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Buy a Real Spare Tire?
Old 09-08-2011, 10:54 AM   #1
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Buy a Real Spare Tire?

Anyone replace their toy spare tire with a real one? The payoff would come if you have a blowout in a very remote location. With a real tire, you could avoid driving a long distance at low speed.

OTOH, that's a pretty unlikely scenario.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:55 AM   #2
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Do you have room? The holding area for mini-spares is usually too small to hold a full-size spare.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:55 AM   #3
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Sometimes a full size spare won't fit in the location allotted to a mini spare. Otherwise, a good idea - used to be an option on some new cars.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:56 AM   #4
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Does a full size tire fit in the spare tire well in most cars?
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:58 AM   #5
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No... most trunks are not designed for the full sized spare and would take up most of your space...


I don't plan for something that happens less than once every 25 years... and I have never had a flat where it would be of any benefit... I have had a number of flats, just close to a place to get it fixed. Never a blowout...
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:09 AM   #6
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I think it would fit.

The local tire place said a new wheel would cost $50.

My temporary tire is now 10 years old, so technically, it should be replaced.

So, let's say the next time I get a set of tires, I buy a new wheel, and get five tires instead of four. If I rotate the spare into the mix every time I do the rotation, the five tires will last longer, so there's zero additional tire cost. I'll only have to do four jack-ups per rotation instead of five.

In that case the only disadvantages are $50 initial cost, insignificantly more weight, and less space in the spare tire compartment.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:17 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
So, let's say the next time I get a set of tires, I buy a new wheel, and get five tires instead of four. If I rotate the spare into the mix every time I do the rotation, the five tires will last longer, so there's zero additional tire cost.
How many years do you estimate you will go before needing a new set of tires? If the response is more than 6 years or so, I'd be concerned about age deterioration (yes, both the tires and you ).

A few months ago I was getting a new battery installed at Wally World and wandered around the tire racks reading date codes while I waited. Even though the store is less than three years old, some of their "new" tires were made four years earlier.

I've made it a practice to refuse to purchase tires more than six months old.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:24 AM   #8
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two words:
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:25 AM   #9
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Al,
see if there are any junkyards around. When my FIL lost a spare in his pickup (the holding cable corroded) I went to a local pull-a-part place and got a wheel with tire for $13.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:28 AM   #10
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Overeat and you can get a spare tire for free (I hear beer is good for this)
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:32 AM   #11
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I think I would stick with the space saver spare. IMO, its just as good as a full size spare in the rare instance of a flat tire. (i would not think a space saver would need to be replaced because its 10 years old unless it has a problem) Also, I would not want to sacrifice trunk space.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:46 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I think it would fit.

The local tire place said a new wheel would cost $50.

My temporary tire is now 10 years old, so technically, it should be replaced.

So, let's say the next time I get a set of tires, I buy a new wheel, and get five tires instead of four. If I rotate the spare into the mix every time I do the rotation, the five tires will last longer, so there's zero additional tire cost. I'll only have to do four jack-ups per rotation instead of five.

In that case the only disadvantages are $50 initial cost, insignificantly more weight, and less space in the spare tire compartment.
You would have to check this out Al. Just had my tires rotated yesterday. If you are familiar with steel belted radials, you should never switch tires from side to side. The only recommended rotation is front-to-back and back-to-front every 5k to 6k miles. Then repeat the same rotation. Todays tires will give you 40-50k miles at least. There is always the disclaimer "depending on your driving habits".
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:54 AM   #13
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I think I would stick with the space saver spare. IMO, its just as good as a full size spare in the rare instance of a flat tire. (i would not think a space saver would need to be replaced because its 10 years old unless it has a problem) Also, I would not want to sacrifice trunk space.
I'm already being told that I run the risk of rubber dry rot on my tires on a 2003. I only have 33k miles with plenty of tread left. I'd imagine the same goes for a space saver tire too.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:17 PM   #14
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I'm already being told that I run the risk of rubber dry rot on my tires on a 2003. I only have 33k miles with plenty of tread left. I'd imagine the same goes for a space saver tire too.
Wouldn't this same issue apply to the mini-spare making it more likely to fail?
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:18 PM   #15
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I'm already being told that I run the risk of rubber dry rot on my tires on a 2003. I only have 33k miles with plenty of tread left. I'd imagine the same goes for a space saver tire too.
Thanks! I'll check DW's 2001 and see how it looks. Like everything on the web, I've found different advice. Some say that tires will deteriorate in 5 years whether or not they are driven on or not. Another says that a space saver in the trunk will last a long time because it's not being driven on or receiving uv rays.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:25 PM   #16
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I would stick with the emergency spare and then consider either putting a 12 vdc emergency air pump or a can of Fix-A-Flat in the trunk. These will get you going for a leak and you can avoid a roadside change altogether in most cases. If you have a blowout, call for a tow because you may have damaged the car brake, tie rods, etc and should have it inspected.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:14 PM   #17
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I had to get a full sized spare for the minivan when we started towing because towing on a donut won't work. Its a real nuisance because the tire fits nowhere except in the cargo area/trunk at the back of the van where it takes up valuable real estate. I would not bother with a full size spare for your purposes, Al.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:32 PM   #18
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I had to get a full sized spare for the minivan when we started towing because towing on a donut won't work. Its a real nuisance because the tire fits nowhere except in the cargo area/trunk at the back of the van where it takes up valuable real estate. I would not bother with a full size spare for your purposes, Al.
Could you fit the full-sized spare on the towed unit, and keep the regular spare (donut) in the mini-van?
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:37 PM   #19
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Could you fit the full-sized spare on the towed unit, and keep the regular spare (donut) in the mini-van?
The trailer has its own spare that occupies the only vailable spot to put one.

By next spring I will have acquired a new tow vehicle which will likely have its own full size spare, so this will no longer be an issue.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:38 PM   #20
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The last time I needed to use my spare tire for my Grand Am, I was amazed at the what I read (can't remember if it was in the manual, or on the tire itself). If I recall correctly, the tire could be used for 800 km (500 miles) at 90 KPH (55 MPH).

500 miles before a tire shop is very remote, even for up here in Canada.
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