Full Size Spare

I’ve got a 2003 Silhouette with one of those silly “doughnuts” as a spare. On long trips I’d like to carry a full size spare but all my auto recyclers can only see the alloy originals on their computers. I am looking for a 16 x 6.5 steel rim; aren’t there Buick or Caddy 16’s out there which will work and if so, how do I verify the specific year which will fit my '03? Thanks.

Before you do anything else, you should verify that a full-size spare and rim will fit into the place reserved for the spare tire on your vehicle. If the vehicle was factory-equipped with a “donut” spare, and if there was no option for a full-size spare, it is very possible that you will have no place to properly store that full-size spare. Yes, you could keep it “loose” in the cargo area, but this is not recommended as it can injure passengers in the event of a collision. If you are going to keep it in the cargo area, be sure that it is secured with several bungee cords.

I agree about making sure the storing of the new tyre is important, unless you plan on tying it on the top of the car.

Check with www.tirerack.com to see if they have a wheel/tyre. If they don’t have it, it may not be available.

I’d check also…and I seriously doubt it will fit.

Checking FIRST to see if a full-size spare will actually fit is sort of the automotive equivalent of the carpenter’s mantra of “measure twice, cut once”.

A full sized tire will not fit in place of the donut spare that comes with the vehicle.

When I got my 2000 Silo, I measured for one.

My local Tire dealer stated that the weight difference might also tear out the little crank assembly so putting it where the doughnut goes is not a good idea even if it could fit. I do agree that securing it properly is important; and since I always travel with the third row seats out or folded up, I plan on securing the full size tire to one of the thrid row seat anchor pins (but bagging the tire first for appearance sake). So any thoughts on other GM rims that will fit?!!

In event of a flat, where does the full size flat tire go if it doesn’t fit in the tire well?

Some manufacturers provide a plastic bag in which to wrap the flat and throw into the cargo area until you get to a shop.

Sorry to not answer your question, but I hope you don’t mind if I mention:

The fed’s fuel economy website http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.shtml says the fuel economy benefit of reduced weight is 1-2% per hundred pounds. I’ll guess a full-size spare could cost you about 0.5 percent more in fuel. That would amount to $1 per 25-gallon fillup. Not huge, but it’s money.

Also, The stock tires for this car have a good 5+ inches of sidewall height. If you keep them properly inflated (for stability, fuel economy, and tire longevity), they should be fairly immune to road hazards and should last until the tread is gone. Not guaranteed, obviously, but little is.

Many manufacturers have already gotten away from silly spare tires completely, for that matter. (Instead, they provide a silly electric air pump with an integrated can of sealant. Saves even more weight and works for all but sidewall tears.)

And I’ve never met anyone who was ever stranded for lack of a “full-size” spare.

Finally, Pretty much no one puts snow tires on pricey rims, so steel wheels are definitely out there.

There are parts of the county where I would not want to be driving regularly with a temp spare. You can be hundreds of miles from a repair and a day or two ($overnight$ shipping) from a replacement.