How Long Can You Drive on Spare Tires?

December 10th, 2018 by

Stack of car tires on warehouse closeup

If you’re wondering, “How long can I drive on a spare?”, Stohlman Volkswagen is here to help. You’ll want to replace your spare tire as soon as possible, but the actual mileage amount depends on what kind of spare you have. A full-size spare gives you more time and mileage, but most smaller space-saver tires need to be replaced within 70 miles at most. Find out more spare tire safety info today.

Space-Saver Spare Tire

Let’s say you’re out on the road near Vienna and you get a flat. If you find that your spare is smaller than your normal tires, you have a space-saver spare, or “donut” spare. They’re included on many new vehicles and come with certain restrictions:

  • Cannot be driven over 50 miles per hour
  • Shouldn’t be driven for more than 70 miles
  • Less traction than with a full-size spare

Your space-saver spare will list any additional usage restrictions on the tire itself. You’ll want to get to the nearest service center quickly to repair your old tire or purchase a new one.

Full-Size Spare

While a full-size spare is less common, it’s often included with new trucks and SUVs. It can be used longer than a space-saver spare, but you’ll want to get the tire replaced as soon as possible. It’s unlikely that it’s the same brand as your other tires, and that can cause poor traction and handling. And since it’s brand new, it won’t have the same amount of wear as the other tires. We recommend visiting Stohlman Volkswagen to find a tire that offers a better fit as soon as you can.

What is a Run-Flat Tire?

Run-flat tires can maintain pressure even after a puncture. They offer the following advantages and disadvantages:

  • Remains inflated for about 50 miles following a puncture
  • Tougher than a space-saver tire or full-size spare
  • Often costs more than a standard tire

If you have run-flat tires and your tire pressure monitor shows that it’s running low, stop the vehicle and inspect your tires. A visible puncture on a run-flat tire means you’ll want to head to your local Fairfax-area service center to repair or replace it.

More Tire Care Advice

For more helpful information on tire tread depths and tire care, contact Stohlman Volkswagen, located a short drive from Alexandria. We offer a selection of new tires designed to fit your vehicle along with a range of Volkswagen performance parts. Interested in learning more about VW car care? Start by finding out how to jump start a car battery.

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