It time we had a chat about so called 'space saver tyres'. We are seeing more and more new model cars opting for space saver tyres over a full size spare. This is a logical choice as most car developers are obsessed with trying to optimise space and weight, however the no one really knows the limitations of using these tyres once they are actually needed.
What are space saver wheels
These spare wheels are a common feature of many new cars and even some 4WDs.
- Often brightly coloured
- Very different in appearance and size to what’s normally fitted to the car
- Lighter and take up less space in the vehicle.
- They are only intended as an emergency replacement to get the vehicle to a place of repair, and
- The maximum allowable speed when one is fitted is limited to 80 km/h.
This lower speed limit is imposed because the vehicle’s handling and dynamics will be compromised with a mismatched wheel fitted.
In addition, space saver tyres also have reduced tread depth that effectively limits the distance they can travel.
Another often overlooked issue, particularly for sports cars, is that there may be insufficient space to store a full sized wheel when the spare is in use.
IMPORTANT: Space saver wheels should only be used to get you to a garage or service centre where you can repair the damaged wheel.