How Long Can You Drive On a Spare Tire?

Car and truck tires are designed to travel for miles of roadway, dirty roads, gravel roads, and all types of weather conditions. As your tire becomes flat, you may be frustrated with getting your vehicle back to its normal working. After changing the flat tire and installing your spare tire, you may be thinking: how long can you drive on a spare tire?

How Long Can You Drive on a Spare Tire?

If possible, you shouldn’t drive more than 50 miles with a donut or temporary spare tire. If driving more than 50 miles is absolutely necessary, then you shouldn’t drive more than 70 miles. A spare tire is not a complete tire change; it is designed to help you until you can change it appropriately.

Spare Tire

Also, do not drive faster than 80 km/h, as temporary or donut spare tires contain much less durability and traction than standard tires. In any case, you will not like to go faster or longer with a spare tire because a regular spare tire may make your car feels more like an airplane on a runway than a car on the road.

After riding on the spare tire, you should replace it with a suitable full-size tire as soon as possible to ensure your safety on the road.

Types of Spare Tires

Knowing what kind of tires you have; can help you better determine how you ride and how far you can ride. Following are the famous types of the spare tire:

  • Full-Size Spare Tire
  • Donut Spare Tire
  • Run-Flat Tire

1) Full-Size Spare Tire

Maximum car models are designed in such a way that a full-size spare tire fits on the rim. This can happen to your vehicle if you have a large car like an SUV. This spare requires more space than other types. It is also heavy. The full-size spare tires work as regular tires as long as you take care of them.

The advantage of the full-size spare is that you can use it like a normal tire and easily buy a new spare. The tire dealers have to do is mount the spare tire on the original rim and check the tire air pressure. This is the easiest and most inexpensive way to deal with a flat tire.

However, if your spare tire has not been utilized for a long period, it may differ from the other three tires on the car. Mostly, this difference may lead to drivability issues. If it doesn’t match exactly, it is recommended to buy a new tire.

2) Donut Spare Tire

The donut spare is designed to save space. These tires take less installation space than full-size spare tires. These are lighter tires. Therefore, they are also known as space-saver spare tires. 

The manufacturer’s manual contains the best advice on how fast you can go and how long you can drive on this tire. Generally, finding a store within a 70-mile radius is ideal, and you shouldn’t increase your vehicle speed to more than 50 mph.

Look at the profile of a compact tire, and you’ll quickly see why it’s unreliable. Tires with little or no tread are often more prone to punctures and damage from road debris.

3) Run-Flat Tire

Run-flat tires are becoming increasingly popular as they have less maintenance costs than other types of tires. Some MINI and BMW vehicles use run-flat tires instead of conventional tires. These tires are inherently strong, but they can’t last long.

This type of tire is designed to withstand most road hazards and is very good at withstanding punctures. One of the main advantages of these tires is that they don’t burst or go flat like other types of tires. However, you can continue driving for about 50 miles after the puncture occurs.

How to drive safely on a Spare Tire

To drive safely on your spare tire, follow these best practices:

  • Check the spare tire pressure regularly: Your spare tire may have different pressure requirements than normal tires, so it’s a good idea to make sure they are properly inflated. Even if the spare tire pressure is low, your tire will not be very helpful.
  • Be very careful when driving in bad weather: A spare tire doesn’t contain advanced treads. Therefore, it doesn’t offer as much traction as a normal tire. As a result, the part is prone to slipping and skidding (skidding on the surface of puddles).
  • Allow extra space and time for Braking: Your anti-lock brake system (ABS) warning light may start illuminating due to the use of a spare tire. Your ABS may not work efficiently in the presence of a spare. In some cars, the donut spare tires may also cause inaccurate readings of the speedometers. You can avoid being scared by braking early and keeping a good distance from other cars.
  • Replace the spare as needed: The replacement of the spare tire depends on the type of tire you have. Consult your manufacturer’s manual or check your spare for replacement frequency details. Most spare tires have a useful life of approximately 8 years.

FAQ Section

How fast can I drive on a Spare Tire?

The maximum driving speed with the spare tire is about 80 km/h. You shouldn’t drive more than 50 miles with a donut or temporary spare tire. If driving more than 50 miles is absolutely necessary, then you shouldn’t drive more than 70 miles.  

What happens if you drive fast on a spare tire?

Do not exceed 80 km/h if you have a donut spare tire. You shouldn’t drive more than 50 miles with donut spare tires. Driving long distances with a spare tire can damage other parts of the car, including the transmission.

Can I drive 60 mph on a spare tire?

Do not drive faster than 80 km/h if you have donut spares, as they have much less traction and durability than normal tires.

Can I reuse a spare tire?

Yes, you can. Remember to check your tread wear indicator and keep your spare tire properly inflated.

Can I drive 200 miles on a donut?

You should not drive 200 miles on a donut.

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