Tips and advice to maintaining your tyres - Check the spare wheel

Check the spare wheel

Maintaining your tyres Daniel

Often neglected, the spare wheel must be properly maintained for it to fulfil its role in the event of a puncture.

Spare wheel A spare wheel in good condition and adequate tools are useful in the case of a puncture - Copyright © : All Rights Reserved

Many motorists don’t know where the spare wheel is stored on their vehicle. This can be very annoying the day a puncture occurs… The first thing to do, before setting out on a long trip, is to check how accessible it is. 

Spare wheel well

Most spare wheel wells are located under the floor of the boot.  However, some are stored in a basket attached under the car.  In this case, it’s wise to regularly check that the attachment system’s threading is in good condition, since rust may damage it making it impossible to release the spare wheel.   

If you have a “spacesaver” spare wheel

Ever increasing tyre sizes has led several car manufacturers to opt for a "spacesaver" type spare wheel.

This narrower wheel fits easily underneath the boot floor. However, on the downside, it does not provide the same performances as a normal tyre. It only allows a maximum speed of 50mph (as indicated on the sticker applied to the rim) and requires careful driving. Indeed, this narrower tyre provides less grip compared with the car’s three other tyres.  If the spacesaver wheel is fitted on the right-hand side, drivers must be careful when making left hand turns and vice-versa, especially in the rain.

Maintaining the spare wheel

The spare wheel may only be the “fifth wheel of the wagon”, but it’s a wheel just like all the others and as such requires regular maintenance.

  • Tyre pressure check: Once a month, like the other tyres.
  • General condition: If your vehicle is more than five years old, check that the spare wheel well has not marked the tyre. If necessary, turn the wheel so that the contact area is not always the same.

Tips and advice from rezulteo:  Beware of wheel tightening and anti-theft nuts! If the wheel was last tightened using a pneumatic gun, check that the nuts are not over-tightened.  Otherwise, you run the risk of not being able to slacken them the day you get a puncture... If your wheel is fitted with anti-theft nuts, make sure that the socket required to remove them is in your vehicle.  

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