Having a flat tire is a horrible experience, but how long can you drive on a spare tire?
Well, this is a question many people ask because for a lot of them, getting their bad tire to the mechanic shop can be somewhat of a burden. Most times, the answer depends on the spare fitted on your vehicle, even if you drive at a very low speed or decrease your drive-time with the spare.
If you are using a full-size spare tire and wheel, then you are in luck. You shouldn’t have trouble using your spare, but in the case of a donut or other temporary spares, you have to run to a mechanic shop immediately.
You will get to know more about your spares as you read on.
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What Is Car Spare Tire And Donut Tire?
Spare tires are extra tires fitted in your vehicle that should be replaced if you have a flator a punctured tire. Almost all vehicles come with a wheel and a tire mounted on them, not just a tire.
Car spare tire can be used as a good replacement for your factory tire until you can repair the bad tire at your convenient time.
But some spares like donut or space-saver types are not designed to be used for a long-distance drive. Space savers shouldn’t be driven above 50 mph.
You can have any of the types of spare tires; a full-size spare or a donut spare. It all depends on your car’s model, make, and type.
- Full-Size Spare Tire Vs Donut
Full-size spare tire mostly comes with large vehicles; an SUV or a service truck, for example. Unlike the donut spares, a full-size spare is much larger, and it weighs heavier.
These are what make the replacement process a bit difficult for the owner. However, with the right tools, it should be a less difficult process.
Donut tires are also temporary spare tires, and they have a smaller size than your regular tires. These are easy to change because of their size and weight. This type of tire is made to be used for short distances only, enough to get you to a repair facility.
It is certainly not advisable to drive on a donut tire for a long time or at high speed. They can fail if not used properly.
So if you don’t use your donut spare with caution, you might end up getting a failed tire twice, which is very inconvenient.
Donuts spares have to be inspected when servicing the other tires, to ensure it has the right air pressure. Reasons because the rubber hardens with time and can blow out if the tire is aged.
Immediately putting your donut tire, you should drive straight to your mechanic to fix your original stock tires.
These are major differences between a full-size spare tire vs donut tire:
|S/N||Full-Size Spare Tire||Donut Tire|
|1.||Full-size spares can function as regular tires.||They are for emergencies only.|
|2.||Same size as your standard tire.||Smaller than regular tires.|
|2.||They can comfortably handle the weight of the vehicle.||It affects handling quality while driving since it is smaller than the other tires.|
|3.||Last longer.||It doesn’t last long.|
|4.||Weigh heavier.||Donut spare tires weigh much less than factory-fitted tires.|
|5.||These spares can be used for long distances.||Short distanceuse.|
Why You Need Spare Tires, And Can You Drive on A Flat Tire?
No one should question having a spare tire in a vehicle. It is part of the top safety rules in driving.
There is a lot of debris or sharp objects on an average road pavement, and those little metal parts, nails, or glass can punctuate your tires, making you have a flat.
Although tires have a thick design, which makes them unaffected by smaller objects, it does not mean they are puncture-proof; have that in mind.
It’s frustrating being stranded in an area due to a flat tire with no one coming to get you.
That’s why you need to have a good spare tire in your vehicle, so you don’t have to be stranded or worried anytime you have a flat tire. Worst case scenario, the spare will take you to a mechanic’s shop to get the tire fixed.
Most modern vehicles have a full-size spare somewhere around the back of the car. Other vehicles come with space tires or donut tires as temporary spares for emergencies only.
Having a flat tire is a common incident, especially when you drive in cold climate conditions or your tires are worn-out. Some flat tires are not noticeable, so you should always check your entire tires before hitting the road.
Even all of the precautions, you still have a flat tire situation, don’t panic; just pull away your car from the road and park at the nearest safe corner. Then come out and inspect the situation.
Quickly change your tire and put on a spare. Changing tires is a DIY skill every car owner should learn. It’s a very easy process, and you don’t need to call a mechanic to help you with a tire change.
If you don’t have a spare tire in your car, can you drive on a flat tire?
Don’t think of driving. You should call a tow truck to help you get your vehicle to the mechanic’s shop.
Even if the towing fee is expensive, it is much better than damaging your suspension system, which is much more expensive to repair.
However, if you really need to drive on a flat tire you shouldn’t drive more than 50 miles. Or else, you could damage the tire and other parts completely.
How Long Can I Drive on A Spare?
Most older vehicles come with spares that have the same specifications as the tires installed on the vehicle. Over time, some vehicle manufacturers don’t see the need to equip their vehicles with the same size spare due to the spares’ infrequent use.
- Full-Size Spare Tire
When you buy an SUV or pick-up truck, the vehicle will most likely come with a full-size spare. This spare requires large storage space, but they are more durable than other types of spares and won’t affect your vehicle’s driving quality.
You can request that your spare tire be put in your original rim. You have to note the spare’s air pressure to drive on it for a long period.
But since the spare is not frequently used like your other three existing tires, it might affect your wheel handling ability a little bit. We always advise that you get your original tire fixed immediately unless you have a full-size matching spare.
- Donut Tire (Space-Saver)
Donut tires are temporary spare tire to get out of a flat tire situation. With donut tires, you should be able to get to the nearest repair facility safely.
Generally, you shouldn’t drive a donut spare for more than 50 – 70 miles, and since they are smaller than the other tires in your vehicles, you shouldn’t run at speed higher than 50 mph.
Space saver tires or donut tires were primarily designed to save weight and space in your vehicle, but they are not meant to last as a main functioning tire.
Please don’t attempt to use it as a permanent replacement for your original tires.
- Run-Flat Tire
This tire type is becoming popular in the automobile industry. Run-flat tires are designed to be driven with the absence of air in them, but you can only use them for a limited distance.
They have a tough design, which makes them able to withstand road hazards, punctures included. You can find this tire in a recent MINI or BMW.
Run-flat tire can be used for more than 50 miles even after it goes flat or blow-out, but they cost a lot more than traditional tires.
How Fast Can You Drive on A Spare Tire?
How fast can you drive on a spare tire if you are curious? Well, it is mostly dependent on the type of spare tire you have. Various spares have unique specifications that demand a certain operation mode.
If you have a full-size matching spare tire, then you have no downsides. You can continue driving as you normally would until you change the spare.
You can use a full-size temporary spare this same way too, but they are designed to be used for a short time. So, you have to change this spare immediately they are used.
With a donut tire, you shouldn’t drive above 50mph. It’s a rule. Since donut spares are smaller than your standard tires, of course, it won’t be able to handle equal stress. Also, they will have to engage in more rotations to keep up with the rest tires so that you can move your vehicle. Going any faster can incur severe damages to your vehicle. When driving with a donut tire, try as much as possible to avoid freeways.
However, check your manufacturer’s guide to get the recommended speed rate to go with your attached spare tire.
How Long Does A Spare Tire Last?
How long does a spare tire last? Car owners ask this a lot, but the basic thing is that regardless of the type of spare the manufacturers placed in your vehicle, it cannot take the place of your factory-fitted original tires.
Donut tires cannot be driven for more than 50 miles per hour, anything over that will cause this spare to fail, and you shouldn’t drive on them for more than 70 miles. They have less traction than your full-size spare.
If you own a truck, you should have a full-size spare tire in your vehicle. Although this spare has longer durability than other spares and can be used normally, you still need to replace it within a short period.
This is because most spares are not made by the same manufacturer who made the tires in your car. Thus, you might experience some handling problems, which is not safe.
Run-flat tires are the toughest tires in the market, and you can run them for about 50 miles after a puncture. However, it is advisable to stop or quickly get to a mechanic shop when the tire has suffered a puncture.
Spare tires are among the simple things in a vehicle most people don’t regard until they need them. However, if you need more info on anything spares, we will gladly help you out.