How Long Can I Drive on a Spare Tire?

close up of tire tread


A common question we hear at Joe Basil Chevrolet is, “How long can I drive on a spare tire?” It is important to replace your spare tire as soon as possible, but the actual mileage amount will vary depending on which type of spare tire was used. A full-size spare lasts the longest, but most space-saver tires should not be driven more than 70 miles. Keep these spare tire safety tips in mind to ensure your vehicle is ready for the roads of Buffalo and Cheektowaga.

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

Many smaller vehicles have a spare tire that is smaller than the rest of the tires on the vehicle. This is considered a space-saver spare, or “donut” spare. If this is the type of spare tire you have, you will need to follow the guidelines below:

  • Spares cannot be driven over 50 miles per hour.
  • Spare tires shouldn’t be driven for more than 70 miles.
  • You’ll have less traction than with a full-size spare.

Because space-saver tires are not designed for longevity, they should be replaced as soon as possible.

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

Full-size spare tires are not too common, but you may have one if you drive a larger vehicle, like a truck or SUV. These spare tires will certainly last longer than a space-saver spare, but you still want to replace them as quickly as you can.

As you drive on the roads of Lancaster with your spare tire, you may experience poor traction and handling. This is because the spare tire is usually not the same brand and style as the rest of your tires. Additionally, because the spare tire has not likely been used, it won’t have the same amount of wear as the other tires.

Run-Flat Tires

What is a run-flat tire? This style of tire can maintain pressure even after a puncture. There are a few pros and cons of run-flat tires that you should consider:

  • Pro: The tire remains inflated for about 50 miles following a puncture.
  • Pro: They are stronger than a space-saver tire or full-size spare.
  • Con: They are usually more expensive than a standard tire.

If you notice that your tire pressure is suddenly starting to drop, it could be due to a puncture. When it is safe to do so, inspect your tires to see if a puncture is the culprit. If that is the case, set up an appointment to have the tire repaired or replaced.

Turn to Joe Basil Chevrolet for Tire Care Information

If you still have questions about proper tire care, the automotive experts at Joe Basil Chevrolet can help. Contact us today for more information, and remember to check out our current service specials.

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