Donut spare tire - All you need to know

Most people don’t think about the spare tire until you have a flat tire and it’s needed. This small donut spare tire can be a lifesaver when a tire is flat. What is the donut spare tire and why isn’t a full-size tire used in its place?

We examine your top donut tire questions. Also, we will examine whether a donut tire spare is more useful than a normal full-size one. Additionally, we examine how to fix a donut spare tire. 

Índice de Contenido
  1. What's a Donut spare tire?
  2. What are Donut Tires?
  3. Is a Donut Tire suitable for any vehicle?
  4. Is it possible to repair donut tires?
  5. What's the longest I can drive on a spare donut tire?
  6. How Much Does a Donut Spare Tire Price?
  7. How to Keep a Donut Spare Tire in Good Condition

What's a Donut spare tire?

The donut spare tire is the smaller tire that’s included with some vehicles to use when a full-size goes flat. You may also know it as the temporary spare. It’s smaller than a normal tire, so it’s not designed to be used as a regular tire. 

A donut spare should be used only if one of your tires is damaged or worn out. Because the donut is smaller, it can fit easily in the car’s trunk. However, they aren’t meant to handle the same kind of travel as a regular tire. This is the only reason you should use them to reach the local tire shop to have it repaired. 

This spare tire can be used only in emergencies and is not recommended for regular tire rotations. After you're done using the tire, it is returned to its original spot.

What are Donut Tires?

Donut spare tires are used by car manufacturers because they reduce costs. If you wanted to include full-sized tires as spares, then the cost would skyrocket, and this would have to be passed along to the purchaser. A donut spare helps keep the price down. That’s why you’ll almost never find a full-size spare on anything meant for the budget-minded consumer. 

A full-size spare tire can also take up much space. Donut tires allow for more cargo space, which is great news for any other gear. You might not notice the difference, especially if you have a larger vehicle like an SUV or pickup truck, but compact vehicles don’t normally have the room. Automobile manufacturers want to show off how many cargo spaces are included with every vehicle. 

The temporary spare tire is lighter than the standard one. When a donut can be used, the vehicle's weight is drastically reduced. A lighter vehicle will perform better and be more efficient. 

These donut spare tire advantages don’t negate the downsides. Donut tires don’t allow for good performance. You will not only have limited traction, but also it will often be harder to brake the vehicle and you will experience terrible handling. Driving with the spare donut tire requires extreme caution.

Related: What Does a Tire Weight? (Average Vehicle Weight by Type).

Is a Donut Tire suitable for any vehicle?

No, you can’t use the same donut tire on multiple vehicle models. Each spare donut tire can only be used on one vehicle. To ensure safety on the road, you must choose the correct spare tire for your vehicle.

Although donut tires might have the same lug nuts as standard tires and have a similar design, it may not fit. That’s why you need to look at the tire rating, size and weight as well.

The same way you would shop for regular tires, the spare should be purchased with similar criteria. You can either call someone who is able to find spares that are compatible with your vehicle or go online and search for them.

Is it possible to repair donut tires?

It is not a good idea to attempt to fix a spare donut tire. No reputable shop is going to do it because it’s dangerous. There is a reason that the donut spare is known as a temporary tire and it shouldn’t be used for anything else. 

The rubber of the donut spare isn’t designed with the same integrity as your standard vehicle tire. The tread isn’t going to be as deep and the rubber is thinner. If you attempt to plug the spare tire, it’s not going to hold and your life will be in danger. 

If there’s something wrong with the spare tire, you need to replace it. It’s also wise to replace the spare tire after eight years, even if it hasn’t been used. If you don't, your spare could become unreliable due to the degrading of its materials. 

What's the longest I can drive on a spare donut tire?

Once you put a spare tire on in place of the regular tire, you need to know how long it’s safe to drive on. In general, it’s only meant to get you to the tire shop. 

Normally, you don’t want to drive the tire more than 70 miles with a donut spare tire, but less would be better. Additionally, you shouldn’t run the tire faster than 50 mph. You can run the tire faster if you have your safety glasses on. 

Reported: Can you drive a spare tire for as long as you want? (& How Fast?)

How Much Does a Donut Spare Tire Price?

There are many factors that influence the average cost of a spare tire. The location where the spare is bought will affect how much it costs. Some donut spares can be purchased for as low as $50 However, it’s also possible to spend more than $300, depending on what you need.

A local tire shop is the best place to buy a donut replacement. However, it can take a lot of work to find the type that fits your vehicle, especially if they don’t have what you need in stock. Some stores also call them space-saver tires.

An online retailer can sell spare tires. You can search for your vehicle by year, make, and model using the right platform. It will show you the most compatible tires. However, you will be responsible for shipping the tire, which can be an added cost you don’t want to deal with. 

Apart from your local tire shop you may also be interested in purchasing the donut replacement at Amazon. There are multiple types of available spares, but you won’t find one for every vehicle. Amazon's compatibility feature makes it easy to find the right spare parts for you. 

How to Keep a Donut Spare Tire in Good Condition

It’s important to keep your spare tire in good shape. A reliable spare tire is essential for if you get a flat. Make sure to check the spare tire frequently and inspect for signs of wear or cracks. If it doesn’t look right, go ahead and replace it. 

Also, ensure the spare tire has enough air. Spare tires typically require 60 PSI of air. However, you want to check the manufacturer’s recommendation in the owner’s manual before filling it up. Just like a regular tire, you can also put air into the spare. Don’t drive on the spare tire if it is flat.

However, some donut spare tires on newer car models are so-called Run-flat tire, which doesn’t contain air so you don’t have to worry about further tire punctures. For minor punctures, you can use some tire puncture kits on certain car models. A spare tire may be preferred if there are major damages.

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