Spare Tire Maintenance

Let’s be honest, most of us tend to forget about the spare tire in our trunk until we need it. We’re no strangers to flat tires (which are already an inconvenience), but the only thing worse than having a flat tire is finding that the spare is flat too. If you can “spare” a minute, read our guide below to learn proper maintenance of your spare tire.

Like any other tire, your spare can be negatively impacted by conditions like heat, exposure to UV rays or even just wear and tear with time. We recommend that you check your spare (and your other tires) once a month .

When inspecting your spare, be sure to check for proper air pressure, signs of aging, damage, or excessive wear.

Spare tires age like any other tire. Even if your spare never sees any use, it can still be affected by the passage of time. As tires age, their structural integrity can be compromised.

After a long enough period, driving on your spare tire may become dangerous. For your safety, we recommend replacing your spare tire every six years. If your spare is ten years old, it is considered non-serviceable and should absolutely be replaced.

Read more about how to check for proper air pressure, tire aging, and when to replace tires.

Spare tires are susceptible to slow air loss and temperature fluctuations so it’s important to check the air pressure regularly, preferably when you check your other tires. This will ensure that your spare is properly inflated should you ever need to use it. Driving on an underinflated spare, particularly a compact or space-saver spare, can potentially cause serious tire damage and failure.

Spare Tire Types

Some vehicles come with full-size spares, while others have compact or space-saver spares.

Compact spares are typically designed with very specific usage restrictions, usually set by the manufacturer. Some coupes or sedans have compact spares to save on trunk space and vehicle weight.

Full-size spares can be found on most trucks, SUVs and some sedans and are generally the same size as the rest of the tires on the vehicle.

This information can usually be found printed on the sidewall of the spare tire or in the owner’s manual.

Practice Installing Your Spare Tire

Many trucks, SUVs, and minivans store their spare tires underneath the vehicle which has to be lowered using a tool provided by the manufacturer. Periodically check that you have the right tools and you know how to use them when needed. If your spare tire happens to be mounted outside the vehicle, it’s more vulnerable to the elements. Be sure to inspect the tools regularly, also.

We recommend you practice installing your spare periodically. Not only will this ensure that you know where the tools are, but it will also help familiarize you with the required tools and how to use them. This will make installing the spare in an unplanned emergency scenario that much more manageable.

Have more questions about spare tires? Give us a call or stop by your local store.


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