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Discussion Starter #1
I cracked the alloy rim a couple of days ago (no) thanks to the snow/ice storms and put on the donut spare. I was about 400 miles from home, and no one seemed to know if it could handle that long a trip.

(I didn't mind travelling at the slower speed but was concerned about it self destructing enroute).

I found a Civic rim nearby and mounted the "real" tire on it.

Anyway, I used the spare for about 50 miles.

Any guesses as to how long a lifetime it's supposed to have, and how much I've used up?

Thanks.
 

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Shouldn't the spare on the Honda Insight last as long as any other spare? :?:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
jat1793 said:
Shouldn't the spare on the Honda Insight last as long as any other spare? :?:
probably even longer, considering how light the car is. But that gets back to the original question... how many miles is that donut spare good for? (remember that I've just used it for 50-75 miles).

Thanks.
 

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I don't think there is any reason the spare would have shorter life than an ordinary tire, except for it's shallow tread. I would expect thousands of miles before that is reduced to nothing. One might hope to find a tire shop before then...

But then again, if a main tire hat that little tread, it would be considered dead. So following that argument, the spare has zero life.
 

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arent donoughts usually considered good for "50 miles at 50 mph" :?: :?:
 

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" arent donoughts usually considered good for "50 miles at 50 mph" "

I know for sure that's what they say about those tires that still run after a puncture. I think it applies to spare tires too though.
 

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spares should be good for considerably more mileage than that. If I had to guess it would be in the several thousand mile range (3-4 thousand miles)
 

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The user's manual (2000) doesn't give an explicit life for the spare, just that it "has a shorter tread life than a regular tire", and says to check the tread wear indicators, as with a regular tire.

It does say 50 mph limit, but mine went 150 miles or so on interstate at about 65, with no problems. Seems a bit strange to have that limit: the point is to be able to get to someplace where you can fix the flat, and if that's somewhere on I5 on a Sunday night, you have a choice between keeping up with the right-lane traffic, or getting rear-ended.
 

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I had a flat 300 miles from home one night and drove on home (keeping it between 45 and 55 on the interstate). I had no problems and the tire still could pass for new. The biggest issue is speed and heat. If the tire gets too hot, it can de-laminate. You can prevent heat buildup by keeping the pressure at the correct PSI and following the posted 50mph max speed on the tire. If you are driving a long way, its worth stopping after about 50 miles to feel the tire and make sure its not hot to the touch. Obviously, this is more of an issue in the summer than it is in the winter. The biggest problem with driving on the spare is that you don't have a spare at that point, so if you get another flat, you're stuck!
 

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An aspect of this no one has touched on yet is that tyres should be replaced when 6 years old irrespective of wear and so the spare on a 2001 car is probably past its best by a fair margin. All tyres have a date code stamped on one of the sidewalls, so it may be on the inside wall. Pre 2000 tyres have a three digit code that reads week, week, year of decade IE 337 means week 33 of 1997...and post 2000 tyres have a four digit code that reads week, week, year, year. IE 3302 means week 33 of 2002.

In the UK, this six year thing is not mandatory and we rely on all tyres failing eventualy when cracks are seen during our annual MOT test. In other countries, tyre age could be deemed to be more important so check locally or with your insurers.....

Rog
 

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Reminder to pump up your spare tire. I was poking around in the back a few days ago and took the spare out for the first time; it was at 30 PSI (should be 60)...

Also discovered that there is a LOT of space down there in the spare tire well. I think it's mostly crush space, so if you're planning to get hit from behind it might not be good to fill it with anything solid, but certainly a small set of wrenches and a flashlight and some gloves for roadside repairs (it's a Honda, what are "roadside repairs"? :) ) can fit there handily...
 

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Tire date codes

Two of my tires on the sidewall have K9901 and two have K9903. Is this the date code? I can't find any other date code, at least on the side facing out. The car is a 2001, with about 24K miles. Does this mean that the tires were manufactured in 1999? They look fine, no dry rot, cracks, etc.

Previous owner had all service done at the Honda dealer, no mention of tire replacement or rotation.
 

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Two of my tires on the sidewall have K9901 and two have K9903. Is this the date code?
The date code should be 2 digits identifying the week during which the tire was manufactured followed by 2 digits identifying the year. With only 52 weeks / year, the numbers you have included don't seem like date codes. The date code is included in the DOT identification number which looks like this.
 

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Interesting....then my are 0310.....just over two years ago......I am surprised the Honda dealer service record does not show replacing them, and that they were replaced with the correct tire.....obviously with a lifetime mpg of 19.0 the previous owner was not too interested in mileage. I am also surprised that they needed to be changed before 18K miles.
 

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Interesting....then my are 0310.....just over two years ago......I am surprised the Honda dealer service record does not show replacing them, and that they were replaced with the correct tire.....obviously with a lifetime mpg of 19.0 the previous owner was not too interested in mileage.
There's something really odd about the history of your Insight. Even commuting in an urban stop-and-go environment with the A/C always on in full automatic mode, it's difficult to understand how the lifetime mpg was only 19. The above scenario describes that experienced by my 2000 Insight before I bought it. It had a lifetime mpg of 49.

I am also surprised that they needed to be changed before 18K miles.
They might have rotted before wearing out. In April, at ~35,000 miles, I replaced the original tires on my Insight which were so rotted that chunks of rubber were breaking off the tread.
 

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Use the spare right...

From experience, it'll do at least 150 miles, about 100 of them on freeways, without any visible sign of wear.
Just used my doughnut spare on a 2001 Civic yesterday for 200 miles!

I've read of people doing long trips on highways. The key to doing this is:
- Get the spare inflated to 60 psi or at least 50 psi. I carried a spare pump, but my pressure gage only went up to 50 psi so I had to estimate the 60 psi. Good inflation is really important to this small tire and is likely the cause of most problems with them. Bicycle tire pressure gages do go up to 60 psi
- Jack up the rear tire first and put the spare tire here. Why later.
- Put the good rear tire on the front of the car. This enables better control and is easier on the transaxle and gives you a tire with a full load rating on the heavy end of the car.

My spare was rated for 1200 lbs of load so I was confident it could handle the speed better on the rear which has a total load of only about 1000 lbs plus my luggage. The spare would take less than half of that 1000 lbs due to its smaller size. I've read of these tires being 'M' rated which is 85 mph maximum speed at load.

The 'Not over 50 mph' warning has to do with abuse of the front differential. These differential gears are built for use with tires of the same size, with the spare on the differential operates continuously and builds up heat and wear. Putting the spare on the rear solves this problem unless your spare is the same diameter as a regular tire.
There is also a safety issue as the car is asymmetrically loaded with the spare's smaller size and won't behave quite as well or have balanced traction as it does with full tires on. Car makers probably have night mares of cars full of teens expecting too much of the spare. The spare is less durable for side wall protection so get your regular tire fixed reasonably soon.

With the spare well inflated and installed on the back, there should be fewer speed and distance limitations. I've read of people driving over 500 miles on them. I had a rather relaxed drive home trying to stay around 60 mph on a remote interstate highway but now know 70 would be OK with a good inflated spare on the rear wheel.

Preparation for your next flat:
Check the nuts on your wheels for correct tightness so you can get them off when you do have a flat. many service locations put them on entirely too tight.
Inflate your spare in the trunk when ever you check and inflate your regular tires or carry a hand pump and a bicycle or truck tire pressure gage.
 
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