What can you spare?
How many times have you been asked for spare change? Maybe you could spare a few minutes or do something in your spare time. What really is a spare? Is it a measure of time or is it something tangible? When it comes to driving, we should all have a spare…tire that is. When was the last time you even looked at your spare?
Quite often many drivers will check the air pressure of the four regular tires on their personal vehicle, but completely ignore the air pressure in the spare tire. It’s not a good idea to take off a flat tire just to put on another flat tire now is it? You most likely wouldn’t have to check the air pressure of the spare as often as the regular tires, but checking it every few months would be a good idea.
Learning how to change a flat tire is something that I think all drivers should learn to do. Having some type of auto club membership is also a great investment in case you can’t change a tire or are unfamiliar with the process. There can be times when you could save yourself a lot of time if you knew what to do if you could change the tire yourself. In some areas during poor weather, you could be waiting for a few hours for help if you needed someone to change a tire.
Now that you’ve got the spare tire on, how long can you drive on a “donut” spare? In most cases, you should only drive on the spare tire until you can make your way to a tire repair shop or to the store to buy a new tire as needed. Most “donut” spares are only designed to be driven between 60-75 miles or 75-100 kms. The rubber compound that the “donut” spare is made from is softer to compensate for the smaller size. That softer rubber will wear down much quicker than normal tires. For that reason, drive on that spare as little as you need to before it’s replaced by a regular tire.
I was speaking with someone recently who mentioned that a co-worker was driving on the “donut” spare for a number of weeks. The tread on that tire is most likely gone now, which would cause a change in how the vehicle responds during braking and steering and especially in poor weather. Remember, the “donut” spare is often referred to as a temporary spare. It shouldn’t be used for anything other than short term needs.
Now, aren’t you glad that you changed your mind and spared some time to read this?
**Learn more about tire inflation HERE.