How Long Can You Drive On A Spare Tire?

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Making sure beforehand for your car’s safety and you is one the smartest thing one can do.

However, it is still really important to know how long you can use them as they are not like regular tires. This is because you might never know when you need a spare tire.

It is a must to keep your extra tires in your vehicle at all times, along with the tools that might help you in case of an emergency.

So, how long can you drive on a spare tire?

Technically, two types of tires are commonly used by many drivers.

If you are using a full-sized tire that matches all your other tires, then it is suggested that you can use it for a long time, but obviously, you will have to change as it might not be as safe.

It is important to note that you should read your vehicle’s manual to have the best idea; however, a general rule is that you should drive no more than 50 up to 70 miles, and it should not be faster than 50 miles per hour; however it is still suggested to change the spare tire as soon as possible.

In this article, I will be providing you with the most important piece of information in detail so you can make the right choice for the safety of your vehicle and you and the people around you when driving on the road.

I will also provide you with the information regarding installing it yourself so it can be easier for you.

How Do Each Different Spare Tires Work? And Their Longevity

Is it ok to drive 200 miles on a donut? Or is there any limitation

It is important to note that the distance for how long you can drive depends mainly on the tire itself and what kind you might be using, as every tire will perform differently.

It is suggested that the donut spare tire tends to have a limit of up to 50 miles as they are less durable and can damage your vehicle more frequently, so it is necessary to change it as soon as possible.

Furthermore, a full saver spare tire has a longer lifespan than a donut spare tire.

However, it is still suggested that you change the spare tires as soon as possible because they are only used for emergencies.

This is because they tread differently than the original on-use tires of your vehicle.

The spare tires are also not designed by the same manufacturers as they are just a choice, so the sizes may differ.

Even the PSI is different, so it can be hazardous to drive on the road with a spare tire for a long period.

Spare Tires Vs. Donut Tires

As mentioned earlier, you mustn’t drive for a long period on a spare tire and keep the speed low as it can be really risky and cause serious accidents on the road.

If you are driving on a donut spare tire, then the only safe distance is up to 50 miles and keeping the speed up to 50 mph before you are obliged to change the tire.

Keep in mind that these tires are small in size and might unbalance your vehicle, so you should only be using them for emergency purposes and get a replacement when you get the chance to.

Moreover, if you are driving your vehicle with a full-sized or full spare tire, you must know that it can be driven for a long period compared to the donut tires, but it is still necessary to change it as soon as possible.

In addition to that, when it comes to the speed you should be driving at, well you should keep in mind that all four tires are not exactly aligned as the spare tire might be unbalanced because it has not been used for a long time, so it is safe to say that you should keep the speed slow and steady so you can drive safely and your vehicle can stay stable.

Everything You Need To Know About Spare Tires

You might end up with a flat tire in the middle of the road without even realizing it, and if you do not have a plan, then things can get hectic for you.

It is important to note that many vehicles are equipped with spare tires, but some vehicles do not have them.

This is why it is your responsibility to ensure that you have this issue sorted out beforehand.

So when you are in the middle of a crisis that might arise spontaneously, you will have not only the spare tire but also the accurate knowledge that you need to know just in case.

Here’s what you need to know about spare tires which will help you in the long run:

1. Maintenance

When it comes to the maintenance of your regular vehicle tires, it is also important to get your spare tires checked periodically, as well as they can wear out easily, as they are not stronger or long-lasting than your original car tires.

Make sure to get the pressure checked on your vehicle’s spare tire whenever you go for an inspection or rotation of your vehicle’s original tires.

2. Change Spare Tires Properly

This is important because if you install it incorrectly, you are putting your life and passengers with you and other drivers on the road in a dangerous situation.

Suppose you are someone who has never changed a tire before.

In that case, you need to consult with someone else, such as with someone who is driving with you and has experience in this situation but the best way to deal with this is by contacting roadside assistance or a tow company for help and get it thoroughly checked and replaced by professional mechanics.

3. Replacing Your Spare Tires

It is suggested that even if you have never used your spare tire, you are still obliged to replace them after a certain period.

Make sure to consult with a professional or your vehicle’s manual for information regarding how long after you replace a spare tire.

It is stated that a spare should be replaced every eight years or less approximately.

However, if you have used your spare time more than once or so, this should also vary depending on the situation of your spare tire.

4. Might Have Recalled

This is a really important detail that you should keep in mind because it will affect how a spare tire will perform on your vehicle.

Normally, tire manufacturers get recalls on their tires sometimes. It is your responsibility to check whether the tire you have recalls or not.

It is stated that all kinds of tires can be recalled, and if you want to know about this, you can use the US Tire Manufacturers Association by using the “Tire Recall Lookup” tool to track any recalls that have been made.

This will help you have a better understanding of any issues related to your tire so you can make changes and better choices for safety purposes.

5. Activation Of Warning Lights

You may be wondering why this issue may arise and what you can do if this ever happens with you in the future.

Well, this can help due to the spare tires you might have to install during an emergency. This is not something you should be panicked about as it is for the safety of you and your vehicle.

The reason why this might happen is that when you are driving with a spare tire, your vehicle might activate the brake and anti-lock system (ABS) warning lights that will be placed on your vehicle’s instrument panel.

This is just an indication for you as it can occur if your spare tire is moving or rotating too fast as compared to your other tires on your vehicle.

During this situation, it is best to drive slowly as per the general speed limit and safely, indicating other road drivers about your situation, and so reaching your destination and making sure to get it replaced with the proper tire as soon as possible.

How To Install A Spare Tire

When it comes to the installation process, and you are someone who is willing to do it yourself, then it is really important for you to make sure that you have your spare tire as well as every single important tool in your vehicle.

Make sure that you check your vehicle every time before you start your journey.

  1. Make sure that when you have a flat tire, you are parking your car on the side of the road, no matter wherever you are. It is also important to turn off your vehicle and put the transmission in the park, and set the parking brake.
  2. Before anything, make sure to take out every necessary tool and place it close to your flat tire so you do not have to move around too much during the process.
  3. You will now have to loosen up the lug nuts and make sure to wait before removing them completely.
  4. Make sure that you lift your vehicle by using the jack until the flat tire is not touching the ground anymore, and then remove the nuts and the flat tire.
  5. Make sure to place the flat tire under your vehicle and next to the jack just in case if the jack can’t hold the weight of your vehicle.
  6. Now, you will have to mount the spare tire in place, and if it does not fit, then make sure to lift your vehicle a bit more until the tire is secured in place.
  7. If your spare tires require different kinds of nuts or bolts, then you will be able to find them located in your tool kit. Make sure that they are tightened, and your tire is not wiggling at all.
  8. Now, you can take the flat tire out, lower the vehicle if necessary and finally remove the jack.
  9. Make sure to tighten the lug nuts by using a lug nut wrench as well as using the start pattern to tighten the nuts.
  10. Make sure that you put everything back inside your vehicle before you start your journey and reach your closest repair shop to get a replacement for your spare tire. Make sure that you drive slowly and safely on the road with a spare tire.


I hope with the help of this article you can have a better understanding of how long can you drive on a spare tire.

I made sure to provide you with detailed information that will widen your knowledge about these spare tires.

It is really important for you to make sure that you always check your vehicle and have the spare tires along with tools inside at all times before you start your journey.

Safety should be the number one priority for you when driving on the road, so make sure that you are on the speed limits that are mentioned above when driving with a spare tire.