People often wonder, just how far can I drive on a spare tire? As with many things, the correct answer is, “It depends”. Flat tires are always inconvenient and frustrating when they occur. In Yuma Arizona, it can be compounded by our extremely hot temperatures in the summer months.

The answer varies by the tire type of the spare. I will cover each type and its relative performance as a rule of thumb.

  1. Full Size Spare Tires – Most full size spares are very similar, if not the same, as the tires on the vehicle. For the vast majority of these situations, the spare will perform just the same as a regular tire. A couple of things to watch for though are to ensure the tire size is actually the same and that the tread type is rather similar and not drastically different. If so, that spare needs to be replaced with a matching replacement tire as soon as practical. The driving speeds and range will be like any other tire for the most part.
  2. “Doughnut” Spares – These spare tires are also know as space saver tires because they are tucked away in small spaces, typically under the bottom of the floor of the trunk. They are not nearly as durable as a regular tire and are not the same size so proper handling is definitely affected. These spares should be operated at no more than 55 MPH and should not be driven more than perhaps 60-70 miles. This is typically enough range to find a proper tire replacement so that you can operate the vehicle normally again. Once again, the Yuma heat only serves to make it more important to obtain a good replacement tire as soon as possible.
  3. “Run-Flats” – These are the newest tire type designed to allow for about a 50 mile maximum range at speeds of 50 MPH or less. They have been around for about 30 years but are just now entering some high end mainstream cars. To highlight, these are very temporary low speed solutions to a flat tire. Seek a replacement immediately!

There is one other option and that is the “spare in a can”, or more commonly know as “Fix-a-Flat”. If you are lucky, that may work as a VERY temporary option. In the Yuma summer heat, do not exceed 55 MPH and seek a replacement tire as soon as possible.

For a little more on flat tires see “How To Change A Flat Tire here:

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Posted in Car Advice