Many drivers think that is against the law to drive around without a spare tyre on board, but this is not the case. According to the AA, motorists simply do not have to carry a spare at all. Of course, this is highly inadvisable if you are travelling around with the kids in the back because – should you suffer a puncture or a blowout – you won’t be able to sort the problem out for yourself. You could, after all, face an extensive delay, not to mention a hefty bill from a local mechanic. If you are heading on a long road trip, then it is a good idea to check your spare for roadworthiness so that your journey passes off without a hitch and that you retain a good peace of mind whilst on the road.
Most car manufacturers devote some boot space for a spare wheel, even if you don’t have to drive around with one in the car. It is worth noting that the tyre of your spare wheel is not obliged to satisfy the same legal requirements that you would expect of a road-going tyre whilst it is stored away. Nevertheless, when you fit it to your car and drive away it must then comply with the law, for example by not showing bulges and having sufficient tread. As such, a spare that is not in good condition is pretty much useless the second you suffer from a puncture and want to put it into action. Remember that the spare wheel is not tested under an MOT examination and you might not know about problems with it until you come to use it.
How to Change Wheels
If you have to change wheels, it is usually because of tyre damage. Find a safe place to stop so that your car’s occupants remain safe. Get off the road completely, if you can, and make sure everyone is safely out of the way before proceeding. Firstly, remove the hubcap so you have access to the wheel nuts and loosen them. Only then jack the car up so that you can completely unscrew the nuts and take the offending wheel off. Line the spare up and tighten the wheel nuts up until it is secured. Only then lower the jack. Take care when jacking and stay out from under the car. For additional advice, check out some advice from experts like Point S.
Once you have got the car roadworthy again you and your family can continue the road trip. However, bear in mind that the air pressure in the spare may not be adequate and you should stop at a garage to check this soon after changing wheels. Some spares are built for temporary use only, so head to a tyre dealership soon rather than later to purchase a replacement. Finally, some spares restrict your travel to 50 mph only. Yours will say so if this is the case. Don’t exceed this limit as it will push the spare beyond its design capabilities.