How Long Can You Drive On a Spare Tire

how to put on a spare tire

Drive on a Spare Tire?

There are two things to consider when determining how long you can drive on a temporary spare tire. Those factors are distance and speed. You Should NOT drive on a donut for more than 50-70 miles. However, you can stretch this range to 90 miles or so if absolutely needed.

Extra mileage is not a good idea, these tires are temporary for a reason. You should not attempt to drive long distances on these tires. Temporary spare tires come with such little tread to begin with.

You don’t patch a spare tire for the same reason you don’t patch a solo cup. It’s temporary cheap junk.

Temporary spare tires are not designed to take on poor road conditions. They won’t be the same as a normal tire. So, any bump, projectile, or road hazard could cause your donut tire to blow out.

You can use a spare tire more than once. Just remember to check the tires wear conditions and PSI before using. If the tire does not pass the safety check, you should not use the spare tire. This means you need to buy a new tire.

how long can you drive on a spare tire
Spare Tire and Jack

What PSI Should a Donut Be 

Understanding what PSI your tire should be at is critical to the safety of you, your car, and your passengers. A tire should be replaced, with a donut, when one of your tires blows out or goes flat.

A donut spare tire should have a pressure of 60 pounds per square inch (PSI). HOWEVER, you should always check your vehicle’s manual to find the correct pressure for your spare tire. Before you put your spare tire on your car or truck, there are a few things you need to check.

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Digital Tire Pressure Gauge

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First and foremost, check your donuts air pressure. If your temporary spare tire is under inflated it is important to pump more air into it before driving off. It is important to keep a portable tire inflator in your vehicle’s trunk or car storage areas at all times in case of emergencies.

Another important safety factor that you need to take into consideration when replacing your tire with your temporary spare, is your other tires sizes. If your tires are not factory or stock, your donut tire may not allow your car to ride properly if installed with your new aftermarket wheels. It is always best practice to get a new spare tire if you upgrade your wheels.

How Fast Can You Drive on a Spare Tire

The second factor of safety to take into consideration when replacing a flat tire is the speed your spare tire can handle. How fast you drive on a temporary spare tire depends on your particular spare tire’s ratings. As a general rule of thumb you should never travel over 50 miles per hour (MPH) on your donut tire. It is best to avoid the freeway, to keep your speed down. Traveling at a speed greater than 50 MPH could cause further damage to your car or truck.

Life is fast. Are you living for what matters?

When regarding load capacity, speed capability, or all-weather traction, temporary tires are NOT designed the same as a normal tire. It is very important to check your vehicle’s owner’s manual and/or the temporary spare’s sidewall for instructions on proper use. This simple preventative measure could prevent a wreck, severe injury, or even death.

Your vehicles braking, handling, and cornering characteristics are going to decrease when driving on a donut tire. The donut tire will decrease your vehicle’s braking and handling due to that fact that it is smaller in size when compared to your other tires.

Additionally, your vehicle leans to or dips in the direction that the donut tire is. With this in mind, your vehicle will tend to pull where the spare tire is located. It is super important to understand what driving on a donut is going to feel/be like before taking off.

How Much is a Spare Tire

When looking to purchase a spare tire, it is important to know the difference between a spare tire and a donut tire/temporary spare tire.

A spare tire is a tire that is identical to the tires that are currently on your vehicle. This means that, that spare tire has the same load capacity, speed capability, or all-weather traction. These spare tires are typically on trucks, jeeps, or larger vehicles.

Unlike a spare tire, God is not a back up plan.

A temporary spare tire, aka a donut tire, is a smaller tire. A temporary spare tire provides you with short or temporary means of transportation. These types of tires are usually on/in cars or smaller vehicles.

Now that you know the difference, it’s important to know where to buy the best and cheapest donut or spare tire(s). The answer is, some donut tires can be bought online for as low as $40. These tires are far more expensive at a tire retailer or mechanic shop. Where a spare tire can range dramatically is when it comes to the size and brand.

Can You Fix a Spare Tire?

A temporary spare tire can not be fixed or patched and is meant for limited use. The rubber simply isn’t thick enough to hold a plug reliably.

These tires have no belt and little to no tread. Most importantly, these tires are not reinforced. This means that these tires are already “fragile”. Drive on these tires with caution.

The temporary spare tire is simply made to get you to the repair facility you had your new tires shipped to. Find the right tires to ship to your local dealer

Symptoms of Spare Tires

There aren’t specifically symptoms of a spare tire, more so, there are signs that you need to put on your spare tire. Signs you need to put on your spare tire:

  • Flat tire
  • Leaking tire
  • Bouncing/rough ride
  • Loss of control
  • Sliding vehicle