When buying a car, there’s a lot of information
to take in and a lot to think about in terms of what features you want. One feature that
may often get overlooked is what you get if you get a puncture. At The Car People, we
like to make sure you know exactly what you’ve got before you drive away in your new car,
but we’ve put this video together so you know what your options are before you buy. To get a full spare wheel is somewhat a novelty
for modern cars and, if the car has alloys, to get a spare alloy is a bigger novelty,
as they tend to be steel wheels. There are no limitations to using a full spare wheel
in terms of how fast you can go on it or how long you should use it for, however you should
change the tyre or repair the puncture as soon as possible in case you get another puncture. The space saver (or skinny tyre) is a very
common tool for if you get a puncture. The advantage of having a space saver is that
it lets you have more boot space, as having a full spare wheel may compromise that. Some
space savers may sometimes look like full spares, but are easily distinguished by a
50mph/80kmh sticker or markings on the tyre wall. If you have to use the space saver,
you mustn’t drive over 50mph and should only be used as a temporary measure until
you can get the damaged tyre replaced. There is no distance limit on a space saver, but
they can wear quickly due to a softer compound and limited tread, usually 3mm. Many moderns cars are now supplied with no
spare wheel at all and instead a tyre repair kit. These usually consist of a compressor
and a container of a substance that, when connected to the compressor, is injected into
the tyre and quickly expands to seal the puncture. Like a space saver, you’re limited to 50mph
and you should visit a garage as soon as possible. The downside to these kits is the tyre is
ruined by the foam and is pretty much useless if you get a blowout. On the plus side, they’re
a lot easier to use and safer than changing your own wheel at the side of the road.
There are a couple of things to bear in mind with these kits: 1. There is usually space
for a space saver if you wish to purchase one. If you buy a car brand new, space savers
are an optional extra, usually at £100, and 2. Some cars may not be designed with a compartment
for a spare wheel, or the shape of the car may not be suitable for a space saver, the
Ford Focus Zetec S with 18 inch alloys is a notable example.
The compressor can be used alone to keep your tyres inflated. Remember, on kits supplied
with Peugeot and Citroen cars, you need to make sure you have it on the right setting,
otherwise you may find yourself wasting foam and a perfectly good tyre!
If a car is supplied to a dealership without a compressor kit, you may be, instead, provided
with a can of tyre sealant that also inflates your tyre (popular brand is Flat Mate). This
can be found in most supermarkets. It works in a similar way to the aforementioned compressor
kit and is a cheaper option if you use the foam supplied by the manufacturer.
The good news is that manufacturers have caught on to the disliking of these repair kits,
so there are an increasing number of new cars that now come with a spare wheel or space
saver as standard If you need more information about what you
will be supplied with in the event of a puncture, just ask your sales or handover advisor, who
will be more than happy to help.