How to Fill a Spare Tire

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It's easy to forget about maintaining your spare tire, considering you'll rarely need to use it and most modern cars have it hidden away in the trunk. However, if you get a flat tire while driving, a spare tire is only going to be of use if it's properly inflated. That's why it's a good idea to routinely check the tire pressure in your spare to be sure you're prepared in case of a roadside emergency.

Things You'll Need

  • Air compressor
  • Pressure gauge
  • Drive to a gas station that has an air compressor if you do not have one at home. While most air compressors at gas stations charge a fee, if you buy some gas, you can usually get the attendant to turn it on for you for free.

  • Remove the spare tire from the vehicle if it is not currently in use. Most spare tires are located in the trunk. If you cannot find yours, consult your owner's manual for the specific location.

  • Remove the rubber stem cap on the valve of the spare tire. Put the cap in your pocket so you don't lose it.

  • Press the fitting on the end of the air hose onto the tire's valve. If the air hose as a lever depress it to start the flow of air. If there is no lever, the air flow into the tire will start once you press down on the fitting on top of the valve.

  • Remove the air hose and use the tire pressure gauge to check the pressure. If more air is needed, reattach the air hose, fill the tire with more air and then check the pressure again. Repeat this process until the tire reaches the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure.

  • Place the rubber stem cap on the valve and scew it back onto the tire.

  • Place the spare tire back in the vehicle if it is not currently in use.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are unsure of what pressure your spare tire should be inflated to, check the side wall of the tire. There will be a variety of information on there, including the recommended tire pressure.
  • You can slightly overinflate a tire by a few pounds, because it will gradually lose pressure over time, but you should never excessively overinflate a tire. Doing so can cause the tire to explode and cause serious damage to the vehicle or people in close proximity. If you accidentally overfill the tire, you can release some of the air by using one of your car keys to press the needle in the middle of the tire valve.

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