How Long Can You Drive on a Spare Tire?

Tire Row

If you’ve ever driven on a spare tire, or are utilizing your car’s spare right now due to a flat tire, you’re probably wondering, “How long can I drive on my spare tire?” Well, Holiday Automotive is here to provide answers! Though the actual amount of time and/or miles you should drive on a spare time heavily depends on what kind of spare tire your vehicle utilizes, there are general guidelines you can follow. 

Namely, a full-size spare can be driven more or less similarly to a regular tire with the important caveat that if it’s older, it should still be replaced ASAP. Most smaller space-saver spare tires need to be replaced within 70 miles at most. Find out more spare tire safety tips with us here at Holiday Automotive now, or contact us to learn more about tire safety tips!

How Long Can You Drive on a Spare Space-Saver Tire?

If your spare tire is much smaller than the other tires equipped on your vehicle, you very likely have a space-saver spare, sometimes also known as a “donut.” Though some new vehicles recommend you use “run flat tires” and do not come with a spare tire at all, the vast majority of vehicles that do still come standard with a spare tire are equipped with a donut. If you’re asking yourself, “How long can I drive on a spare tire,” or “How fast can I go on a spare tire,”– consider the following:

  • Space saver spare tires cannot be driven over 50 miles per hour.
  • Donuts shouldn’t be driven for any more than 70 miles, max.
  • You’ll have less traction with a donut than with a full-size spare or regular tire.

Looking for more restrictions on your specific spare tire? Usually, these are listed on the tire sidewall itself. You may also find them located within your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

How Long Can You Drive on a Full-Size Spare Tire?

Full-size spare tires may be less common nowadays than space saver spare tires or donuts. That said, they’re still included on many new work trucks and even SUVs. But how long can you drove on a standard full-size spare? Though there isn’t a definite limit, it’s very likely that the spare will not be the same brand as your other tires, especially if you’ve had them replaced. Plus, if the spare is older than 6 years of age, it shouldn’t be used other than when absolutely necessary. In other words, we recommend changing out your full-size spare ASAP here at the Holiday Automotive service center!

What is a Run-Flat Tire?

Run-flat tires are often installed on new vehicles as an alternative to spare tires. Run flat tires, or RFTs as they’re sometimes abbreviated, can maintain pressure and be driven on for a limited amount of time even after a puncture. They generally offer the following advantages and disadvantages:

  • RFTs can remain inflated for up to about 50 miles after being punctured. 
  • RFTs are tougher than a space-saver tire or a full-size spare.
  • RFTs often cost more than standard tires and may be harder to locate or require special ordering vs. instant purchasing.

If you have run-flat tires on your vehicle equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system, or TPMS system, and it is showing that one of your tires is low on air, be sure to check the PSI of all your tires, or schedule service with Holiday Automotive immediately! 

More Tire Care Tips from Holiday Automotive

Now that you know the answer to the question “How long can I drive on a spare tire,” if you’d like additional tire care tips about how often to rotate your tires to help them last longer or even how to perform a DIY tire rotation, we’re here to help! Not sure you want to put more money into your current car with new tires or other needed repairs? Get more for your trade at Holiday Automotive!


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