Spare Tire Saves the Day in Traffic

Spare Tire Saves the Day in Traffic

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A car's spare tire can be a lifesaver in case of an accident on the road. When the car has a suitable spare tire and the necessary tools to change it, you can continue on your journey and replace the damaged tire yourself. However, sometimes the car's spare tire is not like the other tires in your vehicle. In this case, it only serves as a temporary solution, not intended for longer journeys.

Different types of spare tires

There are different types of spare tires depending on their size and whether they are intended for short-term use only. Instead of a spare tire, the car may also have a repair kit for repairing minor damage:

  • A full-size spare tire is the same size as the other tires of your car. A spare tire of the same size can be used to replace a damaged tire, but it takes up a lot of space in the car.

  • The size of the spare tire can be different from other tires in your car, but only for temporary use. This kind of spare tires can be used until the damaged tire is replaced with a properly intact one. It's worth remembering that a small spare tire does not match a full-size tire but is a temporary aid, meant to be driven only as much as necessary. This type of spare tire also has a speed limit and should not be driven over 80 km/h, which is usually written directly on the spare wheel, unlike a proper-sized spare tire. However, a smaller tire takes up less space in the car than a full-size spare tire.

  • To reduce weight and save space taken by the spare tire, many cars may not have a spare tire at all. Instead, the car comes with a repair kit that can be used to patch smaller tire damage. In this case, remember to check the repair kit and its expiration date. If your car has a repair kit instead of a spare tire, also familiarize yourself with its use in case you end up needing it to repair a tire. Like a temporary spare tire, patching the tire is not a permanent solution for tire damage.

The choice of spare tire to be carried in the car depends on whether there is sufficient space in the car's luggage compartment to store a larger spare tire. Many drivers may also want to avoid the extra weight of a spare tire in the back of the car. If the car is driven a lot off-road or outside the city, a proper spare tire instead of a repair kit may be a better choice. A full-size spare tire is not necessary in areas where a smaller spare tire does the job and help is quickly available.

What are flat run tires?

So-called puncture-proof or flat run tires can be driven even if they get punctured while driving. For example, Nokian Tyres' Flat Run tires can be driven without pressure. In this case, it is possible to drive with the damaged tire despite tire failure, until the tire can be replaced with an intact one.

Depending on the vehicle's load, it is possible to drive 50-150 kilometers with a deflated Nokian Tyres Flat Run tire. The recommended maximum speed is 80 km/h and 50 km/h in slippery conditions. Read more about Nokian Tyres' Flat Run technology.

When is it time to get a new spare tire?

Even if the spare tire just waits in the back of the car, it does not last forever. Additionally, the condition of the spare tire should be checked regularly so that it is ready for use when needed.

Check the air pressure and tread depth of the spare tire at the beginning of each season. The minimum legal tread depth for summer tires is 1.6 mm and 3 mm for winter tires. However, these are the minimum allowed tread depths, not recommendations for safe driving. The tire should be replaced with a new one well before its tread depth is close to the legal minimum.

When checking the air pressure of a spare tire, it is advisable to add a little more air than usual. This is because air pressure of the spare tire decreases over time, even when it is not driven with. Also, remember to take care of the tire pressures of the other tires, as driving with incorrect tire pressures can prematurely wear out the tires and even lead to tire damage. It is advisable to use slightly higher tire pressures in winter tires compared to summer tires.

In addition to the condition of the tire, it is important to keep in mind the age and aging of tires. The condition and driving characteristics of tires deteriorate with age even if they are not used. The manufacturing date of the tire can be checked from the tire sidewall markings, which show the week and year when the tire was manufactured. The tire should have a maximum service life of six years and a total age of 10 years, regardless of how long the tire has been in use.

If you are unsure of the condition of your spare tire, it is always better to update the tire to a new one rather than guess whether the it can still be used or not. When choosing a spare tire for your car, first pay attention to its size. You can find out the size of your current tires from the markings on the sidewall. Explore Nokian Tyres' range of winter and summer tires online. You can find the right tires for your car with the tire search on the website.