All the drivers fear getting a flat tire and pray that the incident never happens to them or their car. However, a smart driver must be prepared for the same under all circumstances. Fortunately, most cars nowadays come with a spare tire. But, the real question is, how many miles can one go with a spare tire?
Earlier in older car models, they came with a spare tire of the same size. But, as time passed, the manufacturers realized that the spare tire is used lesser than the other tires. So, they decided that new cars should not come with a normal-sized spare tire.
The new car models come with a smaller sized spare, also called a donut, in place of a normal-sized spare. As the spare is not a normal-sized tire, it gives rise to the question that how long can one drive with a spare tire?
Now, some factors allow how long you can drive with the spare tire to the nearest repair shop or before changing it. Read on to know more about how long you can drive with the spare tire. The first factor that one needs to consider when asking the question is the size of the tire.
In short, you should only drive up 70 miles on a space-saver tire (Donut) since they are designed to help you reach the nearest mechanic/store when you have a tire puncture. However, regular spare tires that come with older model vehicles have no distance limit.
How long can you go with a Space Saver Tire?
When you are replacing a flat tire and notice that the spare is smaller than the regular tire, it’s a donut tire or space-saver tire. A space-saver tire is specially designed to reduce weight and save space in the vehicle.
These tires give the manufacturers the freedom to build a smaller and smarter car. But, the tires are not durable and cannot be used as regular tires. The owner manual that you get with the car, mentions all about the things you need to keep in mind when using a donut tire.
Sometimes, the rules to be followed with a particular donut tire are also written on the tire itself. Two of the most crucial things to keep in mind when using a space-saver tire are the driving speed and the duration of use. While using a space-saver tire keep in mind that
- You don’t drive over the speed of 50 miles per hour
- You should not drive more than 70 miles in a space-saver tire.
- The donut tire has less traction and friction than the regular tires
Can I use the donut tire as a regular tire?
There are quite a few reasons why donut tires or space-saver tires cannot be used as regular tires. They are listed below.
- As the donut or the space-saver tires are smaller in size, they have less or no friction or tread. These make the tires more prone to accidents and road hazards.
- Due to the small size of the donut or the space-saver tires, they need to spin a lot faster to keep up with the pace of the three regular tires. So, these tires experience more wear and tear.
For the things listed above, you need to find a repair store as soon as you start driving with a donut spare tire or a space-saver spare tire. Also, the space-saver spare tire or donut tire should be used in the car to get to the nearest repair shop. All in all, the donut tires make the vehicle less safe and unbalanced.
How long can you drive with a full-sized spare?
For several years, vehicles came with full-size spare tire wells. The full-size spare tire wells indicate that the vehicles came with full-size spare tires. These tires are nothing but an identical replacement to the regular tires for the car.
If you have older car models, you must have a full-size spare tire. Additionally, some of the newer models also come with regular-size spare tires.
The new trucks or SUVs also have a full-size spare tire as the replacement for a flat tire. You still have to get the tire repaired as soon as you can for the full-size spare tires, but these spare tires are much more durable than the donut spare tire. Hence, the full-size spare tires have more longevity than the space-saver spare tires.
There is no particular speed limit that needs to be maintained with the regular-sized spare tires. With full-size spare tires, there are some disadvantages of them too.
Firstly, they are not made with the same material as the regular tires or they are not from the same manufacturers as the regular tires. So, the handling capability of the spares is lesser than the regular tires. Secondly, the friction and traction are much less than the regular tires.
Also, the spare tires are used infrequently than the regular ones. Therefore, the tread wear of the spare tires is not like the usual tires. Lastly, the full-size spares are heavier and need a larger space for storage than the donut spare tires.
Conclusion on How Long Can You Drive on a Spare Tire
The bottom line is that the spare tire cannot be used as a permanent replacement for the regular tires. Whenever you are driving on a spare tire, you need to look for a repair shop as soon as possible. We have tried to list everything that you need to know about the spare tires in this article. If you have any more suggestions or questions regarding the things written above, do mention them in the comments section below.
Robert Anderson is a world class motorhead who rebuilt his first carb at age 10, his first engine at age 15, and completed his first full hotrod build when he was just 18! Previously, he has ran a part warehouse, delivered pizzas, and managed the service department for a $20 million/year revenue dealership. Robert knows cars like few others and he is passionate about sharing his knowledge.