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How Long Can You Drive On A Spare Tire

February 23, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

If you’re unsure how long you can drive on a spare tire, you’re lucky because this article will provide the necessary information.

It’s essential to understand that car manufacturers have started equipping cars with space-saver spares or “donut” spare tires as they are used infrequently. While in the past, spare tires matched the original tires on the vehicle; this is no longer the case.

It’s important to note that spare tires should not be considered permanent replacements for damaged tires. However, the type of spare tire in your car will determine how far and how long you can drive before replacing it with a new tire.

That’s why most drivers need to know how long they can drive on a spare tire.


How Long Can You Drive On A Space-Saver/Donut Spare Tire?

Manufacturers create spare or donut spare tires to save space and weight in smaller cars. However, these tires are not meant to last long. Your owner’s manual contains the manufacturer’s recommended driving time and speed for your spare tire. The general rule of thumb in the United States is to go no more than 70 miles and no faster than 50 miles per hour before replacing the donut with a new tire. Other countries may have different rules and regulations for driving.

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One of the biggest reasons why prolonged use of donut tires should be avoided is that they have little to no tread, making them more susceptible to road hazards and projectiles. Spare tires are also smaller than the other three tires, causing them to spin faster to keep up with the moving vehicle.

How Long Can You Drive On A Run-Flat Tire?

Run-flat tires have become increasingly popular among car manufacturers as they are cheaper to maintain than traditional tires. Some recent models of BMW or MINI cars come equipped with these tires, designed to be more challenging than regular tires but not meant to last as long as a full-sized spare tire.

Unlike traditional tires, run-flat tires are built to withstand punctures and other road hazards. They do not blow out and can be driven up to 50 miles after being punctured before requiring replacement. However, it can be costly to replace them, even more so than traditional tires.

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Before embarking on a long journey, it is essential to inspect your run-flat tires. This will help you detect any changes in tire pressure and fix them promptly. It will also give you an idea of how long you have before the tire needs to be replaced.

How Long Can You Drive on a Full-Size Spare Tire?

Many drivers are unaware of the lifespan of a full-size spare tire. However, it’s important to note that a full-size spare tire can be used for an extended period. Car manufacturers often install a spare tire capable of carrying a full-size spare.

A spare is included for some older vehicles, particularly trucks, SUVs, and larger vehicles. Although these tires are heavier and require more storage space, they are durable and can handle similar driving conditions as a regular tire.

If your vehicle requires a tire replacement, requesting a spare tire that can be mounted onto the original rim is essential. It’s also important to note that the same manufacturer may not produce a full-size spare tire as the other tires on your vehicle, which should be handled differently.

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Q: Can I drive 200 miles on a donut?

Donut spare tires are smaller, lighter, and have thinner tread thickness, which makes them unsuitable for extended use. Driving 200 miles on a donut is not recommended because the tire may not coordinate well with the other three wheels, leading to handling and safety issues. Drivers should also be aware of the speed limit for spare tires.

In Conclusion

Taking care of tires is crucial for safe driving. Checking tire pressure regularly is essential for both the spare and original tires. Proper maintenance ensures the tires are in good condition and reduces the risk of accidents. Drivers should always prioritize safety on the road and be proactive in maintaining their vehicles.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.