Frequently asked a question: how far should you drive on a spare tire?

A spare tire in today’s world is a must-have in each automobile owner’s toolkit. If you’ve ever had a flat tire, you know how arduous it can be to get your vehicle back up and running. It disrupts your trip and costs time and money to change a flat tire.

Just shove that donut right in, and you’re ready to go again! Driving on a spare tire, however, is a temporary option. You may experience various issues on the road if you wait too long to replace your spare tire with a long-term solution.

What should you do when you have a spare tire?

If you experience a flat tire, you should first pull over to the roadside if it’s safe. Turn on your hazard lights and call for help. If it is not safe to stop on the side of the road, find a safe place first. Then park your car and call for help. 

It’s important to remember that driving on a flat tire is dangerous and may cause long-lasting harm to your car. Besides, it increases the chances of an accident or collision. So, it is crucial to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Types of Spare Tires

There are various spare tires available, but your choice largely depends on the car you drive.

  • Compact Temporary Spare

Small to midsize cars often use temporary compact spares called donut tires. These small tires usually fit in the trunk of your vehicle and are easy to replace when needed. They differ from regular tires in their shape as well as their size. Most tires usually pressure at around 35 pounds per square inch [PSI] for smaller vehicles. However, donut tires are often inflated at around 60 PSI.

  • Full-Size Matching Spare

Larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks are often equipped with full-sized spare tires capable of supporting the vehicle’s entire weight. Full-size spares are often of higher quality than donut spares. Nonetheless, you should still replace them as soon as possible. These spares are frequently less durable and may have narrower wheels than the original tires.

Also, they may not be manufactured by the same maker as your other tires. Having a full-size matching spare tire maintains the look of your car and eliminates the need to rush to a repair shop or dealer in the case of a tire failure. However, it requires more storage space compared to the temporary compact spares.

What Are Run-Flat Tires?

Run-flat tires are tires that are driven for limited distances after being punctured. They can maintain pressure even after a puncture. They are designed to provide the driver with enough time to safely reach a destination, such as a garage or service station, and have the tire repaired or replaced. Like a spare tire, you shouldn’t stretch the limits of a run-flat-tire.

How Fast Can One Drive On A Spare Tire?

When attempting to address this issue, numerous elements come into play, such as the size of the spare tire, the kind of vehicle, and others. All spare tires are graded differently and are labeled with their speed on the side. Generally, the speed limit for driving on a spare tire is 50 mph.

How Long Can One Go On A Spare Tire?

A spare tire is a temporary replacement for a flat or damaged tire. It is not intended to be used for long distances. The type and quality of your spare tire determine how far you can drive on it. For example, if you’re traveling a long distance, a donut spare tire is more likely to break down due to its lower durability. It is, however, recommended that you don’t exceed 70 miles on a spare tire.

Safety Tips On Using A Spare Tire

Regardless of what size your spare tire is, you should take the following steps when driving:

  • Watch your distance

Using a spare tire may activate your vehicle’s anti-lock braking system [ABS] light or cause it to fail. Maintaining distance between you and other motorists allows extra space and braking time. Similarly, a donut spare may create inconsistencies in the speedometers of some vehicles. Avoiding unpleasant surprises can be as simple as braking early and allowing enough space between yourself and other vehicles.

  • Be cautious

Be especially cautious when driving in poor weather. Spare tires do not have enhanced treads and cannot provide the traction that regular tires do. As a result, spares are more prone to skidding. Keep tabs on your speed, and ensure you maintain state recommendations for speed and driving distance.

  • Regular Examination

Regular inspection is required to ensure your safety and convenience during emergencies. For instance, spare tires frequently require different inflation pressures than regular tires; therefore, it’s essential to check them for adequate inflation.

Getting a Spare Tire

There is no legal duty for car manufacturers to provide you with a spare tire. You should get one for yourself. When shopping for a spare tire, keep the following factors in mind:

  • Storage Space: Before purchasing a spare, it is wise to examine the space in your boot. Some smaller vehicles may only have enough space for a temporary compact spare instead of a full-size spare.
  • Toolkit: It is one thing to have a spare and another to have the appropriate tool to install it when needed. Tools like a jack come in handy; hence, consider getting one.

The Takeaway

Nobody likes getting a flat tire, but even the most cautious drivers can never rule it out completely. And that’s why you need spares. Spare tires are fantastic and usually effective in emergencies. However, they are not designed to be utilized for lengthy periods or over long distances.

A spare tire

Contact Us

Do you need assistance selecting the best products for your vehicle? We have a dedicated team of experts who are available to assist you. We are located at 44297 Pawnee Ter, Ashburn, VA 20147. For more inquiries, call our hotline at 703-817-5047, or reach us via email at