Can I Drive 200 Miles On A Donut? Facts About Donut Spare Tires

What will you do if you have a flat tire far away from the nearest workshop where you can get a tire replacement?

Don’t even think of driving on a punctured tire. Not only will you damage your tire even more, but you also risk having an accident. That’s where a donut tire comes in handy. You might have one in your trunk but wondering whether can I drive 200 miles on a donut can be a real dilemma.

For your information, you shouldn’t drive that far on a donut spare tire. Instead, tow your car to the nearby workshop.

So, what’s the point of this spare tire? A donut is only a temporary solution in the case of a flat tire. This article details the fact about the donut-type spare tire. It elaborates on using this spare tire, the distance you can cover, and the recommended speed. But first, let’s look at the donut tires themselves.

What Is a Donut Tire?

Donut tire refers to a temporary spare tire stored in your vehicle for replacement in case of a flat tire. This tire differs from the regular full-size spare tire, which the manufacturers make as a space-saver spare. If you are far from a nearby tire repair workshop or lack access to a tow truck, you can use this tire. But how does it differ from the regular spare tires?

What Is a Donut Tire

The Difference Between Donut Spare And Regular Spare Tire

The donut comes with modern vehicles and helps in an emergency until you get a new tire or replace the regular tire. These tires are smaller than the regular spare tires but still fit in the lug nut holes of your vehicle. But that’s not all; there are other differences too.

The Difference Between Donut Spare And Regular Spare Tire

Rubber Type

The quality of the donut’s rubber is substandard compared to the regular tire. You will find the tires made of hard plastic-like rubber, which is thinner and has shallow tread. It would be best to regularly check the tread wear indicators before using these temporary spare tires.


The donut tire also differs from a regular tire on inflation. The donut takes around 60 pounds per square inch of air pressure which is lower than the normal tire’s. It would be best to get your spare tire inflated properly at the tire repair shop before use. If the PSI is short of the 60 pounds level, you risk compromising the tire integrity. However, note that you can’t use donuts as an alternative tire for long distances despite having the correct tire pressure. Use it temporarily to get to the nearby tire repair shop or get a new tire.

How to Use a Donut Spare?

Expert opinions vary slightly when it comes to using a donut tire. However, here are the average figures you can use when using these spare tires. So, in the case of a flat tire, here is how to use the donut tire:

How to Use a Donut Spare


When driving on a donut tire, it’s best not to exceed 50 to 70 miles. Otherwise, you can cause damage to other car parts, including transmission. Hence, it’s safer to stay within the limits while driving on a donut tire. If you think you have already covered 70 miles on the spare tire, we recommend seeking tow service as soon as possible.


When driving on a donut, it would be best to maintain a maximum speed of 50 miles per hour. Moreover, try to keep the speed even on the highway. That’s because the donut affects your vehicle’s balance hence causing poor tire traction and maneuvering. Driving faster, you’d risk damaging not only your tire but also clutch plates.

Safety Tips When Using a Donut

There is no chance of carelessness in driving. You have to be extremely alert and attentive always for your own and other’s safety. Despite that, a lot of accidents happen almost every day. To top that, a donut tire can put you at a greater risk of such a misfortune. Thus, it would be best to do the following if driving on a donut tire.

Drive at Slow Speed

Maintain the speed experts recommend until you get to a tire repair shop. If you are on the road, such as a highway, take caution not to drive faster as it can lead to a road hazard. Maintaining the limit of 50 miles per hour gives you control even if the car is unstable.

Limit the Distance You Cover on the Donut Spare Tire

When driving on a donut tire, try not to exceed 70 miles. Unlike regular tires, donut tires can’t stand undue stress. And pushing it beyond 70 miles can damage your car even further. It would be best to get your regular tire fixed instantly if you plan to continue driving the car.

Ensure You Maintain theTemporary Spare Tire

The donut, like the regular tire, also need maintenance. For starters, get the spare properly inflated at a tire shop. It’s best to do so at a specialized shop to get the pressure right. Besides that, ensure the technician lubricate it well with grease. Failure to maintain the spare tire will only leave you with more tire issues when you need it the most.

Fix the Normal Tire or Get a New One Soon

You can only cover certain miles with a donut tire, and you should get the tire promptly fixed after that. The donuts have low-weight carrying capacities, and using them for longer makes them vulnerable to more damage. You can avert unnecessary wear in your car by fixing the normal tire immediately or buying regular spare tires.

Frequently Asked Questions About Donut Tires

How can you tell if your tire is a donut?

Not all spare tires are donuts. Donuts are smaller than the normal ones that offer simple and fast solutions as you find a way to fix a flat tire. It will help you in moving the car to the nearest repair shop where you can get a new tire or fix the punctured one.

Is it safe to drive on a donut in case of a flat tire?

Driving on a donut is safe as long as you aren’t at high speed. Besides that, you can drive up to 70 miles with a donut. However, note that exceeding these limits exposes you to road hazards.

Can a donut tire fit in any vehicle?

Vehicles come in different models, and hence their donut tire sizes differ too. The spare tire of your vehicle would hardly fit in any other car. Also, unlike other tires, the donut is only appropriate for front-wheel drive automobiles. Thus, you’ll have to put it at the rear and switch with one from the back. That is because it has little traction and would be risky having on the front in an emergency.

How long can you drive on a donut?

You can use a donut tire for almost a week as you sort your regular tire. However, ensure not to cover more than the recommended mileage to avoid damaging it. A donut tire spins faster than others and develops tears on its surface shortly after use. Thus, it is safe not to use it for long or past the suggested speed limit.

Can you repair the donut tires?

The donut will wear out after driving it for over 70 miles or exceeding 50 miles per hour. Unfortunately, you can’t repair it once it’s worn out. So it would be best to get a new one and discard the worn-out tire.

Wrap Up

You cannot drive 200 miles on a donut. Although it benefits you as a space-saving spare tire, you can only use it temporarily till you fix your punctured tire. While at it, you should not exceed the recommended mileage and speed limit. Failure to adhere to these limits can put you in a risky situation.