Tyrepower Daylesford
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Have you looked at your spare tyre recently?

Full size space saver tyre in the boot of a car.

An often forgotten about topic when it comes to discussing tyres, wheels, driver safety, and vehicles in general, is the crucial topic of spare tyres—a must-have for any driver, regardless of what or where they drive.

It’s important to understand where your spare tyre is located and how to use it before you’re in a position where you’re forced to learn on the fly.

Understanding the different types of spares and included tools that vehicles come with, as well as how to maintain your spare tyres can make a significant difference in how you can handle an unexpected situation on the road. Here’s what you need to know to ensure you're never left stranded.

What is a Spare Tyre and Why Are They Needed?

A spare tyre is exactly what the name says; it’s an additional wheel and tyre stored somewhere in, on or under your vehicle that can be installed and used if another one of your tyres becomes damaged or is flat.

Having a spare tyre in your vehicle is essential, as it allows you to quickly and easily continue your journey. This can be especially helpful in remote areas or when roadside assistance programs are either delayed or unable to make it to you and your vehicle.

What Are the Types of Spare Tyres Commonly Found in Australia? (Pros and Cons of Each)

Now that you know what the purpose of a spare tyre is, you should be aware that some vehicles have different types of spare tyres. Knowing which one you have will help you out, if you’re ever in a position where you need to rely on it.

  • Full-Size Matching Spare Tyre: If your spare tyre is the same size, shape, brand and age to your other tyres, this is the simplest and easiest type of spare to use. There are no special considerations with this type of spare, apart from the size and weight that they take up. They’re suitable for long term use.
  • Full-Size Non-Matching Spare Tyre: This is what you have if your spare tyre is the same size and style as your other tyres, but an alternative brand, fitted to a wheel the same size as your other tyres. It’s a great option that functions well as a long term solution to tyre issues, even though the aesthetics or performance might not match your regular tyres.
  • Compact Temporary Spare Tyre (Donut): Many smaller vehicles and even some SUCs come with a temporary ‘space saver’ spare tyre. You’ll know them when you see them. They’re usually much thinner and smaller than your regular wheel and tyres, meaning that don’t take up as much space when they’re not being used. They’re stored in the vehicle ‘ready to use’, but a huge downside to these tyres are they they’re not designed to be used at speeds over 80km/h and only for short distances, in order to get you to the nearest tyre store. Your local Tyrepower can review the condition of your temporary spare and either replace it or ensure that it’s stored safely in case it needs to be used again.
  • Folding or Collapsible Spare Tyre: A variation of the spare saver spare tyre that comes ‘shunk down’ on a space-saver style wheel., taking up even less space. They come with a small air compressor in order to inflate the tyre before it can be used. Like space saver tyres, these are designed for temporary use only and should be assessed for damage prior to storing them back in the vehicle.

A motorist using a jack to lift their car up.

When is a Spare Tyre Not a Tyre?

Sometimes, vehicle manufacturers don’t equip their vehicles with a spare tyre at all! Often, sports cars, city cars and some performance variants of other vehicles don’t come with a proper spare tyre, and are fitted with a special tyre sealant and pump combination. These are designed to seal a small puncture or slow down a tyre leak long enough to get you back to a tyre store.

While sealant and a top up of compressed air is handy, it’s also classified as a temporary solution, and your tyre should be presented to your local Tyrepower store for a health check.

Should you Consider Purchasing a Full-Size, Matching Spare Tyre?

For many drivers, the included spare tyre (or not-a-spare-tyre) is perfectly suited for their use. However, many drivers who travel in remote areas, travel long distances or are frequently off-road prefer a full size matching spare tyre.

A matching spare tyre means you can continue your journey without the limitations imposed by temporary spare tyres or tyre repair kits, and many drivers say those benefits far outweigh the drawbacks of weight and space constraints.

If you’re considering purchasing your own matching spare tyre, you can often find a spare genuine wheel from a wrecking yard, your manufacturers dealership network or even online marketplaces.

Check on your spare tyre!

Regardless of what vehicle you have, where you drive, or what type of spare tyre you have, having any kind of spare or toolkit is useless if you don’t know how to use it, it’s missing from your vehicle, or is in too bad a condition to use and rely on.

Next time you have a spare hour, take a look in your owners manual and even practice the process of jacking up your car and putting the spare tyre on. It’s much easier to practice this in a nice clean sunny driveway than on a rainy night, in the middle of nowhere, wearing nice clothes, while you’re in a rush.

Your local Tyrepower store are experts in all things relating to tyres and wheels, and by bringing your vehicle to us, we can conduct a tyre safety check which includes your spare tyre. We can check your tyres for age, condition, remaining tread and even provide an estimate on how long you have remaining before you need to consider replacing your tyres.

Remember, you can get the POWER at Tyrepower, and we’re here to help you stay safe and keep moving. Contact us today to ensure your spare tyre is in tip-top condition!

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