Most of us know how infuriating and inconvenient it is getting a flat tire. They always seem to come at the worst times, which causes some to follow the bare minimum procedures. If I see someone with a flat, I like letting the driver know out of courtesy. The amount of times I’ve heard back, “Oh I know, I’ve been driving around with it for a few days and it’s doing just fine!” always astounds me.
Riding around on a flat tire is never recommended; however, using spare tires as a safety net is always your best option. The staff at AVP Service Center gets one question about using spare tires all the time: “How far can I drive with this spare tire on my car?” And like everything else in this world, the answer depends on a few factors.
What’s The Difference?
First, let’s take a look at the difference between temporary spare tires and your everyday regular tires. The lifespans are not even close, mainly because of the ways they were made. Spare tires are typically comprised of one, thin layer of polyester in the sidewall and two belts of steel in the tread. Because of this, they don’t have the durability a regular tire does to take beatings from the roads. It’s like having a spare battery pack for your phone – not as good as the everyday, majority-of-use one, but there to be needed in desperate times of need.
Option #1: Donut
Now, as mentioned previously, the amount of mileage you can get out of spares varies on many factors. For the most common choice of spare tire, typically called donuts or space-savers, you can expect to get anywhere between 50-70 miles. These tires are small, compact and lightweight, making them easy to store and install. However, because of this, they have limited top speeds of 55mph. Nonetheless, 50-70 miles at a max of 55mph should be amble amount of time to get in to AVP to patch or replace your regular tire.
Option #2: Full-Size
Depending on the brand of car, it might have come with a full-size spare tire. This is better news for those who get a flat and procrastinate seeing a mechanic! They might take up more room, but they’re much more stable than donuts. Inspect the treads though – you might get more mileage out of them, but if the treads are different than the rest of your tires, it can cause tough handling. Again, these are meant to hold you over until getting into a shop.
Bottom Line: Get It Fixed
The bottom line is when you get a flat tire, you need to get it patched or replaced as soon as possible. Having spare tires on-board for emergencies are great safety nets, but not long-term solutions. Use this as a reminder to check what type of spare you have, if any at all, and be prepared for a flat tire.
The ASE-Certified technicians at AVP Service Center will be here for any of your tire troubles and more. Give us a call at 215-547-3908 or schedule an appointment fast and easy online to ensure you don’t run your spare tire or car into the ground!