Vernon-based Kal Tire has conducted a survey on spare tires.

Vernon-based Kal Tire has conducted a survey on spare tires.

Vernon-based company surveys spare tire use

A recent Kal Tire survey shows that more than one-third of Canadian drivers had a flat tire last year.

A recent Kal Tire survey shows that more than one-third of Canadian drivers had a flat tire last year.

But how many drivers know the age or condition of their spare tire? Or if they even have a spare?

“Many people think because they’ve never used the spare or because there’s good tread depth, that their spare is in good shape,” said Carey Hull, director of retail products.

In fact, a March survey shows 92 per cent of drivers claimed their spare tire is in good enough or excellent condition, yet more than one-third also reported their spare tire is six to 10 or more years old.

“That’s about the time when you need to ensure you’re inspecting tires for age-related issues, and possibly replacing them,” said Hull.

The rubber compound of a tire can degrade over time, even if it’s never been used. Several variables can impact tire aging, from how the tire is stored and used to the weather elements it faces.

“Age and weather-related problems that could make a tire unsafe aren’t always visible. With four in 10 drivers not checking the condition of their spare in the past year, they’re risking potential tire failure should they have to use the spare tire in the event of a flat,” said Hull.

Summary of Kal Tire Spare Tire Survey Findings

n Canadian drivers rely heavily on their spare tire; 93 per cent have a spare tire and 79 per cent used it the last time they had a flat

n Thirty-five per cent of drivers experienced a flat tire in the last year — a further 29 per cent in the last two to five years

n Four in 10 (42 per cent) of drivers haven’t checked the condition of their spare tire in the past year

n Ninety-two per cent claim their spare tire is in good enough or excellent condition, yet 37 per cent report their spare tire is six to 10 or more years old

As highlighted above, Kal Tire’s survey shows a significant majority of Canadian drivers have a spare tire, even though several auto manufacturers are eliminating heavy spare tires to improve fuel efficiency. In place of spares, they’re opting for run-flat tires, sometimes complemented by emergency inflator kits and spray sealants.

“There are many things that can cause a flat tire. In some cases, the damage is not easily visible and a quick fix could result in a dangerous situation at worst or an unrepairable tire at best,” said Hull.

“We recommend no quick fixes when it comes to flat tires. Your safest option is a healthy spare.”

Vernon-based Kal Tire is Canada’s largest independent tire dealer and North America’s largest commercial tire dealer. Kal Tire’s mining tire group operates in 17 countries across five continents.