Tyre Myths: Everything You Need to Know About Spare Tyres

Spare Tyre Tips to Keep You Safe

A common misconception about spare tyres is that replacing a faulty tyre with a spare is like having a new tyre fitted. You don’t need to worry about replacing it, right? Well, that’s not the case. Driving on a spare tyre for any distance can do damage to your vehicle and is often unsafe.

What Are Spare Tyres For?

Spare tyres are designed as temporary solutions. Getting a flat tyre is always a pain. However, changing your tyre and driving to your destination is only the start of the story.

Your vehicle is probably equipped with a spare tyre to help you reach your destination. It is not meant to be driven on a long term. At the most, once you arrive at your destination you should take your vehicle to a garage to have your damaged tyre fixed or replaced.

How Long Can You Use A Spare Tyre For?

How long you can run your car on your spare tyre depends on what spare tyre your vehicle is equipped with. Older cars often come with a spare tyre that is the same as the tyres the vehicle was fitted within the factory.

However, car manufacturers noticed that spare tyres are only used infrequently. Some are never used. As vehicle owners rarely use their spare tyres, manufacturers decided that providing a full-sized spare is unnecessary. Nowadays, it is more usual to have a smaller spare tyre. This saves space and is lighter. Such spare tyres and spare tyre solutions recommend that you drive no further than approximately 80 kilometres before replacing with a new tyre.

How Fast Can You Drive on a Flat Tyre?

It is not recommended that you drive at an excessive speed when driving with a spare. Most tyre manufacturers will tell you not to exceed 80 kilometres per hour because:

  • Spare tyres have less durability: There is often little tread on a spare, increasing the chance of a second flat if you are going at fast speeds or long distances.
  • The tyre pressure can be incorrect: Spare tyres often sit for years in your car without being inspected. You may forget that it is there altogether until the time comes to use it. Not checking your spare tyre means that it is probably underinflated. The low PSI makes it less safe to drive.

What Can Cause a Flat Tyre?

Flat tyres aren’t that common, but chances are if you drive a vehicle you will experience at least once in your lifetime.

Here are some of the most common causes of flat tyres that you should look out for:

  • Sharp objects: The most common cause of a flat tyre is punctured by a sharp object.
  • Valve stem damage: Your valve stem is the small stem that protrudes from your tyre, which is used to inflate and deflate your tyres. If your valve stem is damaged, air can start to leak from your tyres.
  • Rubbed tyres: Worn treads and damaged sidewalls increases the chance of a blowout.
  • Overinflated tyres: Overinflated tyres create unsafe pressure, uneven wear, and possible blowout.

What Do the Experts Have to Say?

You should only use a spare tyre for an emergency. When needed, stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations, and never drive at speed or for excessive distances on a spare. Finally, as part of your tyre maintenance routine, don’t neglect your spare – you never know when it will be needed. As Bridgestone says:

Temporary spare tyres are designed to be, as the name suggests, temporary solutions. They do not provide the same amount of performance and durability as regular tyres and should not be treated as permanent replacements. We recommend you check the condition of your temporary spare tyre periodically as it, just like all tyres, will lose its air pressure over time.

Have you checked your spare tyre recently? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment or ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

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