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What would be my best approach at buying a spare tire

Right now I have your basic poor spare tire and I want to go out and get an actual good spare tire that should I need to use it I can drive normally and not be worried about changing it right out that day. In the past I have gone to local junk yards and just had them pull a decent tire off a simlar car that I was driving at that time and had my spare. However I am finding it difficult here in my area to find a junk yard that has a Kia Sedona mini van in their lot with a decent tire. I know the size of the tire I need, so do I just look for the right rim size and how do I know what will work on my Kia? Then I would just go to a used tire shop and get a decent tire for my spare…

Make sure a true size spare will actually FIT where the other spare is. Many vehicles they won’t.

I think you’re better off fixing the other problems with your vehicle first before you do this - its really unnecessary, and if you fixed the reason for your tires cupping and got good tires on the vehicle (which you already said needed replacement), you’d be much better off than putting off those fixes and then spending money on a spare that likely wouldn’t be used otherwise.

Not having a useable spare does cause a few problems. Last time I tried to use it, the whole wheel came off while I was driving. I really need a usuable spare.

With all the problems you keep posting about your 2002 kia sedona minivan with 149,000+ miles I would take a gander that it may be cheaper to get another vehicle.
Trade it in on anything besides the least reliable minivan ever made that you currently own. Even an older more reliable brand.
You could get a small loan too with the amount of money your spending on this minivan. I think you may have even been posting under a different name about the same vehicle. I do apologize if I assumed incorrectly.
Just off the top of my head without even going to see all of your posts I can list many problems.

Oil Change or tires?
Transmission
Spare Tires
New Tires
Tires cupping
Wheel Bearings
Spark Plugs
Check engine light / rough running
Idle air control ??? Maybe the last two was another poster with the same vehicle

That’s totally just my opinion and some of you will not like it but i just had to post this.

WHY did the wheel come off? While I don’t like compact spares, they shoudl not come off, and if yours did there was some other cause that needs to be looked into. That event combined with the scalloping suggests to me that you might have stud damage or stretching (you can stretch a wheel stud at the base of the threads by overtorquing and it’ll never hold a nut again).

You really need to consider all the symptons together and have someone check into what’s going on here. A full service spare won’t stay on either if the studs are damaged.

I think the front wheel came off and the back tire is cupping.
Correct me if I’m wrong…

You may be right, but I’m beginning to get worried about the safety of this vehicle. Compact spare wheels should not come off, and it sounds like finding out the cause of that needs to be added to the list you posted,

The usual reason for a spare (or any other wheel) to come off is improper tightening of the lugs.

+100 on the same mountainbike’s comment:

There is NO reason for a compact spare to come off unless there is some other underlying problem - the size of the tire itself is not the cause. You could have something wrong with the spare (damaged rim, etc) that would justify replacing it, but that’s not the fault of the SIZE… if you do need to replace it, by all means consider larger. However, I suspect something else is wrong with this vehicle… or maybe you vastly exceeded the speed limit of the compact spare? Personally, I don’t see a problem with a temporary reduction in speed to 55 max (the limit on most compacts) until you can get the main tire fixed - that is FAR less of a problem than the other problems you’ve posted about that haven’t been fixed yet.

Guys

The OP is the same person who began the following thread awhile back:

http://community.cartalk.com/discussion/2283234/my-tire-fell-off/p1

At that time, the consensus was the the lug nuts had not been properly torqued, thus leading to the spare wheel coming off. Later on in the 3 page thread, the OP did tell us that the studs and lug nuts for that wheel all had to be replaced, as a result of the situation. Please read through that older thread, and most of what we are all wondering about will become more clear.

The van runs great, given it has 149,000 miles on it I don’t think having to replace a wheel baring is a sign of bad things. The wheel came off because I don’t believe it was tight enough on there, which is my fault, but I thought I had tightend it down enough. I had to have all new lug bolts put on the front wheel, but I am concerned that the spare wheel rim was damaged when it came off and the wheel itself is smaller in size then the other four. Thus my view on getting a whole new rim and wheel.

I just asked if given a choice which would you do first, change out the oil or replace a tire that has as some cupping issues. I can’t afford both since the new tire is $80, but I can afford a rim and spare if it’s under say $50 to go along with my $19.95 oil change I am getting done.

The spare was NOT a compact spare, it was a normal sized tire, just the wrong sized tire for my van. AAA who changed the flat out for the spare told me he didn’t think the rim was the right size and knew the tire wasn’t and said I shouldn’t drive it, but I had to get to work. It ended up costing me $197 dollars to repair the lug bolts and get a new tire…but when changing out to a spare I have never had one come off…

“AAA who changed the flat out for the spare told me he didn’t think the rim was the right size and knew the tire wasn’t.”

I think that this was likely to be a case of a wheel that was not the correct type for this vehicle, size aside. The differences from one wheel to another can include things besides the stud pattern.

Even if the studs fit into the holes in this wheel, if the wheel was not intended for your type of vehicle, it may not have been possible to secure it properly–even if the lugs were correctly tightened. A wheel from a different vehicle can loosen fairly quickly, due to a bad fit, and in the process it can certainly ruin the studs and the lug nuts.

So–to return to the original question–make sure that the wheel you buy is the correct one for your make and model, not just one that has the same stud pattern and will accomodate the correct size tire.

And that is my question…How unless I buy a wheel off another Kia Sedona of that year can I tell? How do I purchase the correct rim?

Well, since the Hyundai Entourage minivan was essentially identical to the Kia Sedona, a wheel from this model Hyundai would work just fine. At least with two makes and models, you have a slightly better chance of locating the correct wheel.

Nowadays, auto recyclers (the new fancy name for junkyards) have computer equipment to locate parts that they don’t have on hand. This really shouldn’t be that hard for a junkyard to locate.

Compact spare was my assumption. Apologies for misleading anyone and to you for having made the erroneous assumption.

Honestly, I’m surprised the AAA guy didn’t refuse to mount the wheel. Since he told you it was unsafe, I assign him zero responsibility morally or otherwise, but i’d have refused to mount it.

In response to the original question, you could just go to a parts store and tell them you need a steel wheel to fit your Kia. Or, you could even order a tire mounted on the correct size wheel directly from Tirerack.com.

Buy a rim from a salvage yard. They have computer records to determine if a rim fits your vehicle. Then buy a used tire somewhere that is the same size as the tires on the van now. Perhaps you can buy a tire and take that cupped tire and use it as the spare.

I agree with Uncle Turbo’s suggestion. This is the method I’ve used on the last few cars I purchased with those ‘donut’ spares. The salvage yards have the parts interchangability guides and know which rims will fit the van. Then, replace the cupped tire, and use it with the spare rim from the salvage yard.

Okay so here is a follow up question…what would be a fair price for a used rim? I know last time I went wheel shopping I purchased wheel and rim for my spare for a Taurus station wagon I had at the time and prices ranged from $25 up to near $100. What would be a fair price for just a rim?