Every vehicle should have a spare tire if one of its regular tires fails or goes flat. Can you use a spare tire more than once? We answer that question and more about spares below.
Reusing a Spare Tire
While spare tires are not permanent replacements for damaged tires, they’re more than single-use tires. However, you should avoid driving on a spare tire for a mile more than necessary to reach a mechanic or tire shop.
Spare tires are typically smaller than regular tires, and their tread depths can cause an imbalance in the vehicle’s suspension system and other tires. Only drive on spare tires for emergency transportation, and replace them with permanent tires as soon as possible. There’s no danger in using a spare tire more than once.
Pro Tip: If your spare tire has been sitting in your trunk for years without use, inflate it before installation.
Can You Reuse a Donut Tire?
A donut tire is a more compact version of a spare tire and is typically stored in the trunk of vehicles. Donut tires are even smaller than spare tires, so driving on one causes a greater imbalance between the suspension, tires, and the rest of the vehicle.
Limit your mileage on donut tires; if you drive on it for a few miles, it’s perfectly safe to return it to the trunk after installing regular tires. Should the need arise, you can reuse a donut tire.
How Long Can You Drive on a Spare Tire?
While spare and donut tires are good for emergencies, they should never be considered permanent or semi-permanent replacements. The typical limit for most spares and donuts is about 50 miles, assuming the vehicle doesn’t travel over 50 mph.
If you drive on a spare for any longer, the tire could fail, and then you’d be left with another busted tire and no spare!
How Often Should You Replace Your Spare Tire?
If you’ve never had to use your spare tire, consider yourself lucky! Still, you may want to consider getting a new spare. Even if you haven’t used yours, the rubber can grow brittle and fragile after years in storage and may be a liability in emergencies.
Some spare tires can expire after about six years, depending on their construction. A spare tire has a 10-year window of use, so if you’ve had the same car and spare for a decade, it’s time for a new spare.
If you need a new spare tire, drive to the RNR Tire Express tire shop in Corpus Christi or one of our other locations nationwide! Not sure what tire to get for your car? Our knowledgeable staff will help you get the ideal tire for your vehicle.