Tire Tips: How to Prepare for Your Next Road Trip

June 28, 2024 | General

Tire Tips: How to Prepare for Your Next Road Trip

Prepare for long-distance travel with these safety tips!

A road trip can be a great bonding experience with friends or the whole family. Whether it's a scenic drive through the countryside, a visit to a national park, or a weekend getaway to the mountains, the possibilities are endless.

If you’re planning on-the-road travel this season, preparation is the key to a successful trip. Follow these tips from our team at Ironman Tires to ensure your vehicle and tires are in tip-top shape with self-checks, and professional inspections, to prevent unexpected issues before hitting the road!


Tip 1: Inspect Key Components of Your Vehicle

Before loading up the family, it is important to be sure your vehicle is ready for a big drive so, performing a thorough check before hitting the road is a good idea. Start by topping off oil and coolant levels, then make sure your battery is in good condition. If traveling during warm weather months, be sure to also inspect your air conditioning so you can stay cool during your trip. Lastly, don’t forget to check the windshield wipers and the washer fluid.

tire tread penny test

Tip 2: Check Your Tire Tread

Underinflation results in unnecessary tire stress, irregular wear, loss of control and accidents. A tire can lose up to half of its inflation pressure and not appear to be flat! Ensure each tire on your vehicle is filled to the manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure, which can be found in your vehicle's manual or inside the driver's door.  To effectually check your tire pressure, make sure that your tires are cold, or wait at least three hours after driving.

A popular way to inspect your tire tread depth at home is to perform the penny test to make sure it has at least 2/32 inches left per tire. Start by placing a penny in your tread with Lincoln's head into one of the grooves of the tire tread. If part of his head is covered by the tread, you're driving with the legal amount of tread. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, it's time to replace the tire.

Tip 3: Make Sure Your Tires are Ready for the Drive

Having reliable tires that you can trust for long-distance road trips is essential for peace of mind and safe travels. When choosing a new set of tires for long-distance road trips, consider your vehicle type and tire size, as well as the terrain, distance, and any inclement weather that you may incur along your route.

Not sure if your tires can go the distance? If your tires fail the penny test, have visible cracks in the sidewalls or vibrate excessively when you drive, it may be time to check in with your local tire dealer.

road trip travel safety tips


Tip 4: Get Tires You Can Trust for Your Travels

If you're expecting rain, sun –  or snow – all on the same trip, all-season tires are a great choice. Whether you’re seeking touring tires for your passenger vehicle or a set of all-terrain tires for your SUV or light truck, drivers trust all-season tires from Ironman Tires to provide a reliability and safety in various driving conditions – at a price point that doesn't break the bank.

Tip 5: Check Your Tire Alignment

Potholes and rough roads can contribute to problems with alignment and can prevent drivers from enjoying a smooth ride. Also, if your vehicle’s suspension system is out of alignment, your tires will wear unevenly, and you may experience handling problems.

Be sure to stop by your local tire shop to get your alignment checked before your trip, prevent damage and ensure your vehicle is properly aligned.

Tip 6: Get Your Tires Rotated

Regularly rotating your vehicle's tires will help you achieve more uniform wear and extend tire life.

If your tires show uneven wear, ask your tire dealer to check for, and correct, any misalignment, imbalance, or other mechanical problem involved before rotation. You can refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for rotation recommendations. However, if no rotation period is specified, the guideline for tire rotation is approximately every 5,000-8,000 miles as a rule.

family road trip travel vehicle and tire safety tips


Traveling is not just about reaching a destination; it's about the experiences and memories created along the way. Whether you’re uncovering local hidden or traveling to new locations, it’s important to be well-prepared to make the most of your journey.

Let us help you get road trip-ready this season! Click here to find your local Ironman Tire dealer and get started today.