Have you checked your spare tire lately? Flat tires happen, usually without warning, so it's absolutely essential that you give your spare tire some attention on a regular basis. For starters, make sure you know how to install a spare tire on your vehicle. It can be tricky, but your Owner's Manual should provide all of the instruction you need. Once you get it down to a science, make sure you check the air pressure in your spare on a regular basis. A flat spare won't do you any good. Again, your vehicle's Owner's Manual should tell you exactly how much air should be in your spare. Tire Rack offers a number of suitable tire pressure gauges that simplify the process.
And since we're on the topic of spare tires, did you know that not all spare tires are alike? They actually come in a variety of different forms that usually depend on your vehicle. Let's take a look:
Full-Size Matching Spare Tire and Wheel: It requires the most storage space, but is an exact replica of your existing tire and wheel set. Integrate it into your tire rotation schedule from the beginning to assure proper tread wear. And unlike the following spare tire types, you can drive on this spare tire as long as the tread is acceptable.
Full-Size Temporary Spare: Despite the fact that a full-size temporary spare matches your vehicle's original tire dimensions, it isn't the same in terms of tread depth and weight. These spares are lighter, which makes the tire easier to install. In addition, it comes premounted on a steel wheel.
Compact Temporary Spares: This is the short and narrow type, which takes up less space in your trunk but doesn't offer the tread you'd need to drive a significant amount of miles. It's a temporary fix, indeed. And one that shouldn't be used on any vehicle other than the one it comes with.
Folding Temporary Spare: How does a tire fold? Well, when there isn't any air in it, it can fold up quite nicely to save space. But generally not time as you'll need to inflate a folding temporary spare should the need for it arise.