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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2008 Cabrio with original tire sizes. I'm going on a road trip soon and would feel safer if I had a spare with me.

Should I get a spare that matches the front or the rear tire sizes?

Jean
 

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a front wheel/tire will fit on the rear in an emergency.

If you are really concerned. Go to the same size wheel and tire (Rears) on all four corners and a matching spare? and if you want to save luggage space, get an add-a-spare
Home

That's what I do
 

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Be aware that putting 2 different size tires on the front/rear can affect the traction control system, or the differential (in the rear) and it will think you are continuously going around a corner.

Either way would be OK for getting to a repair facility but I wouldn't drive say 100 miles that way. there are a lot of owners that have switched to the rear rims front and back, so there are a few front tires/rims up for sale occasionally. If you decide to carry a spare, don't forget the jack and lug nut wrench to go with it. I would go with a torque wrench as a handle for the lug nut socket so you can torque the rims to the correct tightness. They can be picked up fairly inexpensively.

Or, just make sure you have tires in good shape and drive! 124,000 miles and have not needed a spare yet (probably jinxed myself now)

P.S. the only ignorant question is the one that doesn't get asked
 

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I have a 2008 Cabrio with original tire sizes. I'm going on a road trip soon and would feel safer if I had a spare with me.
Another consideration - are you still running the 6 year old OEM tires? Is your cabrio garage kept or outdoors?

Age, ozone and UV can cause the rubber to deteriorate such that a summer road trip could be the ultimate road test? Oh, and the can of flat repair under the passenger floorboard may beyond it's shelf life?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all for your replies. I was thinking of taking a spare along, strictly in case of emergency. And yes, I was already reading up on jacks and lug wrenches.

I don't know if these are the original tires or not. The car has only 50,000 miles, so they might be. I tried to look at the numbers on the sides to figure out the date of manufacture, but I can't tell which numbers I should be looking at.

As far as I can tell, they have plenty of tread left. But I'd rather be safe than sorry. (Somebody told me tires should be replaced every 7 years, regardless of mileage.)

I can't afford at the moment to buy new rims, tires, and TPMS...but figured a spare would save heartache if/when it's needed.

I actually sort of like the different tire sizes, so had not thought of converting to all one size....but I'm majorly ignorant where tires are concerned, and it would definitely make more sense to have them all the same size.

So...if I *do* get the same size tires for the front as the ones currently on the rear, I won't need to worry about clearance? I read all the stuff posted here, but most of it is Greek to me.

Jean
 

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I have 195/50/15 tires on 15x6.5 wheels all the way around. No rubbing or clearance issues. You will be fine. For the record, I got the OZ X2 wheels with tires mounted and balanced, with TPMS, shipped to my house for a grand. Well worth it.
 

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Just a thought - how will the TMPS work if you have a flat tire in back and 4 healthy tires on the ground? Seems like the system can't read 5 tires. Or will the spare even have a pressure sensor? Or does the system switch off easy enough? I've seen the button on the dash but have no idea how any of it works. I know my son has a VW Jetta that has been showing a TMPS error for quite a while but drives fine.
 

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i did 30k miles in ONE YEAR with my 05 S.MANN smart including a recent 1800 mile trip
if you feel as if you "need" a spare, get one..

if you drive normally, watch what you run over.. you may never need a spare. :>)

the question is this: when was the last time you had a flat? are you prone for running over things? are your roads littered with junk?

my last flat on any of my cars (i have 6 on the road currently) was 10 yrs ago.. nearly 300,000 miles ago...
 

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I have a spare, that matches the front tire size. I bought a cheap Pure steel wheel, from madness, mounted one of my old tires to it. I also bought a nice smart jack, and lug wrench.

Can't believe your still running the orignal tires.
 

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I've recently switch to 5.5s all around and was gonna use one of my 4.5 as a spare but what tire? You don't really want a directional tire going the wrong way. Ya most times you only go a few kms and it's no big deal but on a road trip I could go several hundred kms before I a could get to a tire shop.
 

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Just a thought - how will the TMPS work if you have a flat tire in back and 4 healthy tires on the ground? Seems like the system can't read 5 tires. Or will the spare even have a pressure sensor? Or does the system switch off easy enough? I've seen the button on the dash but have no idea how any of it works. I know my son has a VW Jetta that has been showing a TMPS error for quite a while but drives fine.
The TPMS only reads the wheels that are rolling. I've had a former front wheel as a spare (all wheels/ tires are the same on mine) and I have neglected to check the "spare's" pressure once . The TMPS didn't know the difference. As long as all your tires have sensors you would just need to press the button on the dash to reset the monitor and all should be fine.
 

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SmartCar is my first car ever w/o any spare... that fix-it flat kit is worthless... if you get flat from 3" metal blade object stuck in thread. Tire was toast, but having spare tire in back plus jack from Denver Smart Car Center saved me towing cost...
Front tire fits well behind pass. side seat on Smart and nice velcro adj. tire cover from SmartMadness ($19USD) keep things in order.
With minor mod jack from Subaru WRX works well on SmartCar and takes up little space.
 
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