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Photo: Photo Smoothies (Shutterstock) Spare tires fall into the category of things you forget about until you desperately need them. But that’s not exactly the safest approach. Believe it or not, spare tires do expire, and require regular maintenance. In other words, if you want yours to be ready-to-go when you need it, you’re going to have to put in a little bit of effort. Here’s what to know. How long do spare tires last? The lifespan of a spare tire comes down to a few different factors, but generally speaking, full-size spares are designed to last between seven and 10 years, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA) . Not sure when your spare was manufactured? If your tires were made in the United States, find the Department of Transportation (DOT) number on the inside sidewall of the tire, near the rim. The letters “DOT” will be followed by eight to 13 letters and/or numbers—the last four digits of which are the week and year when the tire was manufactured. So, if the final four numbers are 3618, it means the tire was made on the 36th week of 2018. How to maintain a spare tire In order for a spare tire to last up to a decade, you’ll have to check on it periodically—both its condition, and the tire pressure. According to AAA, this means looking for signs of visible damage on the tire, like punctures, cracks in the sidewall, impact bulges, and dry rot (which is […]