All motorists need to have a spare tire in their cars. If you have a flat tire, it is not safe to drive on it and you might damage your car. Instead, you'll need to take out your spare tire and use that temporarily until you are able to head to a tire dealer. However, you might wonder how long you can drive on the spare tire. It's important to know how to drive safely with a spare and how long it is safe to drive.

A Spare Tire Lifespan Can Vary

Ideally, you'll want to have your tire replaced as soon as possible. However, a busy life can easily lead to your trip to the tire dealership being postponed. Read the owner's manual to learn generally how long you can use the tire. However, there are factors that can affect how long you can use a spare tire safely. Some spare tires are full-sized and can actually serve as a replacement because they are the same as your other tires. Others, such as donuts, are designed to save space and should not be driven for very long.

Drive More Slowly

When you are driving on a spare tire, make sure to lower your speed. In some states, you may need to activate your hazard lights because you are driving with an impaired vehicle. Avoid driving over 50 MPH.

Don't drive on a donut for too long because it will have a differential size and this will take a toll on your car. Your car is forced to work harder and this will lead to it breaking down more quickly.

Donut Tires Wear Out

Another issue with donut tires is that they have very little or no tread. As a result, they leave your vehicle much more vulnerable to road hazards. Because they are smaller, they also spin faster and this leads to them wearing out faster. Your full-sized tires may also wear out faster as a result of using them with the donut tire.

Drive Carefully

Do not drive on a spare tire with cruise control. You should expect to stop your car sooner with a donut tire than with a regular tire. Because of the hassles that you'll face with a spare tire and the damage that it may do to your car and your other tires, make sure to schedule an appointment with a tire dealer as soon as possible.

To learn more, contact tire services in your area.