When it comes times to shop around for a new spare tire, be sure you are choosing reputable vendors, manufacturers, and retailers. You have 4 primary flat tire options to choose from, including a full-size spare, a compact spare, run-flat tires, and ancillary products. Continue reading to learn a little more about all four spare tire types.
❶ Full-Size Spare Tires
Full-size spare tires are the same size as all the other tires on the vehicle. They look the same and perform the same, however, they are not meant to be kept on vehicles as permanent replacements. Although they don’t require immediate tire replacement, they are still spare tires, and should be treated as temporary fill-ins until you can get full-service tire replacement.
They are convenient because their full-size doesn’t require you to rush around for a new tire. They can be driven on for miles, and even used in your normal tire rotation to increase the lifespan of your 4 standard car tires. Drivers also appreciate the fact that they look consistent with the other tires on their vehicles. Some noted disadvantages might be that they are very heavy, which may make handling difficult or unsafe for some drivers. They also take up more space in the trunk since they are larger than standard spares.
❷ Compact Spare Tires
Also known as “donuts”, compact spare tires are one of the most commonly used spare tire in the United States. They are much smaller, lighter, and thinner than standard tires, but strong enough to safely get your car home or to a shop for professional tire service. They are also one of the more cost-effective options. Donuts work great, but they are for emergency use only. This means you have to drive at low speeds, within a minimal distance, directly to a final destination where it will wait until a new tire can be installed.
❸ Run Flat Tires
Run flats are also known as the “no spare tire” option. They are features built into the existing 4 standard tires on a vehicle. Run flats have reinforced sidewalls that provide just enough tire pressure in the case that your tire is going flat. This gives you ample time to get to a service shop for professional tire replacement. Although this gives you more space in your vehicle and eliminates the need for you to be the middleman for tire repair, run flats are known to make car rides a bit bumpier. Another downfall to fun flats is that they might not be repairable, making them a more expensive tire option.
❹ Ancillary Products
Ancillary products are another “no spare” tire option. Rather than carting around an actual spare tire in your trunk, you can opt for an emergency tire repair kit. Often times, newer model vehicles come with this new technology, which may include anything from emergency inflators to foam or sealant repair products. Although space-efficient, ancillary products are only a quick fix for small tire punctures less than a quarter inch. They also do not fix punctures on sidewalls, only tire tread. If you are going to choose ancillary tire products, be sure to learn how to use them and apply them safely.