tyres/

      We personally have the small one which is like a pen also. Works great, though lol yes, you definitely have to keep your stuff organized as they do have a tendency to disappear on you!!

  15. My brothers and I are about to take a road trip down to see my grandma next weekend. I want to make sure that my car is in proper working order and I’m trying to get an idea of what I should be paying attention to. Getting my tires aligned is something that I didn’t think of, and I plan on taking it in today to get them looked at.

    • Glad we could help you out before you hit the road Jason :) Aligning your tires is a great idea as an extra preventative measure, and absolutely worthwhile for the peace of mind knowing that you’ll be safe on the long drive.

      Happy driving! Have a great trip :)

  16. I think that it is great to examine all of the different ways that you can save money on your car.

    • Absolutely Freddy :)

  17. I get my tires rotated before every road trip I take. And I usually keep my tires pumped to 38 pounds PSI. If your car is driving funny (like it pulls to the left, or it’s a bumpy ride) you should stop at a tire shop. Most of them will do a free tire check, and pump up your tires for you if they’re low.

    • Excellent advice Jenn – and glad to hear that you have your tires rotated before each trip. I find the majority of issues we have are usually with tires on rental cars, and that’s a great tip about stopping by a tire shop if the car if driving strangely.

      Had to do that in Alaska recently and the tires were indeed fairly low. They were so lovely, the guys pumped them up for us and we were a go! Easy to find a tire repair or automatic shop in your GPS if you’re traveling with one too :)

  18. Hallo there Meg, hope your new year is bright. I have enjoyed reading your post and learned some things. I usually check out wheel alignments, make sure that the tires are in their best condition and of course change the tires when I feel that they have served me enough.
    Cheers!

    Tracy

    • Hi Tracy, thanks for your comment – I hope you have a fabulous 2016 too!

      Glad to hear you check the wheel alignments before taking off on a road trip – it’s a really good habit to get into, especially when you do a lot of driving. Nothing worse than getting far away from home and need road side assistance!

      Safe travels in the new year :)

  19. I didn’t know that small bumps in the road could cause the alignment of my wheels to be off. Honestly, I usually go fast over a bump to test out my car’s suspension. Thanks for the advice, though! I’m going to be more cautious and not do that. I know that having misaligned tires is a problem.

    • Yep, misaligned tires is definitely something you want to avoid, so highly recommend being a little cautious when driving over those speed bumps.

      Glad you found the post helpful Westly :) Happy Easter! Drive safe :)

  20. I didn’t know that driving style could influence wear and tear on tyres but it makes sense. I assumed that hard braking would cause wear but knowing that fast acceleration also causes wear will help me modify my driving style. Thanks for your helpful tyre wear advice.

    • Hard breaking too, but fast acceleration does also cause wear over time. Glad we could help modify your driving style … travel safe! :)

  21. Hi Megan,

    Very nice and informative post.

    Tyres are the most important thing to notice on a long journey as it gets most of problems. Many get stuck to unknown places and even ruin all there trip because of tyre problem.

    The ways stated here by you are great and a lot helpful for travel lovers, many of traveller drivers can get a massive help by your article. Checking wheel balance and tyre pressure regularly is the best according to me.

    Thanks for the informative article.
    Have a nice day.

    ~ Harshwardhan

    • Hi Harshwardhan, thanks for your comments, I’m so glad you enjoyed the article and found it helpful. Tyres really are the most important thing when you’re heading out on a roadtrip – a breakdown can completely ruin a trip.

      Have a wonderful day too :)

  22. That was a good and informative article. I almost got my information that I was looking for. Thanks

    • Thanks Sam – I’m glad we could help :) Happy travels! Drive safe :)

  23. I saw your comment saying you need to pay for air in your tyres in the US? Which part of Oz are you originally from? I’m from the UK (spent time in Oz too though, Brisbane and Queensland and Surfers Paradise) and here in the UK we too must grit our teeth and pay to put air in our tyres… Paying for air… they always said it would happen!

    • Hi John, thanks for stopping by! I’m from Canberra … luckily we still haven’t seem them put a price on air yet here, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was implemented really soon!! Any way to make a buck right!! Sigh!

  24. Wow…
    What a lovely post.Great Tips Megan. I cannot say that I am an expert regarding car tyres. But I have basic information with respect to taking care of them. Thanks for the value addition. Road trips are exciting but only with all the basic safety procedures in place. Tyres are an integral part of the safety norms. According to me, wheel balancing and rotating tyres are the best options available at hand.
    Thanks for sharing. Keep posting and keep sharing.. :)
    Regards;
    Cortney G

    • Glad the post was helpful for you Cortney! I learned half of this stuff the hard way across many of our roadtrips over time unfortunately! We don’t think about these kind of safety precautions a lot of the time, but they’re so important, especially when you’re gearing up for a long trip. Always better to travel with safety in mind!

      Happy road tripping!

  25. You have some great tips for taking care of tires. I didn’t realize that even small things can cause a problem for the car’s alignment. I can’t remember the last time we had our car’s alignment checked, so we should do that.

    • Glad the post was helpful Ridley! Yes, even small things can affect the car’s alignment, so I definitely encourage you to have it checked if it hasn’t been looked at in a while :)

      Happy travels! Safe driving X

  26. I always try and keep my tires aligned so they last as long as they can. I think it’s an integral part of car maintenance! Thanks for sharing.

    • Glad to hear that Brian. Happy travels & safe driving :)

  27. Great Tips, thanks for the idea. Nice blog.

    • Thanks Advanti, glad you found the post helpful! Safe travels :)

  28. VEry informative. Thank u

    • Happy to help!

  29. Thanks for information. but in winter season we also change our tyres.

    • Great idea Rosy :) Safe travels! X

  30. Great Share!

    Do you know? an improperly inflated tire can cause handling issues and make your tire flat more quickly so don’t play with filling of tire as correct air pressure is quite necessary for the well-being of your car tires.

    • Thanks Saini, and yes, absolutely necessary to have the correct air pressure. Thanks for the reminder!

Leave a Reply to Dariece Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *