How long can you drive on a spare tire before driving becomes unsafe and danger for all the drivers? This is going to be our main question we will provide you the answer to. Basically, this is a piece of information every single driver must know. It is something that can affect the safety in massive amounts and protect you, your passengers and all other participants in the traffic.
Spare Tire Size
The first part of the answer is knowing the difference of your spare tire. Not all of them are the same and not all of them offer the same benefits. How long can you drive on a spare tire, depends on these three types and we will explain all of them right now. This is a good opportunity to tell you that all drivers should know about basic Tire Care Tips.
Full-Size Spare Tire
A full-size spare tire is exactly the same as the other 4 you have on your car. It has the same dimensions, it is made by the same manufacturer and it is already fitted to a wheel. The benefits are obvious. You will maintain the same aesthetics of your car and you can drive for an unlimited period of time. After all, the spare tire is the same as all other tires and wheels your vehicle has.
The only downside is the amount of space you will need. A full-size spare tire requires plenty of space in the trunk and this may be the biggest reason why some drivers prefer other types. If your vehicles have a massive trunk space, we recommend you to always have a full-size spare tire ready.
Donut Spare Tire Size
Donut spare tires are completely different than the first type. They are much smaller and they are designed for short-use. What this means is that you need to drive slowly and carefully. You also need to replace it with a fixed tire as soon as possible. The driving performance will be significantly different and you will notice that as soon as you start driving.
Donut spare tires should be inspected regularly and replaced, due to the fact the rubber can harden and lose its properties. Off-road wheel and rims usually, don’t support these tires.
Space Saver Spare Tire Sizes
Space saver spare tires are something in the middle of the aforementioned two types. They are narrow and they can usually be 125/70 or even smaller. Space savers require less space to be transported and we can see them as factory options in most new cars available today. Of course, they are designed for a short period of time and they should be replaced with an actual, full-size tire as soon as possible.
Emergency Spare Tire
How far can you drive on a flat tire? There is no generic answer in this case scenario. Each tire and each wheel are different and they can withstand the different amount of pressure for a different period of time. All experts recommend that you can drive 70 miles without damaging the wheel. However, the risk of damaging the tire is present and you may have to replace it as soon as possible. The base of the tire and the shape will be significantly changed. In some cases, a flat tire can even dissolve and damage your fenders or other parts of the car. However, this is rare and only happens if you drive for too long at higher speeds than we recommend.
If you drive on the temporary spare tire you need to find a station and fix your full-size tire as soon as possible. This is a safety guideline that can have a huge effect on the traffic and your own safety. Most spare tires are designed to be used with a speed of 50 mph or slower. You may want to learn the difference between wheel and rim so you can have a better understanding of why this is mandatory.
As soon as you notice that you have a flat tire, slow down to 20 mph. This is a safe speed for this case scenario and it will prevent all kinds of issues you may encounter. Also, don’t forget that your handling is decreased and braking is up to 70% less-effective than with inflated tires. You may notice a difference in the sound that the wheel is making while driving. This usually means that the tire is losing air. More vibrations and louder sound you hear, less air the flat tire will have. While driving on a completely flat tire is dangerous, partially flat (when the PSI isn’t significantly changed) isn’t problematic and it won’t cause any damages or complications.
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What happens if you drive on a spare tire too long?
A spare tire (we are referring to space saving and donut types) are designed to be used for short distances. If you drive them for too long, you will damage the tire and probably the wheel. These tires have very little of thread and they are vulnerable to the punctures.
Can you drive on the highway with a spare tire?
No, you can’t drive on highways with a spare tire. When you have a space saving or small spare tire, your speed must be limited to 50 mph. As such, you won’t be able to drive on highways and you may even get a ticket. Repair the tire and then you are allowed to drive on all highways.
Can you put air in a spare tire?
Yes, and you should do this. A spare tire is basically the same as ordinary tire, only smaller and it is fitted to a smaller wheel. It is filled with air and the pressure should be checked regularly. The pressure will rating will be written on the rim. When using Spray Paint for Rims, try to keep the pressure rating.
How much should you inflate a spare tire?
Most spare tires should be inflated up to 60 PSI (pounds per square inch). If the pressure is under this value, add air to it. If it is higher than 60 PSI, remove air. This is the general rule and your spare tire may be different, therefore require a different amount of air.
Can a spare tire be a different size?
Yes, it can, but the difference should be kept to 2-3 inches top. You need to remember the bigger the difference, the bigger the changes to the driving will be present. Your car won’t behave normally and you will have to make constant compromises. All of this affects your safety significantly.
Now you know the answer to the how long can you drive on a spare tire question and you are a safer driver in the traffic. Remember all the facts we have mentioned above and always drive slowly when using a spare tire, unless it is a full-sized unit. Repair the standard tire as soon as possible and make sure your spare tires are in perfect condition.
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