Is It OK to Remove Spare Tire? (Expert Advice You Need to Know!)

Let’s face it, buddy, we’ve all had that nagging thought in the back of our minds. You know the one I’m talking about – “Is it really necessary to lug around an extra wheel in the trunk of our vehicles?” I’ll admit, I’ve wondered the same thing. It’s like a constant reminder of the twists and turns that life might throw at us on the open road, but it also takes up so much precious space! So, I rolled up my sleeves, deep dived into the depths of the internet, and came out with an answer for you, an answer that might surprise you. With my experience, I’m here to share with you my findings and shed light on this pressing question – is it ok to remove that spare tire? You and I, we’re in this journey together, navigating the sometimes confusing world of car maintenance, one question at a time. So buckle up, and let’s explore this conundrum together!

Is it OK to Remove Spare Tire?

I know you’d probably think, “Why would anyone want to remove their spare tire?” However, some people actually do for various reasons, mostly related to fuel economy and performance. Let’s delve into this a bit further, and by the end, you’ll have a complete understanding of this not-so-uncommon practice.

In my opinion, whether it’s OK to remove your spare tire largely depends on the circumstances and your personal preferences. If you don’t mind dealing with immediate repairs when you get a flat tire, then it might be a good idea for you. However, the safety and convenience of having a backup in case of a flat cannot be overstated. Now, let’s look at how removing the spare tire can impact gas mileage and vehicle speed.

Effects of Removing Spare Tire on Gas Mileage

It’s worth noting that removing your spare tire can, in fact, improve your car’s fuel economy. This is because it reduces the overall weight of your vehicle, often by up to 50 pounds. From what I’ve seen, a lighter car uses less fuel, so removing your spare tire might save you a few bucks at the pump. However, this saving is often minimal, typically up to one percent of your overall fuel consumption.

That being said, removing your spare tire shifts the relative weight to the rear, which can improve your car’s handling. But, as I’ve always emphasized to friends and family, remember that having a spare tire provides a backup in the event of a flat. It’s a matter of weighing the potential fuel savings against the convenience and peace of mind of having a spare at hand.

Does Removing Spare Tire Make the Car Faster?

Some car enthusiasts believe that removing the spare tire makes the vehicle faster. This is due to the increased power-to-weight ratio that results from shedding off some weight. According to research data, this could potentially lead to a maximum acceleration increase of up to 2%.

However, based on my experience, unless you’re racing your car professionally, this speed increase is hardly noticeable in everyday driving. Besides, I think the reassurance of having a spare tire outweighs the minor speed advantage you might gain by removing it.

Why Some Cars Don’t Have a Spare Tire

You might have noticed that some cars don’t come with a spare tire. This is not an oversight by the manufacturer, but a deliberate decision. Let me explain why this is so and the impact it can have on car performance.

Reasons Manufacturers Opt Not to Include a Spare Tire

In recent years, some car manufacturers have made the choice not to include a spare tire. The reasons behind this include creating more space, improving fuel efficiency, and reducing the car’s overall weight. Besides, with the advent of roadside assistance services like AAA and others, the need for a spare tire has arguably diminished.

Another reason is the development of alternatives to traditional spare tires, such as run-flat tires and tire repair kits with sealant and air compressor. These can be more convenient and less cumbersome than carrying around a spare.

Impact of Not Having a Spare Tire on Car Performance

As I mentioned earlier, not having a spare tire can improve car performance slightly, mainly due to weight reduction. This can make your car more efficient and can even improve handling by shifting the weight balance towards the rear. However, the impact on the performance is minimal and often imperceptible in daily driving.

On the other hand, not having a spare tire can leave you stranded in the event of a flat, unless you have an alternative like a run-flat tire or a tire repair kit. Furthermore, it could mean dealing with immediate repairs, which could be inconvenient and potentially costly.

Spare Tire Removal

If you decide to remove your spare tire, it’s essential to do it correctly and safely. Here are some steps and precautions you should take.

Steps for Safely Removing a Spare Tire

Removing a spare tire isn’t a complicated process, but it needs to be done carefully to avoid damage to your vehicle or injury to yourself. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1. Ensure your car is on a flat and stable surface.
2. Locate your spare tire. It’s usually under the trunk floor or attached to the bottom of the vehicle.
3. Use the right tools. Most cars come with a car jack and a lug wrench, which you’ll need.
4. If the spare is under the trunk floor, simply lift the floor cover and unscrew the retaining nut holding the tire.
5. If it’s attached to the bottom, you’ll need to unscrew the retaining nut from inside the trunk, then carefully lower the tire to the ground.

Precautions to Take When Removing a Spare Tire

Remember, safety should always be your priority. Here are some precautions you should take when removing your spare tire:

– Always wear gloves to protect your hands from potential injury.
– Be sure to use the correct tools to avoid damaging your car or the tire.
– Never attempt to remove the spare tire while the car is on an incline or uneven surface.
– After removing the spare tire, store it properly to prevent it from becoming a safety hazard.

What to do if You Have a Flat Tire and No Spare

So, what happens if you get a flat tire, and you don’t have a spare? Don’t panic. There are several alternatives you can consider.

Alternatives to Using a Spare Tire

If you find yourself with a punctured tire and no spare, you have a few options. Run-flat tires, for instance, can be driven on for a limited distance even after a puncture, giving you enough time to reach a service station.

Another alternative is using a tire repair kit, which typically includes a sealant and an air compressor. These can temporarily fix a minor puncture, allowing you to continue driving until you can get your tire properly repaired or replaced.

Space-saver spares, or donut tires, are another option. They’re lighter and take up less space than a full-size spare, but they’re also meant for temporary use and should be replaced with a regular tire as soon as possible.

Necessity of Roadside Assistance When Spare Tire is Not Available

In situations where you don’t have a spare tire or can’t use any of the alternatives, roadside assistance can be a lifesaver. Services like AAA and others can come to your aid, whether it’s changing a flat tire, jump-starting your car, or towing it to a service station.

In my opinion, if you decide to remove your spare tire, I highly recommend subscribing to a roadside assistance service for peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does taking out spare tire save gas?

Yes, removing your spare tire can save gas by reducing your car’s weight, which can improve fuel efficiency. However, the savings are often minimal.

Is it OK to leave spare tire on car?

Absolutely! Many people prefer to leave their spare tire in the car for emergencies. It provides a safety net in case of a flat tire and can save you from the hassle of immediate repairs.

What can I do with no spare tire?

If you don’t have a spare tire, you can use alternatives like run-flat tires or a tire repair kit. You can also rely on roadside assistance services in case of a flat tire.

How long will a spare tire last if not used?

Spare tires, if not used, can last from 6 to 10 years. However, it’s recommended that tires be replaced every 5-7 years even if they appear fine. Tires are not meant for use beyond 10 years due to degradation over time.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, the decision to remove or keep your spare tire depends on your personal preferences and circumstances. Keep in mind the pros and cons we’ve covered in this article to make an informed decision. Always prioritize your safety and convenience, and remember that having a spare tire can be a lifesaver in emergencies.