But there is one way you can kick it up a notch: Learn important and relative information about your vehicle’s spare tires! Your spare tires are a very important and beneficial component to you and your vehicle, but they tend to go unnoticed until they are needed. So simply review some facts about spare tires and be better prepared the next time you get a flat. Now, continue reading if you wish to increase your driving knowledge!
Spare Tires are Not For Permanent Use
Factory direct spare tires are not the same as conventional tires. They are smaller, lighter, and more compact, making them more vulnerable than standard vehicle tires. For this reason, spare tires are not manufactured nor intended to be a permanent replacement for regular tires. Check your owners’ manual for details about your vehicle’s tire specs. And always have a spare tire swapped out for a standard one as soon as possible.
Additionally, it is important to note that replacement spare tires are full size tires. Although they are narrower and more compact, they are still the same diameter as your vehicle’s standard issued tires. This ensures driving maintains stable and even. On the other hand, there are some replacement spare tires that are not the same size as standard ones. It all depends on the brand and model.
Smaller Spare Tires are Limited Use Tires
Smaller or compact spares, popularly known as “donuts”, are limited-use tires. This means they are not manufactured to provide the same benefits and performance levels as regular tires. Compact spare tires are meant emergency tire replacement and short travel. They are supposed to safely get you to the nearest tire shop as soon as possible, not replace your old tire entirely.
Driving on a Spare Can Reduce Miles Per Gallon (MPG)
Your vehicle’s MPG can be negatively affected if you drive on a spare tire for a prolonged distance or period of time. This applies whether it’s a full size spare or a compact. It is recommended to use the lightest option spare tire for your vehicle to avoid dragging around more than you need.
Not All Vehicles Need Spare Tires Anymore
With the new tubeless tire technology entering the market, many newer model vehicles are not even equipped with a factory direct spare tire because they don’t need it. Tubeless tires do not “go flat” in the conventional sense, making them drivable for longer after taking on sudden damage or stress. This is one technology that has influenced the next fact.
Many Spare Tires are Becoming Obsolete
Not all spare tires that once were, are still today. There are several spare tire brands and models that are not manufactured anymore. So older vehicles may come with an outdated folding spare tire, or another type that is not available on the market any longer. Also, the future of spare tires may be bleak with the new and on-going advancements in tire technology.
Spare Tires Still Need Proper Tire Pressure
Even though spare tires are not our vehicle’s “real” tires, they still need to maintain proper inflation, which means the tire pressure needs checked every so often. You can use any standard tire pressure gauge to accomplish this.