Junk in the trunk: A Real Spare

Always carry a spare tire that is at least as adequate as the four bolted on.

Fat seats for trains

Most cars come standard with a spare tire that has the range and capacity of an American Idol reject.  Too many times, I have seen people take these things too far, and drive down the freeway at 80 mph.  If you see this, stay away.   You’re looking at someone who will soon suffer consequences.  RTFM.  That can lid with the rubber-band around it, is good for 50 miles at 50 miles per hour in most cases.  On some cars, driving farther or faster than this can cause mechanical failure.   I have a customer right now who is suing a tire store for thousands of dollars in new drive-train parts, because they put a smaller than stock tire on an AWD system.

If you have room, you should carry an actual tire on a steel rim as a spare.  You should check this tire frequently for air, and change it every so often.  (You shouldn’t use a tire more than 6 years old as a spare).  It should be the same type and size as the other tires on your car.  This way, replacing that spare isn’t an emergency, you can wait a while, get where your going and back, and wait till your next Christmas bonus to replace it.

You should also know how to change this tire.  Not just the mechanical aspect, but the safety.  Your rim is cheaper than your life.  If you get a flat on the freeway, drive it OFF the road.  No one wants to hose you off the blacktop.

2 Responses to “Junk in the trunk: A Real Spare”

  1. I actually didn’t know there was a limit on those other than the speed limit. We’ve had to use our little tire a couple of times in the past and never really thought about replacing it.

    That doesn’t matter now because it to became shredded during our last tire fiasco which was some time earlier this year.

    So what your saying / suggesting is that when tire stores have discounts on the third and fourth tire purchases, we should try to get a fifth tire that matches all of the others?

    Question; do rims typically come with new tire purchases? If now, how would we go about getting the same tire and rim so that there are no problems come time to utilize the spare?

    You’l hafta buy a steel rim separately, but often they are easily available used. (a new one can cost 100 bucks) The year make and model of your car should be enough to get the right one. On rare occasions, a new tire will fit on the rim the spare came off of. Ironicaly, that baby spare is more expensive to replace than a real tire.

  2. I’ve seen folks driving along on three spares… yeah. i took another route.
    I was told from the beginning not to go more than 45 mph on a spare and not more than 50 miles. I wonder how this info misses so many people.

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