How to Tell if Your Spare Tire Is Still in Good Condition

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The most neglected safety device your car is equipped with is your spare tire. It hides in your trunk or under the back of your vehicle and you don't give it a second thought until you really need it. It can be years, or even decades, before it needs to be used in an emergency, but how do you know if your spare tire is still in good condition?

Visually check the condition. Ideally you won’t wait until you need to use your spare tire to find out if it looks alright. Whenever you check the spare tire, look for cracking in the sidewalls and in between the tread blocks. If there are light cracks that the edge of a penny don’t catch on, you are alright to use the spare tire and just have it replaced after usage. If there are deeper cracks that the edge of a penny falls into or catches on, the tire is not safe to drive on as the tire’s strength is compromised. It could blow out on you.

Check the tire pressure. While spare tire pressure should be checked during every oil change service, it is all-too-often overlooked. Check the spare tire pressure with a tire pressure gauge and compare the actual pressure to the manufacturer’s specification. You will find the appropriate pressure listed on the driver’s door placard along with the other tire pressures. If the tire is flat or severely under the recommended air pressure, don’t take your chances driving on it. Re-inflate it when you are able to and monitor it for leaks.

Check the manufacture date. You may not think a tire expires, but tires are not meant for use beyond 10 years from the date they were manufactured. A tire is made of rubber which degrades especially when exposed to environmental elements. While a tire’s life may last longer than 10 years, it's rare. If the manufacture date on the sidewall of the tire makes it older than 10 years, have your spare tire replaced.

Check the tread depth. If you’ve bought your car new, it is unlikely that the spare tire has been replaced without your knowledge. If you purchased your vehicle second-hand, it is possible the spare tire has been switched out for a tire of much lesser quality or poor condition. If the spare tire is worn beyond 2/22nds of an inch of remaining tread, replace the tire immediately. It's considered worn out and must be discarded.

Make sure you check your spare tire as part of your regular vehicle service routine. It has the potential to save you a massive headache down the road.


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YourMechanic Brake Pad Replacement Service

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Rating Summary
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10,227
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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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