Now that school is either out or just about out, families across the country are gearing up for summer road trips. But before they do, Consumer Reports is spreading the word about the importance of checking the condition of spare tires. To that end, they offer a few tips on how you can make sure your spare is in good repair should one of your other tires experience a flat.
First, they urge all drivers to include the spare as part of the monthly check on tire pressure that every vehicle operator should be conducting. Just like regular tires, spares can lose air pressure over time, and the last thing you want is to be replacing one flat tire with another.
They also recommend checking the mounting hardware on those vehicles where the spare is stored beneath the auto, such as a van, truck, or sport utility vehicle. Anything holding it in place should be tight, yet loose enough that you’ll be able to extricate the spare without much effort. For spares in trunks, debris should be cleaned from beneath the tire.
Some other tips: make sure the tread and sidewall are in good condition, that the jack is ready to perform its duty, conduct a test tire change so that you know exactly what to do should a tire replacement become necessary, and as always, look to the owner’s manual of your vehicle so that you know how best to take care of your tire and change it according to established guidelines.