Using Old Tire as Spare

Meh, as I don’t cross tires, there’s only one of two possible tires it could be, even if I don’t “calibrate.” Not worth it to me. Plus, I generally remember if it’s correct or not. (Right now, not.)

Speaking of temporary spares, the spare in my 2012 Toyota Camry stores upside down with the valve facing down. How stupid is that ?

I think that most of them store that way nowadays which is…pretty stupid.
It’s almost as if the mfrs wanted to discourage checking the air pressure in those spares.

That TPMS light is going to get real annoying, real fast

Yes; for some. I agree wholeheartedly.
But, It’s been “on” in our vehicles for over ten years since they started to appear. They come on every fall when we mount the winter tires and stay on the rest of the winter. My wife’s newer car has the light on the small display on the on top of the dash and you never notice it except when you change temp on the climate control. Car makers have made them amber and unobtrusive by law, which is the same lighting as the passenger air bag indicator. I have yet to be upset or annoyed by a light that constantly reminds me I am saving hundreds of dollars as long as I check my tires. We got use to it real fast. It might as well be the headlight high beam or headlight on light or a plethora of other lights that glow on my dash.

I road in a friend’s Newer Silverado the other day and it’s dash looked like a Christmass Tree. It drove me bonkers it was so distracting, and everything was working…If his amber low pressure indicator light ever came on, it would be hiding in obscurity and probably not get noticed for a long while.

I have a similar situation. I’d like to get rid of the donut spare. The drivers manual says a regular sized tire will fit in the cavity. (2015 Forester)

The restriction on the use of the donut spare are: no faster than 50 MPH, and mount on rear only. I would expect there is a distance limit also, but the manual is silent.

PS, had an interesting experience with TPMS, they also light up for high pressure. When I picked up the car, and then drove 400 miles in the rain, the next day the light came on. Turns out the dealer left the tires at the shipment pressure of 45 PSI, and the higher temperature that day (in the 90s) increased the pressure enough to put it over the limit.


The TPMS sensors in my Insight wheels don’t turn on until the tires are rotating. A TPMS sensor in a spare wouldn’t be detected while in the trunk.

That TPMS light can get pretty irritating though. In our 08 Acura it started going off only when we had people in the back seat. The module was in the trunk so I suspect it was being interfered with. The dealer didn’t show much interest in tracking the problem down since they thought they’d have to ride around with someone in the back seat to duplicate the problem. I didn’t particularly like that idea. When the light would come on though it would over-ride the other management information. We just traded. I hope whoever bought it only uses the front seats.

I rotate my own tires usually so that I can clean the insides of the wheels once or twice a year. To do that at home though, you need to use the spare which is when I check the pressure.

“A TPMS sensor in a spare wouldn’t be detected while in the trunk.”

Are you sure about that?
My friend’s Rav-4–which has the spare tire hanging on the rear door/gate–has had the TPMS warning light come on a couple of times since he has owned it. In both cases, the full-size spare tire–which sits further back than it would if it was inside a trunk–has been the tire that needed air.

Some cars are set up for 5 TPMS sensors, one of them being the spare

Some are not

I’ve even come across some, where you can tell the module if the spare has a sensor or not

oldtimer 11 said: "I personally take the 7 year rule with a very large grain of salt, I have never seen a donut spare with a cracked sidewall and I have had some 15 years old. "

The problem here is 3 fold.

  1. Tires age differently according to heat. So tires in Phoenix age much faster then tires in Minneapolis. There are other factors, but heat is a biggy.

  2. Flexing promotes cracking. Donut spares sitting in the trunk don’t do ANY flexing.

  3. Tire sidewalls aren’t always made of the same rubber as the interior. It is the interior rubber that is important - and sometimes, tire manufacturer will use a more crack resistant rubber in the sidewall.

  • and No!, they can NOT use that crack resistant rubber in the interior.