Driving on spare tires is not something bizarre, but it comes with caution. Ideally, the spare tire should be as strong, durable, effective, and top-quality as the regular tire. Don’t wait until you’re in an emergency where you’ll have to cover more-than-usual miles before you buy a quality spare tire.
If you have a vehicle with a spare tire, you must know how long you can safely drive on it. Don’t forget, it’s called spare tire not because it is lowly rated or bad.
It is meant to take you from the dangerous point of blowouts or tread separation to a safe place. From there, you can replace it with the main tire.
How Far Can You Drive On A Spare Tire?
On average, the farthest you can drive on a spare tire is anywhere between 70 miles. In terms of speed, it’s recommended that you should drive on a spare tire not faster than 50 miles per hour.
Anything outside this will threaten your safety. There are technical specs you’ll need to know about spare tires.
It doesn’t matter whether or not you do a lot of road trips. You need a spare tire in your car. It is necessary to have a spare tire. These days, we all read or witness how people have relied on spare tires to save themselves from a serious threat.
You shouldn’t wait before your car is stuck with a flat tire on service stations or rough roads before you get a spare tire.
When you have a flat or punctured main tire, you may have to cover miles before you get to the nearest tire repairman.
You know what damage it can do to your car tire beads, rims, axles, wheels, and hubs before you get to the closest repair shop. Spare tires are lifesavers when one of your regular tires blows out or pops.
Based on the size, you can opt for full-size, compact, or folding spare tires. Although it can be tricky opting for one of these tires, the conditions for use vary.
The full-size spare tire matches the exact size of the ground tire. The other four tires currently mounted on your car have a size corresponding to that of your spare tire.
We have three sub-categories of the full-size spare tires: the full-size matching, full-size non-matching, and the full-size temporary spare tires.
The second type of spare tire based on size is the compact temporary spare tire. They are lightweight and built with a shallow tread pattern.
They have smaller sizes relative to their full-size counterparts and need more air pressure than them. They require at least 60psi. However, they do not maintain the aesthetics of your vehicle.
The last type of spare tire is the folding or space-saver temporary spare tire. This is the collapsible spare tire type that’s usable for a stopgap purpose. They’re specified by the manufacturer. Besides, they don’t require the maximum space a full-size tire will need.
How Long Do Spare Tires last?
On average, a good spare tire can last up to between 7 and 10 years. This is not cast in stone as many factors come to play to determine how long your donut tires will last.
The quality of the tire is the number thing to consider before determining what number of years your spare tire will last. If you buy tire products from the leading tire manufacturers in the auto industry, you can rest assured they will last.
The weight of the load that the tire carries is another thing that accounts for the longevity of your spare tire. If you check the sidewall of the tire, you’ll see the loading capacity of each tire. A general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t overload your tires, whether regular or spare.
In addition to the make, driving patterns, and loading, another important factor to look out for is the type of spare type. Spare tires come in different types based on function and size. According to function, we have the donut spare tires, space-saver spare tires, and run-flat spare tires.
How Fast Can I Drive On A Spare Tire?
Except for full-sized tires, most spare tires allow drivers to run within 50 miles per hour. This is the maximum speed limit you can drive on a spare tire. Because they have a different rating based on their type, spare tires also come with a speed limit.
If you check the sidewall of the tire, you’ll find the rating. Follow the recommended speed rating you find on the wall and this is usually 50mph.
There is a scientific explanation for this speed restriction. When you’re driving in a straight line, the car’s bearings and gears experience no wear and tear. This is because the differential is not in use.
However, the opposing wheel on the same axel has a bigger tire than the spare tire. This way, the spare tire spins faster to catch up with the car’s speed. As a result, the differential is subject to use to make up for the variation between the ground tire and spare tire.
What you’ll notice is as though your car is constantly turning. If you speed too much or drive too long on the spare tire, the differential suffers due to a decrease in the amount of the oil that lubricates it. The differential breaks down, causing extra acceleration between the clutch and the gears.
What Should I Know And Lookout For Using Spare Tires?
As you search the market for the best spare tires for your car, there are a few things you need to take note of. Knowing these will help prepare ahead of what you’re up to when your ground tire pops and have to settle for the spare.
Spare Tire Must Be Mounted Properly
Sometimes, what necessitates replacing the flat tire with the spare may not be pleasant. For instance, you want to change the flat tire in an emergency or the dead of the night.
The tendency is always high to want to rush the mounting. I’ll advise you don’t leave anything to chance. If you mount the spare tire wrongly or there’s a mistake in the process, the consequences might be dire. Take your time to mount.
If you were unsure how to install a spare tire, call for a tow service to get your vehicle to a tire repair shop. Reaching out to a family member or friend won’t be a bad idea. Seeking assistance from your car insurance company is another option available to you.
Spare Tires Trigger Warning Lights
Another thing you should expect when mounting your spare tire is that the warning light may illuminate. Usually, when you newly install the spare tire, you may notice that the warning light located on your vehicle’s dash can come on.
Because the spare tire will spin faster than the regular tires, the anti-lock braking system and the brake may get activated upon mounting your spare tire.
When this happens, you don’t need to panic or be anxious. Keep at the normal speed and drive on until you get to your destination. After pulling over, you can replace it with the normal tire.
Always Store A Spare Tire In Your Car
Having a spare tire in your car is a no-brainer. Make sure you keep a spare tire in your car keep it in a healthy condition.
Don’t play into the hands of the VIN inspection department. The penalty is huge. Besides, you’ll be risking a lot of danger even your ground tire goes flat. You can always safely go wherever you wish whenever the main tire explodes.
Replace Spare Every 7 Years
Unless specified by the manufacturer, you should consider replacing your spare tire every seven or eight years. At maximum, a spare tire should go off your shelf after 10 years.
Regardless of whether you use it at full capacity or not, get rid of it. You can rely on the manual for details on how to replace your spare tire.
Constantly Check The PSI
Like you should do to your regular tires, always check the amount of air pressure in your spare tire. Knowing the PSI in its will help you determine how much pressure the tire needs at every time.
This way you can forestall having flat ground and spare tires. If it gets punctured, you should patch it. You can check the cost of patching a tire.
You shouldn’t drive without a spare tire. You can always get to where you want to go safely in case your ground tire blows out. But when you need to replace the regular tire with the spare, make sure you don’t drive on it for too long.
Keep to the 50 to 70-mile-range. It doesn’t matter whether it is a compact spare tire, donut spare tire, or run-flat spare tires. Don’t exceed the speed and mile-range limit. Otherwise, you may face a budget backlash when some interior components of the car are affected.
One of the reasons why you should not drive for too long on spare tires is that most of them have no tread. Even the ones with little tread can hardly hold out against road hazards. They can also not withstand projectiles.
Apart from this, a space-saver tire does not have equal dimension as the other three regular tires. It is much smaller. If you look critically, spare tires rotate faster than others. This is to ensure that it keeps up with the speed of the car as it moves along.