Your Guide to Space Saver Tyres
There was a time when your only solution to a puncture or flat tyre was a roadside
replacement using a bulky spare that took up almost half of your boot. Nowadays there are a few more options including the use of space saver tyres. But what are they? Are they safe to drive? And, are they the right choice for your car?
Read on to find out.
What is a space saver tyre?
A space saver tyre is an emergency spare that can be used as a temporary replacement in the event of a puncture. They are smaller than regular tyres and usually have a bright yellow or orange rim. Space saver tyres are much lighter than regular spare tyres meaning a lower fuel consumption and, as the name suggests, they take up a lot less room in the car boot. They were originally designed for smaller sports cars that had minimal room for a spare. But over recent years space saver tyres have become a popular mainstream option and are even used in some 4WDs.
How do I know if my car has a space saver tyre?
Space saver tyres are notably different from regular tyres. They are significantly smaller in size and are easily recognised by their brightly coloured rims. Their vibrant orange and yellow colouring acts as a reminder to have your tyre properly replaced as soon as you can reach a mechanic or tyre professional.
“Their vibrant orange and yellow colouring acts as a reminder to have your tyre properly replaced as soon as you can reach a mechanic or tyre professional.”
Is it safe to drive on a space saver tyre?
Space saver tyres are a temporary solution and should only be used until a proper tyre can be fitted. They are not designed to be driven over long distances and studies have shown that they may compromise the performance, functionality and emergency handling of a vehicle. This means it is essential that you swap your space saver tyre for a new full-sized tyre as soon as possible.
Safety tips when using space saver tyres
o Only use space saver tyres that are designed for your vehicle
o Always check the condition of your space saver tyre before fitting to your car
o Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and adhere to speed limits, travel distances and tyre pressure.
What are the restrictions for driving with space saver tyres?
While they are a handy solution when you find yourself in need of a replacement, these temporary tyres do come with some limitations.
Maximum speed limits apply
“Typically, space saver tyres are rated at a maximum speed of 80km/h. When your damaged tyre is repaired or replaced, you should fit it on the vehicle immediately.”
At Jax, we recommend that you always check the specific manufacturer information as this speed limit may vary.
Space saver tyres should only ever be used across short distances but they are usually capable of driving up to a few hundred kilometres if required (depending on brand and type). But the best, and safest, approach is to fit them as a temporary solution and head straight to a tyre professional for a full replacement.
What do I need to do if I'm driving on a space saver tyre?
You may notice a few differences in the handling of your car once space saver
tyres are fitted. It may be a little more difficult to control your car when turning a corner, your traction may be reduced and your braking distances could increase.
“Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and adhere to speed limits, travel distances and tyre pressure.”
For these reasons, the most important thing to do when driving on a space saver tyre is to take caution. Always drive within the recommended speed limits and head straight to a tyre shop.
If you’re thinking about investing in a temporary tyre as a back-up for your car, take the time to do some research, understand the limitations and find the right fit. And if you need a helping hand or some expert advice, chat to the team at Jax Tyres.
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