5 Things To Know About Your Vehicle's Spare Tire

When it comes to driving a car, there are many types of problems you can encounter, and a common one is getting a flat tire. If you get a flat tire while you are driving, you will not be able to go anywhere until the tire is replaced. All vehicles should have a spare tire to use for emergency situations like this, but here are five things that you should know about spare tires.

Make Sure you Have One

The first thing to know is whether your car has a spare tire in it. According to Global News, many newer cars no longer come with a spare tire. Manufacturers on certain vehicles are replacing the spare tires with kits people can use to fix flat tires.

It's not only newer cars that may be missing spare tires though. You may have an older car that you purchased from someone, and this car may not even have a spare tire in it.

As silly as it may sound, you should check the trunk of your car to find if it contains a spare tire. If it doesn't, you should get one immediately. You never know when you might end up with a flat tire, and having a spare tire with you will be the cheapest and fastest way to get your car up and running again.

Know its Purpose

The purpose of a spare tire is to get you from one location to another. If you break down on the highway and have to replace the tire, the spare tire will get you back home or to a tire shop.

Spare tires are not made to be used for long-distance traveling. In fact, you should only use this tire to drive 50 miles or less. Once you get to a tire shop, have them replace it with a full-size new tire for your car. You can then place the spare back in your trunk, or you can replace it with a new one.

Make Sure you Maintain It

The second thing to realize is that you should check your spare tire regularly to make sure that it is suitable for use. To do this, you will need to check the tire's:

  • Air pressure – a spare tire is smaller than a standard tire, but most spare tires need to contain 60 pounds per square inch of pressure. You can test your flat tire with an air compressor, or you can take it to a local tire shop to have it tested.
  • Tread – just by looking at the tire you should be able to tell if it has tread on it. Even though spare tires are used only for temporary use, they should still be in good condition. If yours has been used and looks like the tread is gone, purchase a new one and get rid of the old one.
  • Condition – you should also carefully inspect the tire to make sure it does not have cracks on it. Tires wear out over time, even if they are not being used. In fact, tires expire six years after they are manufactured. You may want to replace your spare every six years because of this.

Understand its Limits

Even if you are planning on driving straight to the nearest tire shop, there are several other things you must know about spare tires, and this includes:

  • Do not drive over 50 mph
  • Do not drive on bumpy roads or gravel roads

Knowing these things can help you stay safe while you are traveling with a spare tire.

Learn How to Change a Flat Tire

Finally, you must know how to change a flat tire if you ever plan on using your spare. To change a tire, you must have the proper tools, and this includes a jack and a lug wrench. Periodically, you should check your vehicle to make sure that these tools are present.

Changing a tire is not overly difficult, but it is something that may take practice. You can watch a video about this or learn the steps by visiting DMV.org.

Getting a flat tire is never a pleasant event, but it happens. By knowing these things, you can be prepared if this happens to you, and that will make your experience less frustrating.