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How Long Can You Drive on a Spare Tire? November 8, 2019

South Marketview Heights, Rochester
How Long Can You Drive on a Spare Tire?, Rochester, New York

All drivers are at risk for flat tires and sudden blowouts on the road, so it's essential to have a spare at hand for such emergencies. Once you've mounted the spare tire onto your car, you may be wondering just how long you can drive on it before getting a proper replacement. Below, learn what to do if you get a flat tire out on the road and how long you can safely drive on it. 

What Should You Do When You Have a Blowout?

Keep Control of the Vehicle

When your tire blows out or leaks, the vehicle will pull in that direction. Keep your hands on the wheel and ease your foot off of the accelerator to slow down the car while maintaining control.

Find a Safe Spot

Refrain from braking or turning suddenly. Instead, pull over and look for a place where you can safely inspect your tires. If you are on a busy road, pick a wide shoulder or breakdown lane, but a parking lot or rest stop is a better option. 

Leave the Lights On

Turn on your flashers or hazard lights to alert other motorists. If you have reflective triangles or traffic cones, set them up a few meters behind your vehicle.

Read the Manual

Get your manual and review the procedure. Ensure that your parking brake is on and place wedges or large stones to prevent your vehicle from rolling while you are changing the tires.

Change the Tire

flat tiresBefore working, take out the tools and spare so you'll have everything at arm's reach. Jack up your vehicle and follow the steps of removing the flat tire.

How Long Can You Use a Spare Tire?

There are three types of spare tires including, full-size, donut, and run-flat. All of them only work as temporary solutions. A full-size spare is durable, and you can drive on it longer than other types of spares. However, if its brand and tread are different from your other tires, it can make driving unsafe.

A donut is compact and narrow. You can drive on this spare long enough to reach the nearest auto repair shop at speeds less than 50 mph. It has little to no treads, making it susceptible to road debris and hazards, unlike the run-flat. While a run-flat spare is tougher and thicker than other tires, it is dangerous for prolonged use as it can damage your transmission.


If you find yourself with a flat tire in Rochester, NY, turn to the professionals at Alliance Collision. They have been offering quick and reliable roadside assistance, 24-hour towing services, and auto repairs to motorists around the area since 1946. Call (585) 232-2390 for prompt care or view their full list of services online.

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