A flat tire is one of the most dreaded things for a driver on the road, especially if you’ve got somewhere important to be. Even the right tires sometimes disappoint, as a puncture can quickly cause trouble, no matter the tread. However, if you’ve got a spare tire on hand, problem solved! But, how long can you drive on a spare tire?
The distance you can cover when using a spare tire depends on the tire you use. There are different types of spare tires available, including space-saver (Donut) and full-size spare tires.
What Are Space-Saver Tires?
The space-saver spare tire is a narrow and compact tire designed to fit in your car’s trunk. This spare tire will save space and keep the vehicle’s weight balanced, which reduces your fuel consumption.
Many drivers find the space-saver spare or donut spare is smaller than a regular tire. Remember that the donut spare is meant to be a temporary solution. Thus, you shouldn’t use it as a standard tire in vehicles.
A space-saver tire has some disadvantageous mandatory restrictions you have to follow to avoid further damage to your vehicle.
How Long Can You Drive on Space-Saver Spare Tires?
You can’t drive on them for long distances. How long precisely should you travel on these spare tires? The recommended distance to go on these tires is 50 miles, with a maximum of 70. Most of them come with instructions on the tire, the owner’s manual, or advanced automotive dealer websites.
In addition, these have speed limitations. It will help if you drive slowly while using these space-saver spares because of their size, they spin faster. The maximum limit you should reach is 50 miles per hour. Finally, you’ll get less traction using a space-saver spare tire.
What About a Full-Size Spare Tire?
The question of “how long can I drive on a spare tire” is slightly different when it comes to a full-size spare. It is the same size as your regular car tires, not space-saver spares. When used, it can drive a higher mileage than a donut tire, but it can cause traction imbalance. It’s a new tire, so its tread is better than the other tires on your vehicle. Thus, it requires the driver to adjust their speed. You can use them on all vehicles, whether a truck, SUV, or another long-distance vehicle.
How Long Can You Drive on Full-Size Spare Tires?
Any driver should understand that while full-size spare tires can work for longer durations, you should replace them as soon as possible. As for the speed of driving, using a full-size spare should be moderately fair and run just like your standard tires.
However, you must assess its conditions first and change it as soon as possible because it’s a “spare.” These tires are rarely used, and they might have damages you don’t know about.
What Are Run-Flat Tires?
Run-flat tires entirely change the question of “how long can I drive?” These are tires capable of running longer distances after a puncture. However, if you see the tire pressure monitor has decreased after your run-flat tire was punctured, it’s better to pull over and check your tires.
This ability of run-flat tires to maintain pressure even after being punctured is very advantageous but has one issue.
How Long Can You Drive on a Run-Flat Tire?
The valuable part is it can remain inflated for over 50 miles with a puncture. It’s more convenient than other tires. Although produced by the same manufacturer, run-flat tires are more expensive than any standard tire.
In case of a puncture, you’ll be able to drive until you get to a car service center or somewhere safe before running completely flat. However, if your pressure monitor indicates a decrease in pressure, you should check the tires.
How to Properly Care for Your Spare Tire
You should always be prepared for the unexpected on the road. Tires go flat, and good know-how when in such situations is convenient.
Spare tires need to be maintained
Many drivers forget that the spare tire is just as crucial as other regular tires on their car. However, it would help to check them routinely to ensure they are proper.
To do so, check the spare tire’s pressure and clean the parts that should be cleaned.
A Spare Might Need to Be Replaced
After a certain period, usually eight years, you may need to replace your spare even if you have never used it. Check your vehicle’s manual for information about how often you should change your spare tire.
Change the Spare Properly
Don’t risk it if you’re unsure whether you can change the spare well. It’s either you call a mechanic, strictly follow the manufacturers’ guidelines, or pull over and ask for help from other drivers.
Repaired and Ready!
At some point, you’ll have to drive on a spare tire before you get to a tire service. So, it is essential to have one in your vehicle while on the road. In case you experience a flat tire, you’ll be safe to get where you’re going or be able to get to a service center without much trouble.