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Question

 
 
 

If you have had a flat tyre and have fitted a space saver wheel what must you do? Check all that apply.

  • Possible answers:

     
  • A. Drive at 80kph (or the speed denoted on the wheel) or less

  • B. Drive up to 300km if the weather is fine

  • C. Drive to a place you can fix the tyre as soon as possible

  • D. Put your hazard warning lights on while you are driving

  • E. Lower the pressure in the other tyres

  • Correct answer:

     
  •  
    The correct answer is A,C
     
    Correct. Space saver wheels are not as robust as normal tyres, have much less grip and also force your differential to work harder because they are smaller than normal wheels
     
 
 
 

Space saver wheels

In order to maximum boot space, some manufacturers supply their cars with a space saver spare wheel. This is a wheel that is smaller than the vehicles other wheels. 

They are not robust enough to be used over long distances or at high speeds and are designed to be used only in an emergency, i.e. to drive directly home or to a place where you can get your tyre fixed if you get a puncture.

Because the space saver is smaller in diameter and narrower in width it will change the handling characteristics of your car. It puts extra stress on the differential as the space saver has to rotate more than a normal tyre. 

Space saver wheels are usually limited to 80kph, although some may show a sticker with a lesser speed, in which case you should stick to that speed.

When you check your tyre pressures remember to check your space saver pressure, too, as it will lose pressure over time. They usually require much more pressure than a normal tyre.

You will usually find them underneath the boot floor. 

Space saver wheel

Some manufacturers are even doing away with space saver wheels and replacing them with an aerosol can of foam which will both seal and inflate your damaged tyre temporarily.