Posted under Car Tires

So, you had to pull over and put on your spare tire. But before you get back on the road, you find yourself wondering, "how long can I drive on a spare tire?" Don't panic! We're here to help explain how long you can drive on a spare tire along with some other safety tips to keep in mind.

After you've replaced your defective tire with a temporary spare, it's important to remember the rule of 50. You shouldn't drive more than 50 miles on a temporary tire or go faster than 50 mph. Spares are not meant to replace a tire and are exactly as they sound — temporary. Why? Their design has far less traction and durability than a standard tire, so keep the speed down, or you'll experience a harsh ride.

Types of Spare Tires

When preparing for the unexpected on the road, it's important to know the type of spare tire your vehicle might be equipped with, as this knowledge can significantly impact how you handle a flat tire situation. Here's what to expect depending on the type of vehicle you drive:

Compact and Mid-size Cars
The go-to solution for compact and mid-size cars is often a compact donut tire. These tires are designed to be lightweight and space-efficient, allowing you to tuck them away under the trunk floor. While these spares are convenient, they differ from regular tires in shape, size, and required tire pressure (donuts are around 60 psi, while regular tires are around 35 psi in smaller vehicles).

SUVs, Crossovers, and Trucks
Larger vehicles often come equipped with a full-sized temporary spare, which is larger to support the full load and any additional cargo, or items being towed. These tires are much better quality than a smaller donut spare, but you should replace them ASAP since they aren't as durable, are narrower, and may not be produced by the same manufacturer as your other tires. Additionally, you should regularly inspect your full-sized temporary spare, especially if it's secured under your vehicle where it's exposed to harsher elements.

Larger vehicles may also come equipped with a full-size permanent spare that can be left in place after installing to replace a flat tire. The removed flat tire then becomes your spare tire. Remember to have the flat tire repaired in case it is needed in the future.

How to Drive Safely on a Spare Tire

Now that we know how long you can drive on a spare tire, let's review how to make those miles last. Driving safely is extremely important for both donuts and full-sized spares. Here are three best practices:

1.    Check the tire pressure regularly when it isn’t in use. Regular checks help ensure that if you need to use your spare, it's ready and safe to use, helping you minimize downtime on the side of the road and maintain safe driving conditions until you can arrange a permanent replacement. Remember, always follow the Original Equipment Manufacturer's (OEM) recommendations on spare tire usage and pressure recommendations.
2.    Give yourself extra space and time to brake: Using a spare can cause your vehicle’s anti-lock brake system (ABS) light to illuminate or your ABS to be deactivate. Plus, a donut spare can lead to inaccuracies in some vehicles’ speedometers. Braking early and with extra distance between you and other vehicles can ensure you’re not in for surprises, especially during inclement weather, since spares are more susceptible to slipping or hydroplaning. They also don’t have advanced treads, so they can’t provide the proper traction that regular tires offer. 
3.    Replace your spare when necessary: Replacement will depend on your spare type. Check your owner's manual or inspect the spare for more information on how frequently you should replace it. Many temporary tires have a tire life of about eight years.

Visit Your Local Jiffy Lube for Tire Service

When you're faced with the inconvenience of a flat tire, don't worry! Just swing by your local Jiffy Lube® for a tire service. Trained technicians will inspect the tire and determine whether they can repair or replace your tire. We're here to get you back on the road safely and swiftly so you can continue your journey with peace of mind.

NOTE: Not all services are offered at all Jiffy Lube service centers. Please call ahead or check to ensure the service is available at the Jiffy Lube location near you.