How Fast Can You Really Drive With a Spare Tire?
We’ve all been there. It seems you’re always on your way to an important meeting, running late for work, or nervous about making a good first impression when a flat tire strikes. Once you’ve got your spare in place, it’s tempting to hit the highway, make up for lost time, and get to where you’re going fast. However, manufacturers suggest staying below 50mph when you’ve got a temporary tire in place, and for good reason.
Here’s why your spare shouldn’t be subjected to the same speeds as your regular tires:
With virtually no tread or reinforcement, there’s nothing to protect spare tires from projectiles and road imperfections. These tires are designed only to get you, slowly and carefully, to a repair facility. Every mile you spend on a spare puts you in danger of a second blowout, and higher speeds only increase the odds.
2. Narrower and smaller
Spare tires are designed to take up less space in the car, making them easier to transport. With a more compact footprint compared to your other tires, you may notice poor cornering, handling, and braking. You may also find that, when braking, your vehicle dips to the side where the spare was mounted. The faster you go, the higher the consequence when it comes to handling.
3. Tire pressure might be off
Since spare tires can sit for long periods of time without being inspected, it’s a good idea to check the pressure to make sure it’s up to the task (at least 60 PSI). Any less could lead to a whole host of problems. Driving at high speeds with low pressure increases contact with the surface of the road, and the heat from that friction can cause tread separation or complete tire failure.
While spare tires are a real lifesaver when you get an unexpected flat, they’re not meant to be a permanent solution. Don’t push their limited capacity by driving your normal speed. Take things slow and get that spare changed ASAP.
For tire troubles or any other vehicle concerns, call a Veenstra’s repair specialist at 616-202-3534 to schedule a 22-point inspection.