HOWS YOUR SPARE TYRE
AA Directions magazine winter edition features an article. Worth review and comment.
Quote – Its a common misconception that the condition of your spare tyre is checked as part of your WOF. The mechanic will check that your spare tyre is secure – but they wont check its condition.
This is correct! Your spare tyre is checked at a service (which you should be doing annually). The spare tyre is out of sight and out of mind for most of us. Well until the worst happens and you get a puncture. Sometimes the spare can be flat, bald or even incorrect for the vehicle. So we would recommend you occasionally check it yourself, especially if going on holiday.
With this in mind can you please also check that you actually have a jack and wheel brace in your vehicle to change it if the worst happens (a few people have found that they don’t). Also sometimes the wheels are on so tight that you cant undo them. This actually happened to me. But thankfully I have an AA Membership and they were able to come to my rescue within the hour. I would highly recommend an AA membership.
There are many different types of spare tyre & some aren’t even actual tyres. Some vehicles will have a full size spare that either fits in your boot, back of your vehicle or underneath. To save you boot space another option can be a space saver tyre which you can only drive a certain speed on (less than 80km) and for less than 100 km. This is just a short term option to get you to a place of repair. Otherwise you might have to replace this as well. So don’t be tempted to leave it on for a long period.
Only run flat tyres are more convenient at the time of a puncture as they do not require changing on the spot. However you still need to drive at reduced speed and not every tyre shop will have stock of these tyres plus they are at least twice the price of standard tyres. Plus if you do drive on a deflated run-flat for a long time it becomes unrepairable so you will need to replace it.
Another option is a puncture repair kit, also knows as the “Can of Goo”, its made up of an air compressor and a can of tyre sealant. Often found in small boots. They don’t always work for large punctures plus are pretty fiddly. Most tyre shops are unable to repair tyres filled with “goo” but if they can there will be additional charges. Of all the spare alternatives this type of repair kit is the least effective and you may still need to get towed.
Perhaps you should check out what options you have and get familiar with how to use should something happen. Or join the AA for peace of mind. Annual fee’s as follows:
Associate (Spouse/partner at same address) $44.50
Youth (up to and including 19) $50
Plus the longer you have it the cheaper it gets and offers more inclusions.