A Stepney tyre is a term used to refer to a spare tyre. Its exact origin is not known but many guess that it is derived from the place in the United Kingdom called Stepney, where it was first invented. It is nowadays only heard in the Indian sub-continent.
A Spare tyre is most commonly designed to be a short-term solution to a puncture. It provides just enough to reach the garage and get it fixed. Most of the cars do not have a replacement tyre these days. But it is highly advisable though to have one.
How far can you go with a spare tyre?
How far you can run on a Spare depends on the type. If it is same as your other tyres you can run for as long as you like. But for temporary smaller types, 5 km is advised before you must change it back without incurring a safety risk and it is recommended to not drive fast above 80km/h of speed. You can also go on the motorway with a Spare Tyre. But it is warned by the manufactures to not drive these on bumpy off-road conditions.
What are the types of Spare tyres?
The various types of Spare tyres are,
- Full-size matching: This is of the exact same specifications of the other four. Hence it is crucial that they are also rotated with the others. While being a very safe and comfortable option the drawback is that it occupies a lot of space.
- Full-size non-matching: This may vary in specifications. It must only be used as a short-term solution. Plus it also takes up a lot of room.
- Full size temporary: This is a slightly less costly option due to the tyre not having enough treading as well as being made of a lighter material.
- Compact temporary: A compact version of the previous option, this has the advantage of not taking a room or adding weight. It has to be filled to almost double usual pressure levels and can deter traction and braking (ABS function)
- Folding temporary: This can be inflated and collapsed on demand. Though a viable option for vehicles with no extra room, it is an improvised solution and must be changed back to normal tyre as soon as possible.
Why is there no spare wheel with new cars?
In India, It is not illegal to drive without a spare tyre. Also, there is no legal requirement that new cars have to be equipped with a Stepney so dealers are under no legal obligation to provide this during purchase. It is quite common too for the customer to overlook this fact completely in the excitement of a purchase of a new car.
Sometimes in the absence of a spare tyre, the dealer might furnish a small repair kit with a sealing agent and air pump. This is not advisable in any way and the customer must always insist on a replacement tyre.
Can you use a spare tyre from a different car?
Spare tyres are small as they are designed to take up less space. They are intended specifically for different vehicle designs so depending on the type of vehicle, size may vary. It is advisable to refrain from using from another car unless it has the same design and specifications mentioned.
Using a Stepney which does not have all the design aspects necessary can hinder functionality and even decrease safety. At crucial times, you can use a different size replacement tyre but they must be swapped back as quick as possible. It is meant only as a quick-fix.
Which way do you put on a spare tyre?
Spare tyre must be fitted according to the user manual. You should not put a spare tyre on the front of a car. This is because in addition to the car has most of its bulk in the front, most braking and steering function is controlled from here.
It is smarter to learn the method beforehand to prevent punctures from escalating to emergencies. On an average, it takes three-quarters of an hour to change a temporary tyre on a car. For a seasoned expert, it can take as less as fifteen minutes.
How much should you inflate a spare tyre?
For a compact Stepney, you should inflate a spare tyre up to 60 PSI before using. In case it is a full-size type it must be filled the same recommended pressure as the others.
Spare tyres also have a sensor. If it is close enough the TPMS sensor of the car will pick up their pressure on the Stepney as well as the others. This sensor works on radio frequency and hence does not require contact.
How much does it cost to buy a spare tyre in India?
The Stepney price is lower and depends on the brand. If you choose to buy a matching spare tyre, it will cost the same as your regular ones.
Bridgestone TRR and Tracompa come at a price of Rs 4000 to 6000 per unit. Goodyear Convenience & Radial replacement tyres will set you back from Rs 3500 to Rs. 5000.
CST 17 of Continental brand costs around Rs 6000. Prices for the Space Miser from Dunlop costs around Rs 6500. Yokohama Y870B and Y870C come within a range of Rs 4000 to 7000.