If you have ever been stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire, you understand how helpful a reliable spare tire can be in an emergency.

Spare tires are great for temporary use to regain road mobility. But you should not drive over the 50 MPH limit with a spare tire or else you could experience a blowout. Spare tires also should not be driven farther than 70 miles or they could wear too quickly and lead to another flat.

Once you start driving on a spare, you will notice a significant difference in vehicle performance and capabilities based on the unbalanced feel of your vehicle. The objective of a flat is to support your vehicle, but creating an imbalance with other tires can cause damage if you use a spare for a long time. For this reason, we always recommend getting your flat tire repaired as soon as possible.

As industry experts, our team understands the risks a spare tire can present when overused with a vehicle. This is especially true for trucks and larger vehicles that require more sidewall support from their tires. In this guide, you will learn everything about how far and fast you can drive on a spare tire.

How Far & Fast Can You Drive on a Spare Tire?



How Far & Fast Can You Drive on a Spare Tire?

The modern-day spare tire is a necessity in any car owner's arsenal of tools. A spare is typically used in the event of a flat tire, but someone who has one around can also use it to carry extra air for when they are on the road.

A spare tire is typically carried in the trunk of a car and is designed to be used quickly when needed by inflating with an air pump or deflating to fit in the trunk of an automobile.

A spare tire can be used in place of a standard one and can reach up to 50 MPH. But, depending on how it was driven on, the life span of the spare tire will vary.

Most spare tires have a driving distance of up to roughly 70 miles. This number can go a bit higher or lower depending on how it was used. After you hit the 70-mile mark, it is time to change your spare tire as soon as possible.

It is best to treat a spare tire as a temporary option and make the change right away back to a traditional tire. Spares cause your vehicle to drive unbalanced compared to a regular tire so longer-term usage can lead to vehicle issues.  

Can You Use a Spare Tire More Than Once?

You can use a spare tire more than once but you should check the tread wear to make sure it is still ok to drive on. And it's also important to get your car serviced so that your car will be in the best shape possible when you do need a spare tire.

Spare tires are a good option for those who need to drive and use the car only occasionally. They can be useful for those who travel a lot and like to do long-distance driving.

When you use a spare tire that has worn down to the point that there is no good tread left to drive on, you need to replace it with a new one. You can still use this tire for other uses after replacing it with a new one, but your chances of getting another ride are not very high.

Typically, these spare tires come with indicators on the tire and tread to show you whether they are worn too much to keep driving. It is best to also remember the last time you used it and for how long to help figure out whether or not it can be used again.

What Happens If You Drive Too Fast on a Spare Tire?

If your spare tire fails while on the road, there's a good chance your car will slip out of control and crash. This is why it's important to always have a full set of tires on hand so that there isn't any danger in case something goes wrong.

A spare tire is only intended to be used for a limited time so you must drive slowly on it. Driving too fast may cause the vehicle to blow out, causing damage to your car.

If someone drives too fast on a spare tire, they could cause the vehicle to fail or blow out and cause damage. Driving fast also makes cars more likely to lose control and hit other vehicles or pedestrians on the road.

The risks are even higher with a spare tire than experiencing a blowout on a traditional street tire. Your vehicle is already unbalanced, so a blowout will cause it to lose control much more erratically resulting in a dangerous crash.

When driving on a spare tire, it is best to drive slower than usual based on your vehicle's speedometer reading. Simply keep your speed under 50 MPH to stay safe and avoid any unnecessary risks on the road.

Can You Drive on the Highway With a Spare Tire?

While it is not illegal to drive on the highway with a spare, you should avoid doing so because the average highway speed is above 50 MPH and it will put you at too high of a risk of exceeding this speed limit and putting you and your vehicle at risk.

There may be some highways with lower speed limits and if you can keep the speed low enough, there would not be a problem with driving on the highway. However, the biggest concern is speed.

Highway driving may also indicate you are driving longer distances and this should be avoided at all costs too. It is best to bring your vehicle directly to a repair shop after a flat to get a new tire and have your temporary spare removed.

The spare tire can also get damaged or punctured while driving on the highway. The spare does not have a traditional sidewall construction that creates resistance against punctures, so there are plenty of ways you could experience issues on the highway.


Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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