How long is my spare tire good for?
We all hope that we never need to use our spare tire. If you have never had to use your spare tire, you should consider yourself lucky. On the rare occasion that it needs to be used, the last thing that you want is to have a spare tire that is no good. If the spare tire can still be used, it is also important to know that there are some limitations to how it can be used. Knowing some simple information not only will keep you safe, but it will also ensure that your spare tire can be relied upon on the occasion that you will need to use it.
The age of the spare tire can affect its safety. As the tire ages, the rubber will begin to deteriorate and rot. This can cause a tire separation. The spare tire is often overlooked until it needs to be used. It is important that it is inspected regularly. The air pressure in the spare should be checked about once per month. This will ensure that the tire has air if it is ever needed. The average lifespan of a tire whether it is a spare or standard tire is about ten years This can vary by climate and storage, but at the ten year mark the spare tire should be replaced. Prior to that, once the tire is about five years old it should be inspected regularly for for any cracking, separations or bulges in the sidewall or tread. If any are found then it needs to be replaced.
If the spare tire in your car is in good shape and is usable, then there are other things to keep in mind when mounting it onto the vehicle. If the spare is considered to be a full-size spare, meaning it is a regular tire and is the same size as the other tires then it can be used just as the tires normally would be. If the tire is a space saver, or temporary spare, then it should be used for just that, temporary. Temporary spares are only to be used to get you to the next closest tire shop. Most are made to be drive at speeds of 55 mph or less, as well as for 55 total miles or less. Anything over that can cause the spare tire to fail, which can cause the tire to fail, resulting in a crash or other serious damage to the vehicle. Most temporary spares are marked on the sidewall as to their distance and speed rating, so you need to check that before proceeding to your destination. If the tire is not marked then you should check your owner's manual.
Adding your spare tire to the list of items that you routinely check on your vehicle will ensure that it is ready and in good shape when you need it. If it is overlooked then you may find yourself stranded and in need of getting the vehicle towed instead, which can cost quite a bit. If you want to be able to get more out if your spare tire, then it is a good idea to upgrade it to a full size spare. Most people will find a good used wheel that is made for their car and install either one of their old tires or purchase a good quality used to to be used as the spare in the future.
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