It is little wonder tyre problems are one of the most popular reasons for calling out the AA, according to the breakdown services newly-crowned Patrol of the Year, because many motorists fail to carry out vitally important checks before setting off on long journeys.
Responding to a comprehensive AA poll, Max Holdstock explained: “Tyre failure is one of the most common reasons for members to call the AA for help.”
He added: “Drivers load up their cars up with family, luggage and holiday paraphernalia – and then expect them to undertake a long trouble-free journey but don’t bother to make sure the car is properly prepared for the extra strain.
“And given that cars are often heavily loaded for a long-distance family trip, more than two-thirds (68%) don’t think to increase tyre pressures as recommended, to cope with the heavy load and prolonged motorway journeys.”
Neglecting tyres and other basic car checks before a long journey can mean that roadworks, accidents or other bottlenecks could test the resilience of cars as well as try the patience of their occupants when traffic hold-ups develop, according to Max.
The study also suggests many drivers give their cars scant preparation before setting off on a journey, neglecting to make even the most basic of checks whether it’s a for a long weekend or a holiday. And according to the AA, tyre problems and overheating engines are among the most common summer dramas that can bring a family trip to a premature halt.
The survey of 25,810 AA members also found that although 89% top up the fuel tank before setting off, two-thirds (67%) don’t even bother to make a visual tyre check, such as tread depth or signs of cuts or bulges.
Details of the correct tyre pressure can be found in the car handbook or on information panels in the fuel cap cover or the driver’s door shut. Motorists should check their tyres when they are cold or have been driven on for less than two miles to achieve an accurate reading.
Denna Bowman, Head Office