When your tire becomes incapable of use, whether it was from a blow-out or a mere flat, drivers rely on their spare tire. This tire can get you back on the road and by you some short time to get the original tire repaired or replaced. But few understand the maintenance and use of the spare tire. We at Citywide Towing would like to expound on the spare tire.
Temporary Spare Tire
The spare tire is designed for emergency use only. Many vehicles are equipped with a compact spare tire; it is smaller and thinner than your standard tires. It is generally the smaller size because manufacturers cannot fit a full-size tire in the vehicle. The spare is not a replacement, but its purpose is to get you back on the road and to a mechanic or tire specialist for replacement or repairs safely.
Can You Go Faster than 50 on a Donut?
Because of the design, spare tires cannot be used to drive very far, or very fast. Experts recommend keeping the drive time on a spare time under 50 miles, which is typically enough to get you home and to a professional. The narrow spare tire cannot support high speeds; experts recommend never exceeding 50 mph when driving on the spare tire. If you push it too far, or too fast, the spare is likely to fail.
Can I Drive 200 Miles on a Donut?
Driving too far puts you at risk for a blowout, which is not only dangerous in itself, but the repairs can be costly. Bent rims and broken axles are the common damages and they are far from cheap to repair. Keep in mind that the smaller and thinner spare time will also impact handling, braking, and electronic traction vehicles or stability control features will not work efficiently either. Driving too long the spare will additionally put excessive wear on the other tires which will fault the alignment; adding to the repair cost and put you at higher risk for potential danger.
Spare Tire Replacement; How to Change a Flat
Should your tire fail and you need to replace the vehicle with your spare, ensure you are on level ground, if you are not call a professional for assistance. To change your tire, follow the steps below.
1) Safety. Apply your parking brake and flip on your hazard lights to alert other motorists of your situation. Emergency flares or reflector cones can also be of assistance placed strategically behind you to give motorists additional warning time, especially at night. Secure the other tires with large rocks, bricks, or wheel wedges. Changing a front tire dictates the blocks being placed behind rear tires; back tire change requires the block placed in front of the front tires.
2) Loosen the lug nuts. The vehicle should have a lug wrench you can turn the lug nuts a half turn each. You may have to rely on a lot of strength because they can get stuck. Do not completely remove the lug nuts yet, just loosen them up enough you can unscrew by hand later.
3) Jack it up. The vehicle should also be equipped with a jack, follow the instructions as different jacks operate differently. The manual should help if the directions are not on the jack. Do not go under the vehicle once it is elevated. It should be elevated just enough to remove the old tire and replace the spare with ease.
4) Flat tire removal. Finish unscrewing the lug nuts by hand. If they are too tight, lower the vehicle back down to loosen them. Too much force can roll the vehicle off the jack. Pull the flat tire off once the lug nuts are removed.
5) Replace the spare. Lift the spare so it matches the lug nut placement and firmly push the tire in place. Replace the lug nuts and tighten them by hand; do not use the lug wrench yet. After they are on, follow the jack’s direction to lower the vehicle. Once it is firmly on the ground, use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts with strength.
6) Cleanup. Remove the jack and stow your tools and equipment appropriately along with the damaged tire.
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Changing your tire can be tricky, particularly if you are unsure of yourself. Call Citywide Towing and let our roadside assistance team come to your location and change the tire for you. Contact us for all your towing and road side needs.