We don’t think about it often, but the spare tire is a critical safety feature in a car. Having a flat tire or a blowout can be a rattling experience. When a tire unexpectantly fails, you need to stay calm and get your car to the roadside safely.
A blowout can mean only one thing: you need to change the tire and put on a spare.
Although this little ring of black rubber (also known as a “donut”) can save you a lot of grief, a spare tire has some serious limitations. If your vehicle does not have a full size replacement here are some safety tips to follow:
- It’s meant to be “temporary”. You should not drive long distances on it. The best strategy is to head straight to the tire shop and have a new full size tire installed.
- Travelling speed is reduced. A driver should not go over 80 kms an hour on a spare.
- Remember to check the air pressure on your spare regularly. If it’s under the manufacturers recommendation, pump it up next time you are at the pumps.
- Expiration date: most tires have an expiration date. Check to see if your spare is still good. If not, call either the AMA or your local tow truck company to help you out.
Do you know how to change a flat tire?
Resource: One of my favorite resources is Popular Mechanics. It has a great guide to “How to Change a Tire.”
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