How Long Can You Drive on a Spare Tire?

Flat Tire

“How long can I drive on a spare?” is a question we get a little too often at the Sam Leman Automotive Group service centers. If you’re asking how long you can drive on a spare tire, you’ve likely already been driving on it too long — it is important to change your spare tire as soon as possible, no matter what type of spare you have. If you can’t make it in for a new tire, though, a full-size spare is ideal. How long can you drive on a spare tire? Most space saver — or “donut” — spare tires are good for no more than 70 miles.

Space-Saver (Donut) Spare Tire

If you attempt to replace a flat tire and notice that the spare you have is smaller than the rest of your tires, you have a space-saver spare. These are also known as “donut” spare tires. While many new cars are outfitted with this convenient accessory, there are a few things all drivers in the Central Illinois area should know before use. Here are some popular questions and answers relating to tire care:

  • Q: How fast can you drive on a spare tire? A: Space-saver spares cannot be driven over 50 miles per hour
  • Q: How long can you drive on a spare tire? A: They shouldn’t be driven on for more than 70 miles
  • Q: Are spare tires different from full-size spares? A: They have less traction than with a full-size spare

There may also be additional restrictions for your specific “donut” tire. Usually, you will find that information right on the tire itself. Because of its use restrictions, it is important to bring your vehicle to a service center right away so you can continue to drive safely around town.

 Car Jacked Up Changing Tire

Full-Size Spare

If you drive a truck or SUV, it is possible that you could have a full-size spare tire. While you will still want to have this type of spare replaced as soon as possible, it does have a longer lifespan than a space-saver spare tire.

The main issue with this variety of spare tire is that it is usually not produced by the same manufacturer as the rest of the tires on your vehicle. Because of this, there could be decreased traction and handling capability. Another problem is that it is brand new, so the tread wear will not be the same as your other tires. How fast can you drive on a spare tire of this type? You can use it as you would a normal tire, but you’ll still want to consider a switch.

At Sam Leman Automotive Group our experts can help you find the right tires for your particular make and model.

What is a Run-Flat Tire?

Run-flat tires can maintain pressure even after a puncture. While there are benefits to run-flat tires, there are also a few issues to keep in mind:

  • Remains inflated for about 50 miles following a puncture
  • Tougher than a space-saver tire or full-size spare
  • Often costs more than a standard tire

If you have run-flat tires and your tire pressure monitor shows that it’s running low, it is a good idea to stop when safe to see if your tire has suffered a puncture. If so, it is a sign that your vehicle should be brought to a service center. The tire will need to be repaired or replaced.

Importance of Tire Care

If you’re asking, “How long can I drive on a spare tire?” or “How fast can you drive on a spare tire?” chances are you’re in a bit of an automotive pickle. As mentioned, driving on a spare tire isn’t ideal, so you’ll want to remedy the situation as soon as possible. Even if you’re not driving on a spare tire, keeping up with regular tire care is essential. When your tires fall into disrepair, you’ll see the following issues:

  • Poor traction
  • Decreased handling
  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Poor performance
  • And more

Luckily, Sam Leman Automotive Group is here to keep your tires in great shape. You can work with us whenever your tires need a bit of TLC.

Turn to Sam Leman Automotive Group for Tire Care Tips

At Sam Leman Automotive Group we want to ensure your tires last as long as possible. That is why tire care is so important. We’re here to answer all of your questions about driving on a spare tire, like “How long can I drive on a spare?” and more! If your vehicle is in need of a tire rotation or other tire service, set up an appointment today. You can also contact us with any questions.

Sam Leman Automotive Group 40.4607752, -88.9687249.