Allpar Forums banner

1 - 20 of 191 Posts

·
DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
Joined
·
8,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This thread is to be all about spare tires. Given the age of many of our cars, our spares are probably due for replacement. What have you done, or how have you addressed this? Can be anything from, "I had to add a spare to my SRT car that didn't come with one," to, "I had to buy a new T125/90-18 to replace the old one," or anything else relevant...
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,443 Posts
Well, I believe my situation is well documented by now, but let me provide the first response to kick this off:

I have owned five SRT vehicles (i.e., 2005, 2006 and 2007 300C SRT8, a 2006 Magnum SRT8, and a 2012 Challenger 392 now). The lack of a spare tire has always been in the back of my mind, especially because I drive long distances to Vancouver, Canada from Los Angeles, and back, in good and bad weather conditions.

But it wasn't until I blew a tire on my Challenger last month, out of wireless range, and discovered that, apparently, Chrysler Roadside Assistance does not cover flats (there is still disagreement on this). that I finally decided enough is enough.

After much soul searching and looking at my options --including getting rid of the car altogether, I decided to strip out those cheap subwoofers under the trunk floor and mount a spare tire kit --go to thread for more details http://www.allpar.com/forums/topic/149600-mounting-a-spare-tire-on-a-srt/#entry11342419

Since this incident, I have been finding out that a growing number of new vehicles are dispensing of the spare tire altogether --i.e., Mustangs with the Brembo brake package, certain Prius models (Prius Plug-In and Prius C, apparently), Civic Hybrid, Acura TSX wagon, etc., etc.

Personally, I feel driving without a spare tire is just absurd. People tell me "Oh, but I have AAA", or "I haven't had a flat in 10 years". That may be the case, but this is still no guarantee you won't have a flat tomorrow, or that you will be able to reach AAA. If it happens, hopefully you are in an urban area with wireless reception and a Starbucks nearby so you can sip a latté while you wait for the tow truck. Otherwise, what is your Plan B?

We started down this slippery slope years ago and have come to the point where some customers don't even care if their new car carries a spare or not. Now automakers are looking for ways to dispense of the spare tire in more vehicles as a means to deal with increasing fuel economy standards, find a place to store larger batteries, or provide higher performance. And OEMs seem to be under the impression that customers do not care and have given their permission to continue dispensing of spare tires. I would argue this incorrect.
 
  • Like
Reactions: djsamuel
Joined
·
685 Posts
2001 Caravan, original spare "donut" tire. Never used. I do add air to 60 PSI occasionally, I do lower it and grease the cable and latch mechanism so it will lower if I need it. 12 years old, probably should be replaced, if i ever do use it, I will definitely take it slow and remove it ASAP.
 

·
Radioactive
Joined
·
5,347 Posts
I know that the recommnedation is to not buy tires older than ~5 years due to UV damage, but how long should a spare last in the trunk or under the car? There isn't any UV exposure there.
 

·
Active Jeeper
Joined
·
31,129 Posts
Jeepers learn early on in life, to rely upon no one but yourself, to get out of a bad situation, so we've always carried a full size spare, sometimes two , tire repair kits, extra belts and hoses, extra fuel and a full tool kit.
A full sized spare would be a part of your normal tire rotation, a temporary spare should be treated as perishable after 5 years.

Bean counters and marketeers don't get you home, preparation does.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
35,779 Posts
I don't want what I said earlier to be taken the wrong way. I fully believe cars should have spares.

In the past, the donut spares have been more than enough for my needs. Obviously, if you drive 250 miles away from anything, a donut spare won't cut it.

That said, if you want to be paranoid, by all means replace your spares every five years. I have not found that to be called for yet. The donut spare in our Escort was well over ten years old (and near its 250 mile lifespan) when we got rid of the car, and it still worked fine. But you do need to take out the spare and check it at least once a year, I think, after the car is five years old.

If I lived in the desert, I'm sure I'd feel differently.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,443 Posts
Norm, you would be surprised by the number of self-identified "enthusiasts" who screamed when I suggested SRTs offer a spare tire. I was called a bad driver, a poser, told to buy a Ford, to get a lifetime AAA membership, etc.

To your point about "marketers": they have convinced a number of buyers that driving w/o a spare tire is actually "cool"; like a badge of honor --I imagine until they, or one of their loved ones, gets stranded...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Trailmaster

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
Aldo said:
Well, I believe my situation is well documented by now, but let me provide the first response to kick this off:

I have owned five SRT vehicles (i.e., 2005, 2006 and 2007 300C SRT8, a 2006 Magnum SRT8, and a 2012 Challenger 392 now). The lack of a spare tire has always been in the back of my mind, especially because I drive long distances to Vancouver, Canada from Los Angeles, and back, in good and bad weather conditions.

But it wasn't until I blew a tire on my Challenger last month, out of wireless range, and discovered that, apparently, Chrysler Roadside Assistance does not cover flats (there is still disagreement on this). that I finally decided enough is enough.

After much soul searching and looking at my options --including getting rid of the car altogether, I decided to strip out those cheap subwoofers under the trunk floor and mount a spare tire kit --go to thread for more details http://www.allpar.com/forums/topic/149600-mounting-a-spare-tire-on-a-srt/#entry11342419

Since this incident, I have been finding out that a growing number of new vehicles are dispensing of the spare tire altogether --i.e., Mustangs with the Brembo brake package, certain Prius models (Prius Plug-In and Prius C, apparently), Civic Hybrid, Acura TSX wagon, etc., etc.

Personally, I feel driving without a spare tire is just absurd. People tell me "Oh, but I have AAA", or "I haven't had a flat in 10 years". That may be the case, but this is still no guarantee you won't have a flat tomorrow, or that you will be able to reach AAA. If it happens, hopefully you are in an urban area with wireless reception and a Starbucks nearby so you can sip a latté while you wait for the tow truck. Otherwise, what is your Plan B?

We started down this slippery slope years ago and have come to the point where some customers don't even care if their new car carries a spare or not. Now automakers are looking for ways to dispense of the spare tire in more vehicles as a means to deal with increasing fuel economy standards, find a place to store larger batteries, or provide higher performance. And OEMs seem to be under the impression that customers do not care and have given their permission to continue dispensing of spare tires. I would argue this incorrect.
Aldo, that sounds like a terrible experience. Sorry to hear that.

Now that you've piqued my curiosity, how'd you get out of that without wireless reception? Hoping/guessing you were stranded by a place within walking distance?
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,443 Posts
Chris Monaco said:
Now that you've piqued my curiosity, how'd you get out of that without wireless reception? Hoping/guessing you were stranded by a place within walking distance?
I limped 20 miles until the tire disintegrated. At that point I was within wireless reception and only 5 miles from the closest America's Tire. That's when Chrysler Roadside Assistance informed me flat tires are not covered and it would be "...$70 dollars to send a tow truck. We accept Visa, Master Card and American Express. How would you like to pay today...?" It is not clear whether flat tire assistance is covered or not; depends where you read.

So far the tab for that Sunday drive has been $825 for two new tires, tow and the spare tire kit. I was lucky I didn't damage the wheel or it would have been an additional $800 for a forged SRT wheel.

My service manager shared my story with the Regional Rep: Chrysler offered to refund me for the spare tire kit and the tow. I am still waiting to see the refund.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,765 Posts
MoparNorm said:
Jeepers learn early on in life, to rely upon no one but yourself, to get out of a bad situation, so we've always carried a full size spare, sometimes two , tire repair kits, extra belts and hoses, extra fuel and a full tool kit.
A full sized spare would be a part of your normal tire rotation, a temporary spare should be treated as perishable after 5 years.

Bean counters and marketeers don't get you home, preparation does.
I was thinking it's 10 years? Guess I better look at replacing the one in my Caliber
 

·
DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
Joined
·
8,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I'm curious as to how long a tire manufacturer expects their donut spares to last. They seem to be harder tires, so I'm curious if they're considered "lifetime" in the 15-20 year sense that most vehicles remain on the road for.

I had a problem on I-40 one night on the way to Las Vegas where I was moving over to leave room for two vehicles I saw stranded on the side of the road with their hazards flashing, ended up hitting the same thing they did, a tractor-trailer front bumper. The donut spare in the Stratus was underinflated and after putting it on we limped to Kingman and stayed there overnight. One of the other vehicles suffered two flats from the debris and I didn't know if my back tire was knicked or not on the sidewall and didn't want to push on to Vegas with the possibility of having a second flat.

Didn't have any cell coverage where the flat happened either.

I had swapped factory 15" aluminum wheels in place of the stock 14" steelies that came on the car. I bought two tires when I replaced the one bad one, and took the other one that turned out to still be good back home, and I bought a 15" steel wheel (dual pattern 5 on 100 and 5 on 114.3/4.5) from Discount Tire and had it mounted to use as a spare. I found that in the '97 Stratus, the 15" full-sized spare fit in the well without needing the spacer that was provided for the donut to keep the trunk floor cover in place.


My Cordoba has 255/60R15 tires on 15x7 American Racing Torq Thrust II wheels. The tire is 27" tall. I'm considering a 15x4 Torq Thrust II with a narrow, tall 15" tire to use for a semi-matching spare that will look good in the trunk even if uncovered yet won't totally take up the trunk if I need some extra space. Alternately, my '95 Impala uses 255/50-17 tires on factory wheels, which are both the same cross section width and same 27" height. Something that I could do would be to upgrade to 17" wheels for the Cordoba, to put new 255/50-17 tires on the Cordoba, and when the Impala's tires wear out, swap the Cordoba's tires on to the Impala, then put new tires on the Cordoba. That way I don't have tires that go completely bad just sitting, and they might actually legitimately wear out on the Impala. Only thing really giving me pause is the relative scarcity and cost of 255/50-17 tires, which are about a grand a set. If I do that then the spare for the Cordoba becomes another matter.

For my not-Mopars, I tracked down factory wheels for both the Nissan Hardbody and for the Impala. I have a factory-sized tire on the Hardbody's spare, and I have a narrower-but-same-diameter tire on the spare in the Impala, a 235/55-17. Since the Impala has directional tires I can't easily add the spare to the rotation, and the spare is not a directional tire. My wife's Integra's spare tire well is too small to accommodate a full-sized, full-width spare, but I'm thinking about seeing if a full-diameter, narrow-width tire can be fit to either the existing spare wheel or to another wheel.

I tend to keep donut spares around even when I replace the wheel with a full-sized one. I had the spare for the Stratus laying around until it went with the car when I got rid of it, and I have the donut for the Hardbody and the non-donut steel spare that came with the Impala. I figure that if I need to put the full-sized spare on but can't get the bad tire dealt with immediately, I can throw the donut into the well to still have a spare until I get the original tire/wheel fixed. Right now I'm working 50+ hour weeks, and I can forsee not being able to get to a tire shop readily during the week.
 

·
Active Jeeper
Joined
·
31,129 Posts
DaveAdmin said:
I don't want what I said earlier to be taken the wrong way. I fully believe cars should have spares.

In the past, the donut spares have been more than enough for my needs. Obviously, if you drive 250 miles away from anything, a donut spare won't cut it.

That said, if you want to be paranoid, by all means replace your spares every five years. I have not found that to be called for yet. The donut spare in our Escort was well over ten years old (and near its 250 mile lifespan) when we got rid of the car, and it still worked fine. But you do need to take out the spare and check it at least once a year, I think, after the car is five years old.

If I lived in the desert, I'm sure I'd feel differently.
It's actually not paranoid, Michelin and others state right in their fine print, that tire life is 4-6 years. The date code is on the sidewall for a reason and that reason is the life expectancy of the rubber compound when exposed to UV, ozone and other environmental effects.
I've seen many tires with perfectly good tread, but dried out and cracked sidewalls.
From Goodyear's website:

"Weather cracking is a naturally occurring condition that results from exposure to heat and sunlight. Goodyear's warranty for weather cracking is four years from purchase date (or four years from manufacture date if proof of purchase is not available)."

Goodyear also recommends keeping no tire in storage as a spare for longer than 6 months, without including it into the tire rotation.
EDIT: also note that chemical use voids the warranty. ( Armorall)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Trailmaster

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,080 Posts
I've only had a blowout once in the 5 years I've been driving, and it happened in the Breeze; I had picked up a piece of metal from the parking lot at the Technology Center when i was getting my Automotive Degree, and it had actually blown out the sidewall. a little bit after that, I went to the local Pull-a-part, and picked up a full size 14" Steel wheel, and had a Brand new tire put on it; that Full size Spare has NEVER Seen Road Ever Since I put it in, because after that, the Breeze's engine Blew Sky High. of course, all Three of the cars we drive now (Dad's Silverado has a full Size 17" spare, The Breeze's Replacement has a 14" Dunut, and my mom's SX4 has a 15" Dunut) the Spares in them have NEVER Seen Pavement (and Hopefully NEVER Will) but one of my Pet Peeves when driving is seeing people driving on a Donut Spare as if its a Full Size Spare! (the Automakers need to put BRIGHT RED Warning Labels on the Space saver Rims that say DO NOT USE YOUR SPACE SAVER SPARE TIRE LIKE A FULL SIZE SPARE TIRE!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Had the first big (900 miles) roadtrip in my 67 Newyorker last year. Had been relying on an ancient 'Fleetwood' bias ply as the spare prior to that. So I decide a week before that I should source a decent radial. Walked 1 block to my lcal tyre shop not expecting much and lo and behold - there on the rack is a near new, 2nd hand 225/75-15 - the correct sized radial and a car tyre to boot (its a very common 4x4 or light truck size in Aus - extremely uncommon car tyre). Fitted and balanced for the grand total of $50 on a 15" Dodge rim that I supplied. So far over 12 months later and I havent had to top up the pressure. Money very well spent.

BTW Aldo (and others) I checked the terms of our Dodge Roadside assist here in Australia last night on line (we have a new Journey). We are fully covered for flats at least in this country.

Seems like a lot of people need to be very vocal with customer service to get the situation rectified in the US.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,443 Posts
digitalrailroader said:
one of my Pet Peeves when driving is seeing people driving on a Donut Spare as if its a Full Size Spare! (the Automakers need to put BRIGHT RED Warning Labels on the Space saver Rims that say DO NOT USE YOUR SPACE SAVER SPARE TIRE LIKE A FULL SIZE SPARE TIRE!)
Actually, once I saw a Toyota on the freeway on all four donuts doing 70 like he were on Pirelli P Zeros :scared:
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
35,779 Posts
On the '89 Escort, they did have pretty big warnings on the donut spare, which we used every two-three weeks.

That car was a true POS...

Local tire shops had a hard time keeping the tires and wheels in stock. Funny size tire, as I recall. Lots of demand. The wheels were just not up to New York pavements, as they were at the time (they are far better now).

THe Neon, as I recall, had large-print warnings as well. I never used the spare on the Neon, but I did use the jack now and then.

My last few cars all had unidirectional tires which made the five-way rotation impractical.

Norm, though, you'd be proud of me for this: I replaced the early-1980s spare tire on my Valiant with a brand new tire! even though it held air, it just didn't look long for the world. (I think I bought the only 1974 Valiant that still had two of the original tires on it, along with two snow tires from, if the receipts are accurate, 1983.)

I think our 300M had a full size spare, which I never ever used. It kept pressure, I might have had to fill it once over the course of eight years, and still looked new. I did take it out now and then and move it around, okay, partly so I could use the jack ;) There's something to be said about keeping the jack underneath the spare.

Remember Subarus keeping the spare on top of the engine? I never thought that was a great idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,872 Posts
After a sidewall blowout of a 5,000 mile Hankook Ventus V4 and using my doughnut to go talk to my mom where we work about replacement. The tire had road hazard on it, at discount tire, 40 miles away on the highway. I ended up not having my car for a day, dad threw the blown tire in their Dart and we set off to Fort Wayne. Since then I've purchased a set of Stratus R/T chrome 17" (factory, real chrome) to go on my Sebring and bought 4 new Falken tires from Discount. I cut out the "jack mounting point" and got a trunk liner from a JS car and stuffed a full size 215/50r17 spare in the trunk! Now I'm ready for vacation season!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,166 Posts
The original donut spares in both my 84 and 93 Daytonas are in great shape.

The full-size spare underneath my 92 Dakota had deteriorated enough by last year that I bought a new tire. People thought I was foolish to invest in a new tire, especially since I drive it about 3K to 4K miles a year, and don't have occasion to rotate them. But it's crazy to have a spare and for it to be non-functional. It's good insurance. And I winch it down at least once a year to be sure the winch works and I can actually get at it.
 

·
Active Jeeper
Joined
·
31,129 Posts
DaveAdmin said:
Norm, though, you'd be proud of me for this: I replaced the early-1980s spare tire on my Valiant with a brand new tire! even though it held air, it just didn't look long for the world. (I think I bought the only 1974 Valiant that still had two of the original tires on it, along with two snow tires from, if the receipts are accurate, 1983.)
.
:lol:
Every 30 years or so, just to be safe...... :)
 
1 - 20 of 191 Posts
Top