Buying a Spare Tire
Types of Spare Tires
When considering a spare tire, there are several different types to choose from. Keep these options in mind before you make a purchase.
Full-Size Matching Spare:
A fifth full-size tire that matches the current set of tires on your vehicle. If you're using a full-size matching tire as your "spare" remember to make it part of your vehicle's tire rotation pattern.
PROS: Having a full-size matching spare maintains the aesthetics of your vehicle and means that you may not have to drive straight to a repair shop or dealer in the event of a tire disablement.
CONS: You must also have storage space in your vehicle for a full-size spare. When it is time to purchase replacement tires, 5 tires instead of 4 should be purchased if you have rotated all 5 of the original tires.
Full-Size Non-Matching Spare:
A fifth full-size tire that does not match the current set of tires on your vehicle. Although this tire is a full size tire, it may not be the same size as the ground tires. The wheel may also be different than the wheels on which the ground tires are mounted. A full-size non-matching spare should not be a part of your vehicle's tire rotation pattern.
PROS: Having a full-size spare tire gives you more flexibility in that you may not need to drive straight to a tire repair shop or dealer in the event of a tire disablement.
CONS: Keep in mind that it will take up as much storage space as a full-size matching spare. Also, it may not aesthetically match the other tires and wheels on your vehicle.
Full-Size Temporary Spare:
This full-size temporary spare is built with a lightweight construction and a shallow tread depth. It should match the vehicle's tire size specifications but you should only use it as a spare.
PROS: Because these spare tires are full-size, they generally don't interfere with ABS, all-wheel drive or traction control. The lightweight construction won't add a lot of weight to your vehicle.
CONS: Although they won't add a lot of weight to your vehicle, these tires will still require a "full-size" amount of storage space and must still be considered temporary.
Compact Temporary Spare:
Lightweight with a shallow tread depth, these spare tires have much smaller dimensions and require a higher inflation pressure than both standard and temporary spare tires – generally 60 psi.
PROS: The compact temporary spare is specified and approved by your vehicle manufacturer for your specific vehicle and doesn't require the storage space of a full-size matching spare.
CONS: When small spare tires are in use, they might impair certain vehicle features like ABS, traction control, and even speedometer operation. It is intended for limited and restricted operation on your vehicle to get you to a tire repair shop or dealer.
Folding Temporary Spare:
An inflatable or collapsible temporary spare tire.
PROS: The compact temporary spare takes up the least amount of storage space of the various spare tire options.
CONS: The folding temporary spare tire is a little more difficult to use. It has to be inflated with either an air pump or a canister before you can use it. It is intended for limited and restricted operation on your vehicle to get you to a tire repair shop or dealer.
Goodyear has also developed Run On Flat® & Extended Mobility Technology™ tires. These tires are for use while losing inflation pressure or even when fully deflated. Vehicle operation in a deflated condition is restricted to a maximum speed of 50-mph/80-kph for up to 50-mi./80-km. They may provide weight and space savings. If you'd like to find out if your vehicle has Run On Flat or Extended Mobility Technology tires, use our search by vehicle tool.
Driving On a Spare Tire
It's important to remember a few guidelines before driving on a spare tire:
- Make sure your spare tire has been properly inflated
- Inspect the tire for damages or punctures to the tread and sidewall regularly
- Watch your speed – follow the instructions from your vehicle and tire manufacturer regarding your speed as well as driving distance
- Remember that a spare tire (other than a full size matching spare tire) is a temporary solution that should be used only to get you to a service station safely
Spare Tire Storage & Use
When choosing a spare tire, keep your vehicle's storage space in mind. You can usually store them in the trunk, the cabin, or on the outside of the vehicle. See our list of spare tire types above to get an idea on the amount of space required for each.
Chances are, if you need to use your spare tire, you'll need to know how to change the flat. Check out the fix a flat page to access a simple and informative guide on how to change your tires.