Some drivers take spare tires for granted and think that it will serve as a full-sized original tire. While taking good care of your tires is a part of staying safe on the road, it’s also important to know how long a spare tire can provide the backup and to exactly what extent. Let’s have a brief discussion on spare tire meaning and some interesting facts about them.
Spare Tire Meaning
Simply speaking, it is an additional tire carried in a vehicle as a replacement. You can use it if any of the original tires is punctured or goes flat for any other reason. However, the spare tire that drivers carry with them is a tire mounted on an entire wheel because fitting just a tire to the car wheel will require professional skill and specialized equipment.
Some Interesting Facts about Spare Tires
While the spare tire meaning gives you the basic idea about such tires, these facts will help you to figure out the things you can and cannot expect from spare tires for cars:
The Spare Tire can be Full-size or Compact
If it’s a full-size tire, its dimensions should be identical to the original tires. On the other hand, some drivers use a small tire when the vehicle’s trunk is not big enough to carry a full-size one. These compact versions are strictly for temporary use and should not be driven more than 50 miles.
They are for Temporary Use
How long do spare tires last? Well, if they are not full-size, you can use them only for a short trip. The long distance you will drive on a small tire, the higher will be the risk of bad wear patterns and road accidents.
The small tires are engineered to be safe on the vehicle only for a limited distance. So, take your car to an auto repair shop soon after changing a flat.
Spare Tires can Affect the MPG
Yes, it can happen even if the spare one is a full-size tire. Your car can burn more gas if the tread patterns of the spare one are not identical to the existing ones. Besides, carrying a replacement, even if it has a compact size, means carrying more loads. It eventually affects the vehicle’s miles per gallon.
You may Need to Check the Tire Pressure
If the car spare tire has a compact sizing, inflate it at 60 psi. Otherwise, an under or over inflated tire can lead to serious road safety issues. You should make sure that the tire is inflated at the right pressure level even if it’s a full-size one.
Some modern vehicles don’t need spare tires because the tubeless tire design doesn’t run flat even if punctured by a sharp object. There is an extra layer inside that keeps the punctured tire inflated.