Inspecting the Spare Tire

When you're getting ready to go on a long road trip, or even if you're purchasing a new set of tires, you will probably want to start inspecting the spare tire at the same time. This is one of the most important tools you can carry on the road, so if you experience a flat, you'll be able to get where you're going after you change it. The only downside to this would be if you got two flats at the same time, but that is pretty uncommon. There are some key characteristics you want to check with your spare tire in order to make sure it's going to be safe and effective. You can either obtain these steps from online resources or by talking to experts who are familiar with the steps from their occupational requirements.

Terrain and Tread Requirements

The tread on the tire should not only meet legal requirements and exceed auto safety ratings but also be safe for whatever terrain you'll be driving in. For snow and ice conditions, you should have a really good tire so you can grip the road as much as possible. It will also be able to let the water go through the treads instead of regular tires which are not made for this kind of driving. Talk to your local expert at the tire shop to see what kind of tires you currently have and what they recommend as a good replacement option.

Of course, air is always going to be important as well, so make sure your spare is filled to the right amount before you leave. It's important that the air pressure inside the spare tire match the rest of the tires on your vehicle so it doesn't cause any driving problems for you. Otherwise, you might find yourself bouncing over the road due to too much air or not getting enough steering control due to a lack of sufficient air pressure. Either of these situations reduces the effectiveness of your car and can make it more difficult to get to your destination.

Extra Supplies and Jacks

Preparing for the worst is the key component here, so you might also want to include a can of Fix-A-Flat with your spare tire. In the situations where you run over something with your spare tire, you can use to help you make it to the nearest mechanic. This inclusion should be a regular part of your inspection process so you know you're as prepared as possible. Of course, the jack set should be in working order as well and if you're unfamiliar with how to use it, you might want to practice before you leave on your trip. Make sure it's lubricated where it needs to be and will provide stable support to hold your vehicle in position during the time you are changing a tire.

Finally, make sure as you're inspecting the spare tire that there are no cracks or signs of wear. If the spare tire has not been used for years, this doesn't mean it's still brand new. Oftentimes, neglect alone can cause it to become dry and brittle and a definite safety hazard instead of something you can count on for help. If you do find signs of this lack of use or attention, change the spare tire out for one that is more reliable and new. If the tires have wheel locks around your vehicle, then you will also need to make sure you have the keys so you're actually able to install the spare tire.

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