What type of spare should I use?

I live in Maine. I just bought 5 micheline x-ice snow ties and steel rims, and they were put on today. I also got an extra tire/rim as a spare. However, since getting them, I now have learned they are directional tires, and the spare would work on only one side. What would you recommend I carry as a spare in the vehicle? I drive long distances on the highway every week, and am concerned about getting stuck somewhere. Would it be better to bring an all season on a rim? What is safest to drive with? thanks

The first step is to get the tire dealer to take back the 5th (unused) tire. Since they are directional, the tire dealer should have realized that this would not work well as a spare, and thus, it was either dishonest or at least not very intelligent of him to sell that tire to you as a spare. For a new spare, how about one of those Nokian tires that can be used in snow, as well as on dry roads?

I agree that you should take back the spare. You really are not likely to need it. Use the conventional spare. It will suffice if one is needed.

You could stay with what you have. If you were to need the spare, it would work at least OK on the wrong side and you could have it remounted to work on the other side when you reached a tyre store.

In either case you should drive carefully when on the spare as either suggestion will cause the car to be slightly less stable.

T “third” the motion to take the 5th tire back. Most shops have a 30 day “customer satisfaction” guarantee, and in this case I’m sure the shop will take the 5th tire back and full value and replace it with another that’s not directional.

Back in the 80’s one of our regular customers and his family took a trip to Florida from Phila. Around Virginia he had a flat and put his mini spare on. When he found a tire store off the interstate he just told them to “fix my flat tire”. That’s exactly what the tire guy did- fixed the flat that was in the trunk and put it right back in the trunk! Then the guy paid up, they gave him his reciept, and he took off none

the wiser. Not untill he got back to Philly did he realize the score. The spare really wasn’t too much the worse for wear. I used to believe in having a full-sized spare, but the mini works fine- as a spare, as long as you keep that 60 PSI in. Just don’t take a 2000 mile trip with it.

An all-season tire on the spare rim is much safer than the compact spare, or the directional on the wrong side. The all-season tire will have adequate traction, wet or dry, and the same size as the dircetional tires will prevent any damage to the drivetrain if used on a drive axle. The compact spare can cause drivetrain damage being smaller that the other tire on the same axle, and handling problems due to lousy traction. Also, a directional tire mounted backwards will have severe traction problems on wet pavement.

I agree, use a full size conventional spare and have the correct tire repaired/replaced ASAP if you have a flat. Either keep the directional tire as a spare and don’t use it on the wrong side any longer than necessary or trade it for a non-directional all season tire of the same size.

How many times in over forty years of driving have I actually needed to mount a spare? I can think of five, and two of those were on my wife’s cars. She knows who to call. She also seems to know how to find nails.

I wouldn’t sweat carrying and using a doughnut spare, as long as it’s used as intended. Put it on, get the “real” tire fixed as soon as possible, and put IT back on. They say TEMPORARY USE ONLY right on the sidewall.

this is the problem I have now since I bought my new tires. I figure no further than a tire store is from where I live, should I get a flat, the reversed directional tire would allow me to “limp” to the tire store to have the flat repaired.

Directional tires can be used on opposite sides, they must be remounted (turned around) on the rim is all.

I have never used directional tires and cannot for the life of me figure out why they are made in the first place.

Use a donut tire for short and limited use or get an A/S tire mounted on a rim.

A directional tire won’t burst into flame and explode or anything if you put it on the wrong side of the car for a while. Keep it and use it normally if you need it, and stop worrying about it.

As others have noted, if you do end up using it on the “wrong” side, you can easily have a tire shop take it off the rim and put it back on the “right” way. But there’s no huge rush – it’s quite likely the difference between the right way and the wrong way is unnoticeable.

Quote: it’s quite likely the difference between the right way and the wrong way is unnoticeable.

That’s probably true, unless the road is wet. Look at the tread on some unidirectional tires. You’ll see that the tread is designed in a repeating “V” shape. That shape vastly improves the tire’s ability to push water aside. Run it backwards and hydroplaning will be quite apparent. Even at that, TEMPORARY use as a spare at low speeds will not be much of an issue.

I think it depends on what kind of driving you do. I carry a full sized spare in addition to the small stock spare because I go on a lot of long trips. I once found myself with a flat tire in the middle of nowhere in Texas on a Saturday night. I drove another 75 miles to Houston and had to wait until Monday to find an open tire store to get the flat fixed. After that I bought a full sized spare. In addition to being handy on long trips, it has been convenient for local driving since it affords me the ability to put off getting the flat fixed if I am too busy to do it immediately. However, if the only dirving that I did was around town, the money spent on the extra rim and tire would not be necessary. The small spare would be fully adequate.

In your case, I think that using the directional tire in the wrong direction would be fine for short-term use. However, if you expect to use it on a long trip or for more than just emergency use, go back and return it and get a bidirectional snow tire mounted on the spare rim.