You're out on your summer road trip, driving 150 miles from nowhere. Suddenly, your tire-pressure light turns on, and the vehicle starts wobbling, signaling you've popped a tire. Swapping on a spare should be easy, but unfortunately, around 30 percent of new cars don't come with spare tires anymore. Here's what you can do before your summer road trip to make blown tires a non-issue.
Another option available at the factory, and available for you on the aftermarket, are run-flat tires. I know they're not an enthusiast favorite, but hear me out. Run-flat tires are designed to take a puncture to the tread, lose air pressure and allow you to keep driving. Your tire pressure monitoring system will alert you with a tire psi warning light on the dash, letting you know you have about 50 miles to reach a tire repair center before the tire fails.
The huge bonus here is the ability to keep going and make it to your destination or a safe place to pull over, instead of stopping in an unsafe area like a small shoulder or, even worse, in traffic. The downside to run-flats are the pricier cost of the tires due to more robust and complex construction techniques, higher noise levels, sometimes poorer ride quality and generally lower grip than summer performance tires. Run-flats, like regular tires, will fail quickly if the sidewall is damaged.
So why did an old Chevy Cavalier from 20 years ago get a spare tire, but your fancy new Acura RLX doesn't have one? As fuel economy standards increased, automakers decided to shed excess weight. Removing the spare tire, jack and lug wrench saves 40 to 50 pounds. While 50 pounds doesn't sound like much in a 3,800-pound car, every bit adds up; it also lets them save on assembly costs and the cost of the spare tire and tools.
If you don't have a spare tire or run-flats, odds are you have an emergency tire inflation kit. Check your manual or trunk for a small canister that looks like a tiny tire pump. If you have one, read the instructions to learn how to use it. Check the expiration date, too, as most last an average of five or six years. No repair kit? Make your own with tire sealant and a tire inflator or purchase an easy one, like this. The slime-like sealant spreads inside the tire, infiltrating any punctures and drying to a firm, rubber-like patch. Then the compressor allows you to inflate to normal tire pressure and drive to your favorite tire retailer.
Another option is to install your own full-size spare. You can order another full-size wheel and tire from a dealership or hit up used or refurbished wheels online. Even cheaper, visit your local salvage yard if your vehicle is a decade or two old. Look for a vehicle hit in front with undamaged rear wheels and tires. These will most likely be scratched and filthy, but you will have a full-size spare wheel and tire for roughly one-eighth the cost of buying new. Besides the cost, an advantage to this route of swapping on a full-size spare means the ability to keep driving worry-free to your destination and swap out the damaged tire when you can. Just realize most vehicles were not designed to accommodate a full-size spare's width, so it likely won't fit in the spare tire well. You may be stuck with that tire and wheel taking up room in the trunk and slightly increased gas consumption due to the extra weight. You will also need to carry a jack and lug wrench to complete this aftermarket spare tire kit. A spare tire relocation kit or strap may be of use as well.
The fact that spare tires are no longer standard equipment on many newer-model cars can come as a surprise when you get a flat tire. While many new light trucks and larger SUVs come with a spare, many new vehicles do not include a regular-sized spare.
According to most automakers, a spare tire should only be used to get from where you discovered your flat tire to the nearest tire repair shop. But what should you do when that spare tire needs to be replaced?
Self-sealing tires are coated on the inside with a special sealant. When an object on the road pierces the tread, the sealant material is designed to surround the object and prevent air from escaping from the tire. This gives you time to get to a tire repair shop.
Donut tires, also known as space-saver or temporary tires, are the latest evolution of spare tires. Sure, they look funny, especially on modern cars with larger wheels, but if used properly, they can be a viable solution when you have a flat tire.
Donut tire is a designation used for the combination of narrow tire and smaller steel wheel. In North America, the term temporary tire also applies to the same product, while in Europe, you can find it as a space-saver tire.
Furthermore, spare tires also free up cargo space. The difference is not significant, especially in larger cars. Nevertheless, car manufacturers can brag about a few more cubic inches of cargo space if they opt for a donut spare tire, which, again, makes them more competitive on the market.
Crucially, though, the temporary spare tire is much lighter than a regular tire and wheel combo. This means that the whole car will be lighter, which positively affects performance and fuel economy. Moreover, it lets car manufacturers keep exhaust emissions at check.
Like regular tires, the donut models are also not created equally. Many brands offer temporary tires at various price points, which makes the purchase decision harder. Here is what you need to look out for when purchasing donut spare tires.
Fortunately, you can find many spare tire sizing charts, where you can compare the diameter of temporary spare tires with the diameter of your tire and wheel combo. Some websites will also show you only donut spare tires that fir your car, provided you enter the dimensions of your existing tires.
Like with most things, there is a large price difference between various donut spare tires. Every large tire manufacturer produces temporary tires, including Bridgestone, Continental, and Pirelli. However, you can also find some budget alternatives from no-name brands.
For lower prices, though, I recommend purchasing these products online. Places like Tire Rack, Discount Tire, Auto Zone offer a wide range of donut spare tires, including products from respected tire manufacturers. You can also find low-cost options on Amazon and Walmart.
Spare tire carrier allows you to carry a spare tire for your RV or motorhome while retaining use of your hitch for mounting accessories or flat towing. Mount your spare tire up and out of the way with this corrosion-resistant carrier. Having a spare tire with your RV is a great thi...
Spare tire carrier allows you to carry a spare tire for your RV or motorhome while retaining use of your hitch for mounting accessories or flat towing. Mount your spare tire up and out of the way with this corrosion-resistant carrier. Having a spare tire with your RV is a great thing. But not every RV comes with a place to carry a spare.
Spare tire carriers are made of some kind of metal. The quality of such metal should worry you if you mind getting back the value for your money. While steel is the commonplace material used, it comes in various variations. Most of the carriers on our list are made of hardened, powder-coated steel.
We ship RV parts country wide to our customers from sixteen warehouses across the country. So when you're saying "I need to find RV parts near me" or a "trailer supply near me", we're closer than you think. You can RV USA wide and we'll ship the parts to you wherever you might be enjoying the outdoors.
To help drivers achieve better fuel economy and save space, some vehicle manufacturers have replaced spare tires with a flat tire repair kit, aka emergency inflators and tire repair supplies such as a foam or sealant.
To make our Spare Tire Kit better for your Tesla, we considered the frustrations that come with typical spare tire tools and accessories. As an example, most scissor jacks are difficult to use and do not provide the needed leverage to easily lift your car. We solved this problem by developing a custom low-profile scissor jack with a unique ratcheting handle mechanism. This handle provides the required leverage to easily lift your Model Y and lower it safely. We have carefully designed our jack to lift your Tesla properly at the designated lift points. In addition, the Modern Spare TruLift scissor jack can be used without the use of a jack puck.
And something worth noting, modern vehicles have very specific lift points for proper jack placement. More importantly, your vehicle requires a specific jack type to properly lift the car. In other words, the type of head on the jack is critically important for proper use, whereas a typical generic or universal jack will simply not do. We design our scissor jacks in-house and specific to each make and model we support.
As soon as you realize you have a flat tire, do not abruptly brake or turn. Slowly reduce speed and scan your surroundings for a level, straight stretch of road with a wide shoulder. An empty parking lot would be an ideal place. Level ground is good because it will prevent your vehicle from rolling. Also, straight stretches of road are better than curves because oncoming traffic is more likely to see you.
Never attempt to change your tire on a narrow shoulder near oncoming traffic. Keep moving (slowly) until you find a safer spot. While driving on a flat risks ruining your rim, replacing a rim is better than being hit by an inattentive driver.
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