The Spare Down There

Here’s a scenario that will make you think harder about spare tire pressure: You’re cruising down the road, heading to work, steady traffic, sun is shining, it’s almost the weekend, and you’re feeling good. You didn’t know you’d get a flat going past that construction site. At this point, maybe you’re perturbed, but you’ve changed a tire before. So you pop open the trunk and there’s your spare. There’s just one problem: it, too, is flat.

Just like your regular treads need proper tire care and maintenance, so does your spare tire. It’s easy to ignore since it’s out of sight, doesn’t really affect your ride, and doesn’t seem important until you get a flat. But if you don’t pay attention, you won’t be fixing it in a jiffy. You might be stranded for longer than you think.

Your spare needs the same type of care the rest of your tires do. As part of your regular tire maintenance, you should always remember to check the pressure and tread of the spare that’s hiding in the trunk.

Spare Tire Pressure

When it comes to spare tire care, it’s a best practice to check your tire pressure once a month. Changes in tire pressure affects tire wear and fuel efficiency. Not to mention, it can also cause a dangerous blowout if your tire is underinflated. So familiarize yourself with what kind of spare you have to determine how to care for it.

Full-Size Spare Tires:

These tires are identically matched to the rest of your tires. So care is easy, just inflate it according to the specifications on your doorjamb or check your owner’s manual. If you have a full-size spare, it’s recommended to pull your spare into regular rotation so that all your tires wear evenly.

Temporary Spare Tires:

Sometimes called “donuts” because they’re much smaller than the normal tires on your car, donuts help offer good balance, take up less trunk space, and are light enough to make changing a flat a breeze. They’re not meant to be driven normally or for long distances. So be sure to get a new tire as soon as possible to get you back on the road.

Do you take care of your spare? Or if you have a repair kit or run-flat tires, do you prefer one system over the other? Let us know!