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4 Safety Tips to Remember When Driving on a Spare Tire

If you find yourself on the side of the road with a blowout or flat tire, a spare tire (also known as a donut tire) is a lightweight and compact convenience that can get your vehicle back on the road and to the nearest mechanic. However, while spare tires do come in handy, it is important to take certain precautions when driving on a spare. Check out these four tips to consider so you can safely get from point A to point B on a spare tire.

installing spare tire on vehicle

1. Restrict Your Speed

When driving on a spare tire, it is best to ensure your driving speed does not exceed 50 mph. If you're on the highway, stay in the right lane and keep at least three car lengths between your vehicle and others on the road. In some states, you can use your hazard lights to alert other drivers that your car isn't quite up to speed.

2. Don't Go Far

Your spare tire was designed to get you safely to the nearest mechanic or tire shop, not for lengthy commutes. Check your vehicle's owner's manual for the outlined distance. For most, it is recommended to not travel farther than 50 to 70 miles. Your spare is smaller than an average tire, and all that extra rotation can be hard on your transmission if you drive with it for a prolonged amount of time.

3. Expect Warning Lights

When you use a donut tire, it will spin faster than the other tires on your vehicle, and your car will likely detect this as a problem. Your ABS and brake warning lights may illuminate until you're able to get to a mechanic and replace the tire.

4. Be Careful

A spare tire isn't designed for long-term use and it's much smaller than the other tires on your vehicle. When you're driving with a spare, it's important to handle with care. Allow yourself plenty of distance to stop, keep the cruise control off, and take caution when rounding curves.

Contact Our Tire Experts

At Custom Complete Automotive, our certified mechanics will repair or replace your flat or blown-out tire and get you off a spare and on the road as quickly as possible. For more spare tire driving tips, or to learn more about our tire repair and replacement services, contact us today!

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About the Author
Eric Riddles

Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.

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