Posts Tagged ‘spare tire safety tips’

Spare Me! Dude, Where’s the Spare Tire?

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monster truck tires


When’s the last time we heard an entirely positive news story come from the automobile manufacturers, especially General Motors? It seems like it’s always a sales pitch, a recall or a bailout, and here’s another one to add to the pile: in order to cut costs and make vehicles lighter, car companies are cutting the spare tire as a standard feature on new models. Yikes!

It doesn’t take a genius to imagine this might result in some sticky situations. In fact, Reuters reported that 12 percent of the 3.5 million calls AAA receives are due to problems with tires. We can almost picture the situation: You borrow your friend’s new car for the weekend, get a flat, call AAA (handy), and… boom. No replacement tire. Yuck.

So what can the savvy motorist do? Three things:

  1. If you’re buying a new car, get the spare tire option. You’re going to want one.
  2. If you’re buying a used car, always check to make sure the spare is there.
  3. Check your car now to make sure your spare tire is there and in good condition. If it’s not, get one.

Though it’s not all bad. Because a spare tire and its jack typically add an additional 25 pounds to a car’s total weight, this ‘no spare tire’ trend will make your car slightly more fuel efficient (it’ll add about one MPG).

What do you think about this? Are you okay with your car not having a spare tire? Or would you rather pay extra and be on the safe side?

For all of your tire needs (spare or otherwise!) or for tires in Canyon County, call Discount Tire Centers at 1 (800) 808-4737.

Photo courtesy of Oakley Originals.

Tire FAQ: How Long Can I Drive My Car with My Spare Tire?

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changing flat tirePhoto courtesy of Seven Block

Maybe you know the feeling: you’re driving at a nice clip when suddenly BANG, your tire goes flat. You get to the side of the road, pop the trunk and, yes, you do have a spare! But here’s a question: how long can you drive around with the thing? Here’s a quick FAQ:



The short answer to the question of how long you can (or should) get around with a spare is: not long. Durability is one reason why. Lately car manufacturers have opted to include slimmer spares to save weight and space, and slimmer tires are less durable tires.



Spare tires, generally smaller and slimmer than the real deal, are less safe than regular tires, inasmuch as they offer less traction. This means an increase in stopping distance, which reduces safety.  There’s also an increased risk when turning if one tire is larger than the other.  You should only go as far as you have to on your spare.


The Bottom Line

Car manufacturers rightly suggest drivers using a spare tire maintain speeds less than 50 miles per hour and only go as far as is necessary. Read your car’s owner manual for the recommended mileage limit, but 70 miles is the usual maximum. It’s not good for your vehicle to drive on a spare longer than you have to, as it can put stress on the differential.  So if you care about your own well-being, and the life of your car, you’ll treat your spare the way it’s intended: as a stopgap and not a replacement tire.


Time to get yourself some new tires? For tires in Pasadena, visit Discount Tire Centers!  And leave us a comment: do you have any spare tire horror stories?