If you have ever gotten a flat tire, you know that it can be a major inconvenience, especially if you are nowhere near a service station or a place where you can have the tire repaired or replaced. If you know how to change a tire, you can replace the flat tire with a spare, for the time being. However, according to GMA Investigates, a surprising number of vehicles do not come with spare tires. In many cases, this means that the driver must deal with the inconvenience of having their car towed. AAA is urging all car companies to equip their vehicles with spare tires.
Certain car companies have replaced the spare tire with a tire inflation kit to meet fuel efficiency standards. According to a representative from Cadillac, spare tires take up valuable space, add significant weight to the car, and often go unused, since many car owners will call a tow truck rather than deal with changing a tire. The tire inflation kits include a sealant that coats the inner wall of the tire and covers the puncture. It also includes a compressor that reflates the tire, although this will not work on all flat tires. According to AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, the kits should not take the place of a spare tire.
Safety Tips for Driving on a Spare Tire
If the spare tire in your vehicle is a temporary spare, there are certain precautions you need to take while driving, including the following:
Do not exceed a speed limit of 50 miles per hour. If you are on a busy highway, move to the far-right lane where traffic is slower. You should also turn on your hazard lights.
Do not drive more than 50 to 70 miles on a temporary spare tire. The spare tire can take a toll on the vehicle’s equipment. For example, the differential powers the wheels from the transmission, allowing the wheels to turn at different speeds. When the temporary spare is being used, it makes the differential work harder, which can lead to a breakdown.
Be aware of the systems that may be affected. Because the compact spare may rotate faster than a regular tire, the wheel speed sensor can detect the difference, causing the brake and anti-lock braking system lights to come on.
Handle the vehicle with care. Do not use cruise control when a spare tire is being used and use caution when approaching sharp curves in the road.