Is Your Spare Tyre Safe To Drive On?
Have you wondered how far can you drive around on your spare tyre that you put on days ago when you got a flat tyre? Well, there are some things that you need to know about your spare tyre.
A spare tyre, commonly called as stepney is nothing but an extra tyre stored in your vehicle, meant to be used during an emergency such as a tyre burst. Spare tyres are generally categorized into 2 types – regular spare tyres and space saver or donut tyres, though there are a few sub-categories to each of these. Regular spare tyres are of the same size as that of your regular tyres and the space savers are smaller than the regular ones.
If your spare tyre is of a regular size, you can comfortably replace the punctured tyre with it. It will function exactly like your regular tyre. But, in this case, make sure you get your damaged tyre repaired as soon as possible because if you suffer another puncture without the spare, it would be a risky trip.
The second type of spare tyre is the space saver. These are strictly designed for temporary use to get you to the closest tyre repair shop if one of your regular tyres gets damaged. If you have one, you can easily understand that this sort of tyre is to some degree restricted in size. It is compact and light weight to spare space in your trunk. However, there are certain limitations to the space saver spare tyre. Firstly, the space saver is not constructed to be as solid and durable as the full-size regular tyre.
The regular tyres on your car have layers of polyester cords running underneath the rubber giving it the strength that it needs. Space saver tyre on the other hand have lesser cords and hence they are smaller and lighter. As a result, they have less traction. And less traction means less stopping ability. Having space saver on means the ABS and the traction control are not as effective. This is what happens if you drive too far on a space saver spare tyre.
Your differential transmits engine power to the wheels through the transmission. Imagine a road turn; the differential takes the energy from the engine and distributes it to wheels. It splits the energy between the wheels giving them the ability to spin at different speeds. As a result, you are able to take the required turn. The space saver is smaller than your normal tyre as a result it has to spin much faster than that of the normal tyre which is present on the opposite wheel. This causes your differential to work harder.
This also affects the handling ability of the car. And, this is true even when you are driving on a straight road. This is the main reason why manufacturers suggest keeping the space saver on for a limited distance and a limited speed of 80 kmph. Due to difference in size, driving on space saver spare tyre on highway at high speed can be very unsafe. Moreover, the space saver is not recommended to be repaired if damaged. It has to be replaced!
Maintenance of spare tyres
- The spare tyre air pressure is something that you should be mindful of, so that it is ready for use whenever you want to. When checking the tyre pressure on your vehicle, don’t forget to check the pressure in your spare tyre. It should be written on the sticker on your tyre or molded somewhere on the sides of the tyre.
- Clean the spare tyre occasionally to avoid dust from accumulating since this could rust your rim.
- Though most of the spare tyres do put a lot of kilometers on them, it is a good practice to check the tread of your spare tyre and rotate it with the other four tyres on your vehicle during your routine tyre rotation procedure. This way all the tyres on your vehicle will wear out evenly and give you a smoother ride.
- Do not use your spare tyre farther than you are supposed to. A spare tyre other than the full-size matching spare tyre is only meant to take you to the nearest tyre shop where you can replace and fix your damaged tyre.
- Similar to the distance, be careful of the speed at which you run the spare tyre. Refer your vehicle’s owner’s manual and carefully follow the instructions given on the spare tyre speed limit.
- Get the spare tyre thoroughly checked by a tyre expert atleast twice a year. Make sure there are no leakages, cuts or any other damages on the tyre.
So, always have a spare tyre handy and maintain it on a regular basis. Should you have an unfortunate experience of getting a flat tyre, being without a spare tyre could leave you in a stressful situation.
While most of the new vehicles are equipped with a spare tyre, there are a few which do not come with it. In such cases, it’s worth investing in one. It can however be a bit tricky finding the right spare tyre for your vehicle and finding a trusted tyre dealer to purchase it. For quality tyres, Rims or Battery, Contact Alfa Tyre Protector Nigeria Enterprises