When was the last time you checked your spare tire? Does your vehicle even have one? Many people go years without needing to use their spare tire, and some may never use theirs at all. It is important to check the air pressure in your spare along with your other four tires. Learn more about the best ways to care for your spare and keep you safe on the road.
How Long Do Spare Tires Last?
Most spare tires last up to ten years. If your spare is stored outside of or underneath your vehicle, you’ll want to check it’s condition more often. Harsh weather and road salt can corrode security bolts making it a challenge to remove the spare. We recommend removing your spare tire at least once a year to ensure it’s accessibility.
You’ll also want to inspect the tire for any dry rot or cracking. This can be done when checking the tire pressure at the beginning of every season. You should never use a tire that has visible damage. Bulges, cracks in the sidewall, and irregular tread wear are indications of an unsafe tire. And is dangerous to drive on.
What Are The Different Types of Spare Tires?
- Temporary Spare / “Donut”- This tire is smaller and lighter than your car’s standard tire. It is designed for emergency use only. The size difference between the donut and the rest of the tires will limit your ability to drive longer distances safely. Donuts are more compact and will not take up as much space in your trunk as much as a full sized spare tire would.
- Full Sized Spare - Some vehicles come equipped with a full sized spare tire. This tire is the same size as the rest of the tires on your car. Full size spares take up a lot of space in your trunk but shouldn’t compromise your vehicle’s performance once installed.
How Long Can You Use A Spare Tire?
Temporary spare tires are designed to get you to your home or repair shop. Driving too long on a donut can cause damage to the tire and your transmission. We advise you to swap out your spare for a conventional tire as soon as you can. And not drive more than 70 miles on your donut.
How Fast Can You Drive On A Spare Tire?
The maximum speed of a temporary spare tire is 50 mph. These tires are reliable for short distances and are meant to get you to a repair shop safely. Driving on spare tires more than the recommended speed and mileage can cause a tire blow out, damage to car parts, or even cause an accident.
For more information on your spare tire, consult your vehicle owner’s manual.
Not sure about the condition of your spare tire? We can help! Let one of our technicians inspect your spare for safety. Call us or schedule your next appointment online and let us know about your tire concerns. Lou’s Car Care is the right choice for all of your tire and auto maintenance needs. Proudly serving the Baldwinsville, NY and surrounding communities since 1976.
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