A tire cover is an accessory or add-on that is used to cover a spare wheel. Normally, it’s used on spare wheels mounted onto the rear of the car or onto the door of the trunk. You may spot one with something funny written on it from time to time.
If you park your car under the sun regularly, you could be exposing your spare wheel to ultraviolet rays. While these have little to no effect on your other tires and wheels, they will definitely cause some damage to the spare tire. The tire does not rotate. This means that it’s exposed at the same spot every single time you park under the sun.
The rubber that makes up automotive tires reacts with the atmosphere and other external elements. This causes it to become brittle and dry up. It eventually cracks, showing signs of tear. Most tire manufacturers prevent this by blending the rubber with waxes.
This slows down the ozone degradation. However, it only happens if the tire is flexed and rotated often. It allows the waxes to rise to the surface to offer the much-needed protection. Since the spare tire is stationary, it does not get to benefit from this. Chromed, polished, and painted wheels suffer too. The sunlight can degrade and bleach the paint. This could lead to uneven discoloration especially if the degradation only occurs at a certain angle.
Authorities that specialize in auto theft and burglary say that concealing an item of value provides about 50 percent of the effort required to battle or prevent theft. Modern cars are becoming harder to steal and break into. Thieves have opted for easier mechanisms such as stealing externally-mounted spare tires. Such spares can be loosened and removed in a fraction of the time it takes to break into a car.
Spare tires rarely ever touch the road. They are normally new and free of any stone hits, corrosion, pothole bends, and curb rashes. They maintain much of their value until they are used. They are also quick to sell when compared to the entire car.
By covering your tire, you reduce the chances of it becoming an easy target in a parking garage, parking lot or any open area. In addition, some covers feature unique locking mechanisms that are difficult to break. This will deter the thief who may opt for an easier target.
Tire covers are available in two types: soft and hard covers.
Soft covers are made of vinyl. They cover the tire from the front and are tightened using an elastic rope or cord. Higher quality types include felt pad on the inside for additional protection. Most fabrics used are weather- and UV-resistant. They are also available in several colors and designs which could easily be matched with your vehicle. Soft covers are, however, less durable when compared to hard covers. They also fade much quicker.
Hard covers are made of hard material like molded plastic of stainless steel. They feature two parts: a front faceplate that covers the tire and a wrapping ring that goes around the tire to lock it in place using a latch or clasp. These provide the highest security and feature sleek designs.
Soft spare tire covers are mostly made of vinyl or soft rubber. Hard tire covers are made of either plastic or steel. These materials are designed to be weather-resistant and to reflect extra heat and sunlight.
Choosing the right size of tire cover starts by first knowing the size of your spare tire. Begin by measuring the tire height or diameter. Pick a tape measure and measure the distance between the bottom and top parts of your tire. This will give you a rough estimate of the size of tire cover you need.
A typical soft cover features an elastic band stitched into its hem. A string could be added to provide further tightening. Hard covers feature more secure latches or clasps made of either metal or highly-durable plastic.
Customizing the Tire Cover for Finished and Complementary Look
In addition to providing security for your spare tire, tire covers can help complement the look of your car. There are multiple colors and styles available on the market today. These can be easily matched with your car’s exterior color.
If you’d like to make a statement, hard shell covers with the British Union Jack or American flag designs could be a great option. Others have stylish patterns with mixed colors. Whether you’re into wildlife, the military, stars, vacation spots, or zebras; there’s something for everyone.
While anything that is waterproof, weather-resistant, UV-resistant and durable works; vinyl is a great choice for soft cover fabric. It’s a great material that has been used for years to make spare tire covers all over the world.
Hard shell covers are made up of two parts, a faceplate and an outer ring. Let the ring surround the tire before fixing the faceplate into place. Secure the two pieces and lock them together using a latch or clasp. This ensures that you have a secure fit.