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Is Your Vehicle Enjoying its Donut?

A few decades ago, a car’s spare tire would often be virtually the same as its regular tires. But nearly all new cars are manufactured with space-saver spares, small and lightweight tires that can be installed easily and take up less space in the trunk. The advantages of these spares are clear, but they come at the expense of drive-ability. When you’re driving a car on one of these spares, follow the guidelines below to make sure that your trips are safe and smart.

Keep your speed under 50 mph at all times, even on the highway. If there’s a lot of traffic and other vehicles around you, stay in the right lane and consider putting on your hazard lights so that people will notice that you’re traveling at a slower pace.

Limit your total mileage on a small spare to 50 miles, unless absolutely necessary. Driving on a spare hurts your gas mileage, wears out your other tires at an accelerated rate, and can even send your car out of alignment with extended use.

Check the tire pressure on the spare and keep it inflated to the PSI indicated on the sidewall of the tire. If you put on the spare and find it to be low on air, stop at the first gas station with an air pump and top it off. It’s almost always free to use gas station air pumps. (Free is good, right?)

Stop to get your regular tire fixed or replaced as soon as possible. If you are in Minnesota, stop by one of our TireZoo locations in Bloomington or Anoka.  

Space-saver spares are basically designed to get your car from the scene of the flat tire to a tire repair shop–50 miles max. It’s not a regular tire, so don’t treat it like one.

Assemble Your Winter Road Survival Kit

Your Tire Zoo crew works hard everyday to help keep families safe on the road. When you live in Minnesota, or anywhere in the upper Midwest, winter poses some extra road hazards for families, commuters, and transportation drivers. Staying safe and being ready for winter situations means keeping your tires in top notch condition AND assembling a winter survival kit to keep with you through the winter months.

While a winter survival kit in every vehicle is critical, many people opt to update it for the seasons and keep it stored in the trunk all year long.


Winter Survival Kit Ideas:

  • Winter coat, hat, and gloves
  • One or more blankets
  • First-aid kit
  • Non-perishable food such as granola bars, or crackers; even just some hard candy can help (If you have kids and allow eating in the car many of us could live for a couple days with what we find on the floor and between seats, don’t forget to check under the car-seat 🙂
  • “Strike anywhere” matches in a water-tight container
  • Candles and an empty coffee can to melt snow; a cup is a good idea as well
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Small tool kit or at least an all purpose tool
  • Shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow Rope
  • Reflector Triangles
  • List of Helpful Numbers: Insurance Company, AAA, Towing, Tire Zoo