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2002 STS
2002 STS w/ F55
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The doughnut spare tires begin to deteriorate after 10 years even if they have never been used. This occurs because they are exposed to the heat of a trunk year after year. The tread will begin to separate and if you ever have to use it, will immediately blow out ruining your day.

In my case, the tread had separated for about 1' of tread area making it impossible to remove from the spare tire compartment without deflating the tire. I was lucky to discover the defect without having a roadside "experience".

I checked with the tire store gurus and they verified that about 10 years is the life for one of those doughnut spares even if they aren't used.

The bad news is that regardless of the manufacturer, these doughnut tires are poorly made and not cheap to replace. It's especially painful to pay out money (approx.$100) for a new doughnut tire that you probably will never use.

I went on Craigslist and placed a Wanted to Buy ad in the car parts section. GM used the same wheel (the part number is stamped on the inside of the rim) for many of their cars, so you are likely to find a wheel and tire combo that will work exactly for $15-$20. Just buy it, remove your old wheel and tire and place it in the spare tire compartment. The combo I bought was $20.

I'll just replace the doughnut tire and wheel every few years. Hopefully, I'll never have to use the spare; But if I do need it, it shouldn't blow out within 1/2 mile after I put it on the car.
 

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98 DeVille, 97 DeVille d'Elegance
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7,345 Posts
Couldn't agree more, my spare self destructed in the trunk last year. My Park Ave spare wasn't 5 years old and lasted almost 2 miles... I put full size spares in all my cars now. I wasn't able to find a replacement for a good price so I bought a scratched rim for next to nothing and put an old good tire on it. We travel overnight long distances and I'm not taking any chances myself. AAA is good and well, but 3 am and waiting along I-77 in the mountains requires a spare you can rely upon. Good reminder for everyone to check their spares...
 

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1997 Cadillac STS (Diamond White on Medici Red, Z-rated)
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103 Posts
I ditched the spare and jack from the trunk and have them put away in the house. Generally speaking, less weight should theoretically improve performance and gas mileage, probably not to the extent I'd ever notice though. Besides, if I ever do get a puncture, I'm not going to drive anywhere on that little donut, I'll call the flatbed :)
 

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2003 Cadillac Seville SLS
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1,299 Posts
I ditched the spare and jack from the trunk and have them put away in the house. Generally speaking, less weight should theoretically improve performance and gas mileage, probably not to the extent I'd ever notice though. Besides, if I ever do get a puncture, I'm not going to drive anywhere on that little donut, I'll call the flatbed :)
Yea same here i'm not going to put a spare on if i do get a flat. I'll just take the wheel off leave the jack under the car while i get a new tire. But that's just me so....
 

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98 DeVille, 97 DeVille d'Elegance
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7,345 Posts
Yea same here i'm not going to put a spare on if i do get a flat. I'll just take the wheel off leave the jack under the car while i get a new tire. But that's just me so....
If you're in a Van Down By The River you don't need a spare do you?? :D

Yea I never ran a spare when I was younger either, single, lived in the city, sports car... ahh the good ol days.
 

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2003 Cadillac Seville SLS
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1,299 Posts
If you're in a Van Down By The River you don't need a spare do you?? :D

Yea I never ran a spare when I was younger either, single, lived in the city, sports car... ahh the good ol days.
My van sits on bricks :D But no the last spare i put on a car made it 1 mile before blowing up! So that's why i would rather tow it or place a jack under the car while i'm getting a new tire. Plus no spare means less pounds! :sneaky:
 

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2003 STS w/BoseNav, 1993 Deville, 1985 Deville
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1,089 Posts
I don't think a full-size spare would fit in the in the trunk well of my 03 STS. Would be nice if it did. They made it big enough only for the doughnut.
 

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2000 STS, W/Nav
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562 Posts
I don't think a full-size spare would fit in the in the trunk well of my 03 STS. Would be nice if it did. They made it big enough only for the doughnut.
I think it was an option with a larger cover for the full sized spare
 

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2002 STS
2002 STS w/ F55
Joined
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I wasn't aware of the option of a larger cover that allowed use of a full-sized spare in the spare tire well. I have a mounted full sized spare/wheel in the car barn and I'll see how far it extends up from the spare tire well and report back.

Not carrying a spare but carrying a jack then jacking up a car and leaving it while you take the wheel with the flat to a tire store assuming that they will have the exact tire that will match your other three tires in stock is probably a stretch at best. If they don't have the correct tire in stock, will they mount a suitable tire so you can retrieve your car while ordering a matching tire for you and then take the non-matching tire back after a few days?If they will do that, it won't be for free. Let's review the savings and the potential costs:
1) You'll save some gas because of less weight in trunk. Estimating at $10/year savings.
2) You'll have the cost of 2 mounts/dismounts at a minimum or worst case the cost of a non-matching tire. (-$20 to - $100++)
3) You'll hear about the perils of owning an old Cadillac from the person providing you transport to the tire store, etc. (priceless!)

Of course, if you never have a flat, you are $10 ahead. Wow! Paying $20 for a spare wheel/tire seems like a good deal to me.
 

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98 DeVille, 97 DeVille d'Elegance
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7,345 Posts
it would be nice if a cover was available for any model, I'm sure I could adapt it to work on mine. Didn't even consider it available or would have figured it out.
 

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2000 STS, W/Nav
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562 Posts
In the collision catalog it has a Spare wheel & hardware "compact" and a spare wheel & hardware "full size" the cover for the compact is 25681963 and the cover for the full size is 25669503
 
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