No More Spare Tire

No more donuts, the life and death of the spare tire.

It’s true, you’ve heard the death knell, as more and more car companies are shaving weight in order to raise fuel economy the spare tire is getting the boot. In place of a spare tire, they have put in a can of tire sealant and a pump. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two.

The spare tire is, well, a spare tire. Since its early days, the automobile came with a spare tire, back then punctures from stray horseshoe nails were common, now its curbs, nails and other road hazards and debris. Should you have a blowout or sidewall damage, you’ll be able to replace the damaged tire with the spare until you are able to get it fixed or replaced. The Mini Spare or “donut” tires can be driven up to 50mph and should only be driven up to 80 miles before they are replaced with a normal tire. Most cars and some light truck tires come with this type of spare which come mounted on a rim and fit conveniently in the truck of the vehicle.

The tire sealant and inflator kit, while they will fix a majority of tire punctures, won’t fix everything. The good news, filling a tire with sealant is a much less labor intensive generally it can be much faster. The bad news, if the rim is bent, if it is a large puncture or it’s a damaged sidewall, the damage won’t be fixed by the tire sealant. Unfortunately this leaves a higher likelihood of leaving you stranded.

Is there a good fix, not really, but there are steps you can take so that your tires are prepared for whatever the road has in store. 1. Check your tire pressure, how many times have you heard this before? Without proper tire pressure your tires can’t perform the way they were designed. You’ll get less gas mileage, be more susceptible to tire damage, and your tires will wear faster and less even. 2. Know where you’re going, driving through a construction site or the set of a transformers movie, is probably going to give you a flat tire. 3. Check your tread depth, with the penny test. If you put the head of a penny into your tire tread and it passes into the hair of Lincoln, then it’s time for new tires. When your tread depth is low, you’re more susceptible to tire damage. 4. Clear out the extra weight, most of us are driving around a glorified closet, clear it out. Remember when your car was new and there was nothing in it, go back to that. All the extra weight in your car adds up to lowered fuel economy and more wear and tear on the components (more weight is more work for the breaks and the suspension).

It’s not often that you’ll have to change or fix a flat, but, having the confidence that you’ll be able to do so when the time comes time is important. Waiting for a tow truck or AAA to come and fix your tire is not only time consuming and can be a costly service. A spare tire generally weighs in around 20-30 pounds for a “donut”, translating into a few extra pennies a year in extra gas expenditures’. Any money saved will quickly be lost if you should ever have to use a towing service. The spare tire is going to become more and more absent from new vehicles; would you feel comfortable without one?

Pete’s Tire Barns Donates Soccer Balls to Iraq

Athol Daily News 3/26/2009

Pete's Tire Barns Donates Soccer Balls
DONATION APPRECIATION — The 25-person U.S. Army Military Transition Team 2nd Division, Iraqi Army, Mosul, Iraq, recently received a number of donated soccer balls from Pete’s Tire Barns Inc. in Orange to be distributed to impoverished children in Iraq. The group sent a letter of appreciation and this photo to the company in response.

ORANGE — Pete’s Tire Barns Inc. recently donated a number of soccer balls to be distributed to impoverished children in Iraq.

In response, the company has received the following letter from the U.S. Army Military Transition Team 2nd Division, Iraqi Army, Mosul, Iraq, expressing appreciation for the donation:

“On behalf of all the Griffin Team, I want to thank the owners and managers of Pete’s Tire Barn, of Orange, Mass., for your generous donation of soccer balls to the impoverished children of Iraq. My team and I are U.S. Army Soldiers stationed in Mosul, Iraq. We are a 25-person combat advisor, military transition team. I have included a picture of us. Our role is to live and work with Iraqi Soldiers in an effort to strengthen their capability to provide security for the city of Mosul, which is the third largest city in Iraq.

“In doing our mission, we leave the compound daily with the Iraqi Army and visit various neighborhoods throughout the city. Very often, we encounter hundreds of children across the city who live in poverty and have very little money, resources, shelter or equipment to organize any form of sporting event. One sport that is extremely popular is soccer. As we drive by, we see kids holding up both of their hands signaling a request for us to throw them a soccer ball. We have hundreds of Beanie Babies and other toys that we do provide to them, but many would prefer a soccer ball so they could play with each other in a team sport.

“Just after we arrived in October 2008, I was lucky to have had donated 10 soccer balls which we gave out along our routes. We were amazed at the enthusiasm and raised spirits of the kids when we threw out a soccer ball. In every case, the kids immediately started up a scratch soccer game. It was wonderful to see. I can absolutely assure you that we will distribute your donated soccer balls every day we go out. This will bring many smiles to many Iraqi kids.

“Additionally, it helps to show a good American image of giving and, I truly believe, it helps keep the Soldiers in perspective about people who have very little and keeps in check what we are here trying to do. In other words, this helps keep our Soldiers motivated in doing the right thing and working hard despite the separation from friends and family and the danger they endure every day.

“Our Soldiers are proud to help the Iraqi Soldiers learn their craft so eventually, one day, our U.S. Soldiers and civilians may return to the United States, having made a difference in bringing safety and security to the people of Iraq, so that they may live in peace and enjoy the freedoms we enjoy in the United States.

“Again, thank you very much for your generous support.

“LTC Bob Brown, Executive Officer, U.S. Army Military Transition Team 2nd Division, Iraqi Army, Mosul, Iraq.”