It is common for drivers to rely on their spare tire when the need arises. The purpose of the spare tire is to help you get back on the ride if any of the primary tires fail and it is still compact enough to be carried in your vehicle, so it is readily available when you do need it. Today, we at Speedway Towing and Roadside Assistance would like to elaborate on the spare tire to help drivers better understand and safely use their spare tire.
What is a Temporary Spare Tire For?
For starters, the spare tire is not to be used for constant everyday use, it is designed for emergency use only. As a compact tire that manufacturers have made designed specifically for your make and model, the tire is a smaller size since a full-size tire cannot fit anywhere to be stored in most vehicles. The spare is not a backup replacement, but simply a last resort to temporarily get you a short distance, such as to a mechanic or a tire repair specialist.
How Long Can You Drive on a Full Size Spare Tire? What Happens if You Drive Too Fast?
Spare tires are in no way designed to be driven on for long distances are for high speeds. In fact, experts recommend to never exceed 50 mph or drive more than 50 miles. The narrowness of the spare tire cannot support the high speeds or much of a distance. Pushing it past its limits will cause the spare tire to fail. Not only can driving too fast or too far be dangerous for the tire and you behind the wheel but it can also result in additional and costly damage. A very expensive replacement is bent rims and broken axels that can also lead to hazardous problems on the road. The smaller and thinner design of a spare tire will also impact the braking, handling, and electronic traction of the vehicle along with stability control features that will be compromised while the spare tire is equipped to the vehicle. Driving too far will put excessive wear on the remaining tires which will alter the alignment; not only putting you and other drivers on the road in danger but accruing repair costs.
How to Change a Flat Tire
In the event your tire fails, calling Speedway Towing and Roadside Assistance to change your tire is the best option to keep you and your vehicle safe as well get it done quickly and efficiently. However, if you insist changing your own tire, follow the steps below.
1) Safety. Before you start, prepare by increasing the safety of the conditions by applying the parking break and turning on the hazard lights. If you have them in your roadside kit, use your emergency reflector cones or flares to give traffic more visual aid. Use large rocks, bricks, or wheel wedges to secure the other tires. If the front tire is being changed, the blocks being placed behind rear tires; if the back tire is being changed, place the block in front of the front tires.
2) Crack the lug nuts loose. You can turn the lug nuts a half turn each with the factory lug wrench that should be in the vehicle, frequently located close to the spare tire. The lug nuts can get stuck, so you may have to rely on all of your strength to crack it loose. Do not completely remove the lug nut, simply loosen it enough you can unscrew it later by hand.
3) Use the jack. The factory jack should also be equipped in the vehicle, often bundled with lug wrench. Follow the direction on how to place and use the jack appropriately with the vehicle. Never go under the vehicle, or place under limbs under the vehicle after it is elevated. You only need to jack it up high enough to get the damaged tire and wiggle on the spare.
4) Take the flat tire off. After the car is jacked in the air, unscrew the lug nuts and remove the tire. If the lug nuts are too tight and the tire spins as you try to unscrew them, you will need to lower the vehicle back down to loosen them more.
5) Replace the spare. Fit the spare on tire by aligning the holes with the posts and push it firmly in place. Replace the lug nuts and tighten them as much as possible by hand in a star pattern. Lower the car, remove the jack and use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts as tight as possible in the star pattern.
6) Cleanup. Gather your tools and spare tire before heading off to repair the tire promptly.
Towing & Roadside Assistance in Irving, Fort Worth, Arlington, Carrollton & Plano Texas
Changing the tire can be more of a challenge than you might think, especially if you are missing the primary tools; lug wrench and jack. Call Speedway Towing and Roadside Assistance to change your tire quickly and proficiently.