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How to Care for and Maintain Your Toyota’s Spare Tire

Posted at Fri, Sep 4, 2020 9:00 AM

As far as maintenance goes, it is pretty easy to remember to keep up with your tires because they are most certainly something you see and notice every day. They are also one of the most crucial, so when they start to wear out or behave in a way they are not supposed to, it becomes obvious. However, there is one aspect of tire care that often escapes notice, and that is routinely checking and maintaining your spare tire.

Out of sight, out of mind, as the saying goes, and when your spare tire is tucked away somewhere it is quite easy to forget it even exists. However, in the event that you experience a malfunction, it is important that your spare tire is in decent, roadworthy shape. You can make sure your Toyota's spare tire is always good to go and ready for action should you need it on the roads of Westbury and Long Island by following our list of tips below.

Be Aware of What Type of Spare Tire You Have

There are different types of spare tires, so knowing which type you have will make it easier for you to know just how much maintenance (if any) is required. The types are detailed below:

    • Full size matching spare: This is basically a fifth tire for your vehicle. It will be the same size and style as the other four tires that are currently equipped. While it is obviously beneficial to have a full-size spare option, it is not without its drawbacks; mainly that you have to find the room to store it somewhere in your vehicle. If you have a full-size matching spare, make a point to buy five tires when you get new ones.
    • Full size non-matching: This kind of spare is full sized, but is not the same style as the others that are currently in use. This tired should never be used for more than a temporary fix, as it may lead to uneven tread wear among other issues.
    • Temporary spare: More commonly referred to as a “donut.” A temporary spare can be full-sized or compact, and both types have low tread depth, which means they are not meant to traverse long distances or rough terrain. Donut spares are meant for emergency use only.

The type of spare you have will dictate the amount and kind of maintenance required. Air pressure and tread wear matter a great deal on full size matching and non-matching spares, whereas with a temporary spare those are less of a concern.

Incorporate the Spare Tire Into Rotation

Toyota, like all other auto manufacturers, recommends that tires be rotated regularly so that the tread of all tires wears down evenly. If you have a full-size matching spare for your vehicle, you should be sure to include that tire into your vehicle's tire rotation routine. A common practice is to put the spare tire on the rear right side and make the tire that would have gone there the new spare. If you are unsure about this, check your owner’s manual for instruction.

If you have a temporary spare, there is no need to do this.

Monitor the Spare Tire Pressure

Just like the tires that are actually in use, the pressure in your spare tire will fluctuate, particularly when the ambient temperature changes outside. Even though it will spend most of its time stored away, we advise that you regularly check the spare tire pressure to make sure that it is at a recommended level. Replacing a blown out or flat tire with a spare that has too much or too little pressure can lead to additional issues.

Pay Attention to Recalls

Recalls can happen with any internal or external part of a car, and if one is issued it means there is a risk of hazard due to the defective part. While Toyota will always reach out to you in the event of a recall for your vehicle type, you can also check online to see if your model and make have any standing recalls via our handy guide to recalls on your Toyota here on Long Island. While rare, recalls can happen with spare tires, so be sure to pay attention to any and all recall notices you receive.

Keep Your Spare Tire in Top Shape

Dealing with a flat or a blow out during your commute here on Long Island is bad enough, but being unable to use your spare tire because of one issue or another just makes it worse. Stay ahead of any problems by routinely checking your Toyota’s spare tire to be sure that the pressure and tread wear are acceptable. By doing so, you’re ensuring that should a tire emergency arise, you are covered and ready to get back on the road safely and with as little downtime as possible.

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