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Journeys : April May 2009
make a pretty decent dent in your available boot space, so the compromise has to be made to fit a smaller spare. There are obvious cost-benefits for manufacturers, who save on space-savers and generally only supply a full-sized spare at additional cost. Spaced-out O nce upon a time, a space-saver spare tyre would only be supplied with an exotic Euro sports car with sleek lines and limited storage space. But now bread and butter Australian family cars like Falcon and Commodore, allegedly designed for Australia’s vast distances and rugged landscape, also use space-savers, which are sometimes referred to as temporary- use spare tyres, or TUSTs. (Don’t motor manufacturers love their acronyms?) Granted, the Aussie TUSTs aren’t the skinny little motorbike things seen on some cars, but they are smaller than the standard road wheels so they have to be identified as space-saver spares. While Holden also used a space-saver in Commodores, from March 2009, customers can choose a full-size steel spare or a goo and compressor kit at no extra cost. As standard road wheels have increased in size to 17, 18 or even 19 inch, fitting a similar-size tyre in the boot is going to Research undertaken by the RACV found that a space-saver spare can increase stopping distances by almost 50% and reduce cornering grip by as much as 13%. While the50%increase inbrakingdistance is an extreme, it does highlight potential safety issues. Keeping control of a vehicle under emergency braking or when swerving is definitely more difficult on a space-saver. They also have a maximum speed limit of 80 km/h, with some even having maximum recommended running times. Many vehicle buyers aren’t even aware their car is fitted with a space-saver. The RACT believes it is the duty of vehicle sales-people to make owners aware the vehicle is equipped with a space- saver tyre. On the positive side, a space-saver is lighter, so there is a minor fuel-saving over the life of the car. It’s possible that a smaller spare tyre may offer improved rear-end crash protection because there’s no big lump of metal in the crumple zone that could be forced forward. Some manufacturers also claim that fitting a full- size expensive alloy wheel makes the vehicle a bigger target for theft of the spare from the boot! Darren Moody 7 18 April / May 09 Need a new car? .95 %* p.a. Comparison rate 8.29% p.a. RACT Finance: call 13 27 22 or visit ract.com.au *Conditions, fees and charges apply. Rate subject to change without notice. The interest rate above is not available in conjunction with any other offers or discounts. ^Comparison rate of 8.29% p.a. is calculated on a loan amount of $30,000 secured over a term of 5 years based on monthly repayments. This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. A comparison rate schedule is available at ract.com.au Subject to RACV lending criteria. Read us online Motor News Journeys is now available in electronic format at www.ract.com.au. If you’d prefer not to receive the printed magazine from now on, just follow the link from the home page and send us an email. You’ll be helping us save resources – and you’ll still be able to catch up on motoring, road safety and travel news every two months. The first online magazine is available to anyone visiting the website – from the June-July issue, you’ll need to log-in using your RACT membership number. Give our Realview online magazine a try – click the tabs to turn the pages, click to zoom in, drag the page to move about, click again to zoom out!
June July 2009
June July 2008