How Long Can You Drive On A Spare Tire?

We don’t pay much attention to the spare tires we have in the dark corners of our trunks or the back of our cars unless we meet problems and need them. They can surely save the day. However, we need to understand that using these spare tires are not made for extended service.

They don’t have a tread belt to protect it from the bumps and surface imperfections you meet on the road, and the carcass of the tire is not reinforced. Some things need to put into consideration.


How Long Can I Use My Spare Tire?

In determining how long your spare type can last, you also need to know if what type of spare tire you have. Tires that most of the vehicles in the market have are not spare tire but mere temporary tire or what we call “donut.” What’s the difference? The purpose of donut tire is to get you to your house or to the shop to replace your damaged tire. The actual spare tire is less efficient yet more capable that these “donuts.”

There are two things which you need to consider: providing the right amount of speed and air pressure to whatever kind of tires you are using.

The Right Amount of Speed

As what I mentioned, your spare tire is not as efficient as your traditional tire. It is not supposed to be used just like a full tire.

The Right Air Pressure

Knowing the right amount of air pressure for your spare time is not that easy. it is also advised to check your air pressure occasionally to make sure it still have the right amount of air pressure in it.

3 Kinds Of Spare Tires

1. Donuts/Temporary Spares

For the rule of thumb, seventy miles is recommended, and it is the maximum capacity of the donut tire. Driving it for a long period under regular driving conditions will blow out the tire.There is a need to keep your speed within the range of 50 MPH below. This also means that you can’t drive on a highway using the spare tire since driving on a highway requires you to drive 50 MPH above.

You need to check the manual because sometimes the pressure varies on what type of vehicle you have. But generally, it is advised to inflate your spare tire at 60 PSI.

2. Full-Sized Spares

Full-size spares are the same as the conventional tires you have in your vehicle. They come in a matching and non-matching varieties. Matching varieties do match the structure and are completely identical to the rest of the wheels, while non-matching varieties are lighter than the conventional ones you have. However, the latter is easier to install and improves fuel economy.

They are the heaviest and the biggest compare to the two types of tires. However, the great advantage is that among them, it is the full-size spares that are most efficient, almost no difference or loss to the normal performance of the vehicle.

3. Run-Flat Tires


This kind of tires typically has reinforced sidewalls that enable them to work with little or no tire pressure. Once it is punctured and has lost its air pressure, the vehicle’s TPMS will notify you that the tire is already below spec and it is in a run-flat mode.The advised speed is under 50 MPH. However, you can still use these tires up to 50 miles.

The problem with this type of tire is that not every tire shop carries run-flat tires because this kind of tire is the most modern of the three types. This could be a problem with the drivers.

Other Questions Asked:

Do they Affect the Braking/System?

Because it is not as efficient, you may notice some poor braking characteristics when using the tire. This is because donut tires have smaller footprints compare to the conventional tires you use. This results in a diminished braking handling that can affect your whole drive experience. You may also notice that there is an occasion vehicle dips to the side where the donut is placed.

Why are they put?

The sole of purpose of these tires is to get you to the shop for tire replacement as well as for the sake of cost and space cutting measures. Practically, donuts do not take too much space in your vehicle space and are cheap to manufacture compare to the full-size conventional wheels. It benefits the consumer than the wheel producer.

After Using A Donut Tire, Can I Still Put A Full – Sized Spare Tire?

The answer for this is YES. The problem is, full-sized spare tires are heavier and larger than donuts. A few years ago, cars had these full-sized spare tires. However, they were removed to create smaller cars. What makes it worse is that most of the new cars stopped opting out for these donuts and going to the newly created run-flat tires.

So, next time, when you encounter a problem, whether it is a full size, donuts or run-flat tires, you know that how it lasts depends on the vehicle itself. Among the two, full-size tires are as efficient as the original while donuts and run-flat are just made to get to shops to be replaced. No matter what, conventional tires are the best among the rest!

Do you like the article? Don’t forget to leave a comment below and tell us what you think, or share this with your family and friends!

Your content here...

About the Author Chris Lawrence

Leave a Comment: