Spare tyres explained - all you need to know. That 5th tyre is not often a topic of conversation. Are spare tyres really that important?

Simply put, spare tyres are there incase you puncture your existing tyre. Whilst it was once unimaginable to buy a new car without a spare tyre, currently 35% of all new cars are sold without one. So, this leaves you thinking… a spare tyre must not be essential. Arguably every motorist will face a flat or punctured tyre at some point. So, what would you do if you were stuck roadside on the highway or on a rural road?

Our team at Bud’s Tyres believe that a spare tyre is absolutely essential. If you are a motorist you should have the knowledge on how to change a spare tyre if it ever does come up or be willing to learn. Second-hand cars may come with a spare tyre especially considering if it is an older model. However, spare tyres do have a shelf life and may need to be changed. There would be nothing worse than finding you don’t have a spare tyre in your new vehicle or that your spare is too old or damaged when you need it most.

Space Savers

If you have a very odd looking thin tyre in your new car it is most likely a space saver. A space saver is provided by your vehicle manufacture for your model only. They are usually found in modern cars to save interior space. They are limited to a certain distance and speed specific to the vehicle. This can be found on the temporary tyre sidewall.

Run Flat Tyres

Run flat tyres are designed to keep your car moving even when the tyre has been punctured or the structure has been compromised in any way, shape or form. They avoid the hazard and are time permitting. If the structure of a tyre is compromised this means the sidewall becomes separated from the wheel due to loss of internal air pressure. How do run flat tyres prevent this from happening? They are designed to keep your tyre moving despite loss of air pressure. This means that your rim is not at risk of making contact with the road surface as they feature a reinforced sidewall.

A tyre won’t last forever if it has been punctured or torn and will need to be taken care of quickly within reason whether it requires a replacement or repair. You can continue driving at a reduced speed. Your vehicle must offer run flat technology and run a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS).

Spare Tyre Additions

If you drive around with the spare tyre and not much else on standby there is almost no point even having the spare tyre. That is unless a friendly stranger pulls over to help with the tools on hand. If your vehicle didn’t come with a spare tyre kit you will need a jack, lug wrench and vehicle owners manual.You may even want to look into a compressor, sealant kit, wheel wedges, work gloves and safety reflective gear such as triangles.

Do I really need a Spare Tyre?

What was once considered an unwavering essential is now questioned by drivers. We recommend that the only individual circumstance in which you do not carry a traditional spare, space saver or run flat tyre would be if you are a city driver and do not know how to change a spare. If you would be more confident ordering a tow truck and splashing out a bit of extra cash it is understandable. All other motorists including 4X4’s, distance drivers and capable drivers should have access to a spare on hand. A spare tyre for a road trip is an absolute must.

The Traditional Spare

The traditional spare tyre is without a doubt the best option (and the safest). They are invaluable in the event of an emergency. Your tyre size should match your vehicles tyre size specifications. You can use your older tyre as a spare within the appropriate tread depth. We recommend that you replace all tyres at the same time. Tyres do age and should be monitored for any damage every 3 - 5 years. The average life of an unused spare tyre is 10 years.

Check out our previous blog post on how to avoid a flat tyre here.

Check out our previous blog post on a guide to tyre repairs here.

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