Why are spare tyres so important

Posted by Jorrit Dijkstra
Posted in

Temporary use spare wheels - also knows as space savers - are designed for exactly this type of problem. They are typically lighter and smaller in size than the standard wheels on your car, which means they can be easily stowed away until they are needed without adding additional weight to your vehicle.

When will it be useful?

Spare tyres can prove invaluable in an emergency. You can use your spare wheel to help you get safely home or to a place of repair so you can properly assess the situation. They are a very useful and practical alternative to inflator kits or sealants, which require some expertise to operate and can result in damage to your tyres if used improperly.

What do I need to know about spare tyres?

But because of their weight and size restrictions, there are also some important things to be aware of when you drive on your spare tyre. The RACQ points out that manufacturers advise drivers to drive at slower speeds while your temporary wheel is on your vehicle. Staying below 80 km/h helps to ensure your safety, as the smaller and lighter tyre could change the balance of your car.

What about run flats?

Instead of changing your tyre after a puncture or blowout, how good would it be to be able to keep on driving? Well, this is possible (for approximately 80 kilometre) if you're driving on 'Run Flats'. There are two main types of 'run flat' tyres: self-supporting and auxiliary supported. Self-supporting tyres have stiffer and tougher rubber, which can temporarily carry the weight of the vehicle under lower tyre pressure. Auxiliary supported tyres don’t have stiffer and tougher rubber but are attached to a special rim which has a steel support ring which is attached to the wheel and can support the weight of the vehicle.

There are a few disadvantages though, next to the fact that the price for run flats is on average one third more than regular tyres. The performance of your vehicle is also affected, as is its handling. You're driving around with little to no air in your tyre, so that's no surprise.

Who can help me look after my spare tyre?

Your local Motorama car service centre can advise you on how to care for your spare tyre, and can lend a hand when you need to repair or replace a flat tyre. In addition to tyre services, you can expect help with a range of other everyday servicing issues from your Motorama dealership, from wheel alignments, batteries, windscreen repairs and brake tests to Road Worthy Certificates.