How far can you drive on a temporary spare after getting a flat tire? – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-07-18 16:30:37 –


John Paul, Car Doctor at AAA Northeast, answers questions from readers who have to travel 180 miles after their daughter flattens.

Q. My daughter punctured a Volkswagen Jetta. She put on a spare tire, but now she has to drive up to 180 miles home. She knows she can’t drive a spare tire for a long time. How long can I drive with a temporary spare tire?

A. In general, driving with a temporary spare tire should be limited to 50 mph and about 50-60 mph. Temporary spare tires are designed to take you to service stations and tire stores. Depending on the condition of the tire, it may be best to replace the damaged tire with another tire on the same axle. Also, the current idea is to install the latest tires on the back of the car.

Q. My wife’s 2014 Chevrolet Captiva rear windshield washer stays on after startup and works until the reservoir is empty. After looking at the Chevy forum, public opinion is a battery harness voltage issue. Replacing the battery harness did not solve the problem. I removed the wiper system and replaced the battery. How can I solve this?

A. Yes, a common fix is ​​to replace the battery cable due to a voltage drop issue. If the voltage drop disappears and the ground circuit looks good, move on to the diagnostic test. The mechanism is as follows. When the windshield washer switch is pressed, the body control module (BCM) is grounded through the switch contacts and the windshield washer switch signal circuit, indicating a windshield wash request. The BCM then powers the relay by applying ground to the coil side of the relay via the control circuit. When the wash relay is turned on, the battery voltage from the fuse is applied to the windshield washer fluid pump control circuit via the switch side of the relay. A short circuit to ground or a short circuit to the power supply can cause problems. BCM can be a problem, but I would like to use a bidirectional scan tool to see what happens when the washer command is initiated.

Q. If the battery is dead, you will need a memory card to store the code as well as purchase a new battery. The car is a few years old, where can I get the code number? Do I need separate numbers for ignition, radio and air conditioner?

A. Some vehicles have a radio with an anti-theft cord that goes into theft mode when the battery is removed. You must enter the code to turn the radio back on. When AAA replaces the battery, use a memory saving tool to prevent this from happening. There may be some re-learning (start / stall) when it comes to driving the vehicle, but it will disappear in a few minutes. Some other vehicles require the battery to be registered using a dedicated tool for proper charging.

Q. My air conditioner came out with my 2012 Honda Accord. I was told that I needed an air conditioner compressor kit. The price range is over $ 1000. Is this rational?

A. Prices range from $ 200 at the online parts store to $ 800 from Honda, depending on where you buy the compressor. It takes about 3 hours to install the compressor and recycle / refill the refrigerant.

Q. My 2015 Toyota Tacoma V-6 Auto 4×4 has about 48,000 miles on it. How often should the transmission and differential fluid be replaced? No problem yet, but I have kept my car for a long time.

A. Technically, Toyota recommends checking the condition of the liquid and replacing it only if a problem is detected. If this is my truck and I want to keep it permanently, I will change the differential, transfer case, and transmission fluid every 60,000 miles according to the trailer towing guidelines.

John Paul is a AAA Northeast Card Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master engineer.Email your car question to [email protected] Listen to Car Doctor every Saturday at 10am on the radio at 104.9FM or online at

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