As a vehicle owner in this day and age, it's hard to imagine a car that doesn't have a spare tyre in the boot. Still, the reality is that you may, at some point, find yourself behind the wheel of a vehicle that doesn't have one.
If that's the case, then you know that you ought to go out and buy one. Still, buying a spare tyre isn't something that many people talk about. So, how do you ensure that you choose the right one?
Well, that's what we're going to explore in this article. Here, we'll discuss the many different types of spare tyres (yes, there are several!) and a few commonly asked questions about that little lifesaver that sits quietly in the trunk.
So, to kick things off, let's start with the basics:
How Do I Choose a Spare Tyre for My Car?
Firstly, it's essential to understand that there are several types of spare tyres that you can buy on the market today. They include full-size matching or unmatching spare tyres and temporary spare tyres that are full-size, compact, or folding.
As you might imagine, each one comes with its fair share of pros and cons. So let's take a closer look at each one.
Full-Sized Matching or Non-Matching Tyres
The first type of spare tyre that you can choose is a full-sized spare tyre. Let's be clear about one thing: what we're talking about here is an additional standard car tyre that you decide you're going to keep aside as a spare, even though it is meant for full-time, everyday use. We're not talking about a temporary full-sized tyre, which we will discuss in the next section.
So, basically, instead of just buying four regular tyres for your car, you get an extra one that you keep in the boot (or at home) as a backup. Now, these tyres can be matching (i.e. they match all four of your other tyres because they're the exact same model) or unmatching (i.e. they're proper tyres, just a different model).
The pros and cons of buying this type of spare tyre are pretty straightforward. Firstly, you're not purchasing a temporary tyre that is meant for limited use. What you're buying is a full-fledged replacement. So, if one of your tyres blows out, you can just replace it and go about driving around as you usually do.
However, whether matching or not, a full-sized spare tyre will not be as affordable as a temporary tyre. After all, it's of the exact same quality as your existing tyres, and it's meant for long-term daily use, just like any other standard tyre.
Temporary Tyres (Full-Size, Compact, Folding)
Now, we're going to explore the type of spare tyre that's much more common: temporary tyres. Here, what we're talking about is the kind of spare tyre meant for limited use. You're only ever supposed to use it to keep your car mobile while you take it to the workshop to fix a punctured tyre or buy a replacement.
Temporary spare tyres are the types that you'll find as a standard feature in many vehicles. They're usually located in the boot somewhere and kept out of sight.
What many people don't realise is that temporary tyres come in several forms. While you can buy yourself a full-sized temporary spare tyre, most models come with compact or folding ones to save space.
These types of spare tyres tend to be more affordable, though you'll get minimal use out of them. They're not meant to be for daily use but instead are just enough to get your car to the workshop to get a new tyre fixed.
Should My Spare Tyre Be the Same Size?
Yes, at best, you should use a spare tyre that's the same size as your other tyres. That will ensure that your car remains balanced and handles well when you drive.
However, some people may recommend a maximum 2-inch difference between your spare tyre and your regular ones.
Is It Legal to Drive Without a Spare Tyre?
Yes, it is legal to drive without a spare tyre. No law makes it compulsory to keep one in your vehicle. However, it would be a terrible idea not to have one inside your car.
Whether you're driving in an urban environment with workshops nearby or if you're going off-road far away from civilisation, you cannot drive on a punctured or flat tyre for long until you damage your wheels.
So, buy a spare tyre if you don't already have one, even if it's only a foldable temporary one.
Is It OK to Use an Old Tyre for a Spare?
Yes, it's okay to use an old tyre for a spare. However, you'll need to ensure that the tyre is in good shape so that it won't fail you when you need it the most. That means checking it from time to time and ensuring that there's enough air in it.
Using an old tyre for a spare will save you time and money, but bear in mind that you'll need space in your trunk to store it away. Assuming you're not dependent on that space for cargo or anything like that, using an old one instead of buying a spare tyre brand new is an excellent idea.
How Long Can I Drive on a Spare?
Remember: a temporary spare tyre is just that, for temporary use. It's meant to get you to the workshop to fix your punctured tyre or buy a replacement, not for your regular daily driving.
Some manufacturers may recommend using spare tyres for a maximum of anywhere between 50-70 km. However, the exact limit will depend on the tyre that you've bought.
That's a different story if you decide to keep a regular, full-sized tyre as your spare. Since those tyres are meant for daily use, you can use them just as long as any of your standard tyres.
Always Make Sure You Have a Good Spare with You!
If you're interested in buying a spare tyre or any other auto parts new or used, be sure to check out Carpart.com.au. You can search the Marketplace for great deals on auto parts or submit a request through the Part Finder. Check the ads and contact a seller now, or send a request and wait for sellers to respond with their quotes!
By Ray Hasbollah