Have you checked your spare's tyre pressure lately?


Now would be a good time. Many of us have not even seen the spare for years. Time to make sure it has sufficient pressure.

While you are at it, check the pressure in the other four.


This is an excellent reminder for everyone. Thank you Mr. Meehan.


This is especially true if you have tires with the pressure sensors in the valve stem…the low pressure warning light will go on if the spare is low.


Let me add: while in the process of checking the air pressure, crank the spare down on the cable and check the cable for deterioration and lube the moving parts.

Replace the cable if not in good condition.

The end of the cable is usually where it will rust and break.

You certainly do not want your spare tire running off on its own to cause an accident.


Cable? Are you talking about some kind of truck?


I can’t find any cable. Where do they keep it?


It has been estimated that if every car in the U.S. had its tires inflated to the correct pressure, we would save enough gas to bring gas prices down more than $1 per gallon. Maybe.

I personally think every large store should have a “patrol” in the parking lot, checking tires and inflating them. What a public service!


After years of using a bicycle pump to maintain correct inflation in the tires of my vehicles I bought a small air compressor. One of the first things I used it for was to inflate the spare tires of my vehicles to the correct pressure.

They were all WAY low.


I got into the habit of checking my tire preasure when my dad owned a 69 bug. The windshield washer ran off the tire preasure of the spare tire, so it was constantly being drained.


WTH? No way.



Truth is stranger than fiction. The windshield washer was indeed powered by air pressure from the spare tire. It does make sense–the engine was in the back of the car and the spare tire was in the luggage compartment in the front. The spare tire was a source of energy, so it was used to power the windshield washer. It would be impractical to run a vacuum line to power the windshield washer as was done in some of the 1950’s cars including the 1954 Buick that I owned. This method was simpler than an electic pump. In my opinion, it would have been simpler yet to have had a foot pump as I had on my 1965 Rambler.


I had a 67 Bug with the same feature. I used to get the oddest looks when I would open the hood to fill up the gas tank and top off the spare.

Ed B.


I have a '73 914 (currently in pieces) that works the same way.


Craig and Steve,

The full size spare tires on suvs, pickups and vans are located under the rear of the vehicle in front of the bumper.
On some vehicles the ‘donut’ tire is suspended the same way.

They are held in place via a small cable lowering/retraction system.

You use a manufacturer supplied socket/extension type tool to operate the tiny winch.


Interesting, I’ve never owned anything with the tire stored under the vehicle.


The 1995 Chevy S-10 pickup I used to own carried its spare tire under the bed. It was held by a steel cable with a clamp in the center, and winched up or down using either the flat end of a tire iron, or a REALLY long flathead screwdriver. This is how most pickup trucks carry their spares.


This cable system is what we call progress. The old pickup trucks had the spare tire mounted on the side. Some even had dual side mounts–one spare tire on each side. It certainly made the tires accessible for checking the tire pressure as well as tire changes. Crawling under the vehicle to get at the spare tire really doesn’t appeal to me, and unfortunately, I’ve had to do it.


Yea, I had that on my 1970 (My 1965 Sunbeam Imp had a hand operated pump. That was the best of all since I could pump a little or a lot as needed.

BTW the valve would shut down the washer below a certain pressure to preserve enough in the tyre for road use. It would empty the washer bottle several times without getting that low.


My last independent mechanic charged $34 for an oil change. However they really checked over everything including inflating the spare to proper pressure.

Excellent reminder.


Just to clarify, the spare tire (inflated with higher pressure than normal – don’t forget to bleed it down to the correct pressure before installing it!) provided pressure for the windshield washer fluid squirter, not the wipers that go back and forth.