Can You Reuse A Donut Tire? | Can You Reuse A Spare Tire?

Last Updated on March 14, 2023 by Henry T. Hawkins

You can reuse a donut tire if needed in an emergency situation, it should only be used for short distances and needs to be replaced as soon as possible for safety reasons.

Have you ever been stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire and no spare? It’s an awful feeling, but it happens to all of us. The good news is that you can reuse your donut tire if you’ve been careful and haven’t driven too far on it.

In this article, we’ll explain what a donut tire is, when you should replace it, and how to properly store and care for it. We’ll also answer some of the most common questions people have about donut tires. So, keep reading!

Can You Reuse A Donut Tire? | Can You Reuse A Spare Tire?

What Is a Donut Tire?

A donut tire is a small-sized spare tire that is used as a temporary replacement for a flat tire. It is normally stored inside the vehicle in case of an emergency and can be used to get you to safety until you can replace the original tire with one of the same size. 

Donut tires are usually smaller than regular tires and are not meant to be driven on for long periods of time or at high speeds.

When using a donut tire, you should drive slowly and carefully, as they are not designed for high speeds or long distances. Additionally, you have to replace the donut tire with a full-size tire as soon as possible to ensure your safety.

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Can you reuse a donut tire?

Yes, as stated above, you can reuse a donut tyre until it is worn out due to tread wear, cracking, or damage. However, keep in mind that space-saver spares (donuts) typically do not last as long as standard tyres.

“Temporary donut spares are only safe to travel about 50 miles before needing to be replaced,” says Chuck Shumaker, Auto Technician/Owner at Oakmont Automotive. “After that, they can become a danger due to their limited speed and handling capability compared with regular tires.”

“I wouldn’t focus on how many times you used the donut tyre, but rather how much distance you have traveled and if it was done within the recommended speed limit,” says Tim Timothy Wingfield, an Automotive Mechanic.

In addition, I recommend you use a temporary spare tire (donut) ONLY ON THE VEHICLE FOR WHICH IT WAS PROVIDED. Even if the bolt pattern is the same, there can be variations in size and load capacity, which could cause damage or even a crash. 

You should check the owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to use your spare tire safely.

However, if you take care of your spare tire and use it for short distance, you can reuse it multiple times. 

Most full-size spare tires are designed to last anywhere from 7 to 10 years, according to John Paul from AAA magazine. You should never use a spare tire beyond its expiration date, as it can become a danger to you and other drivers on the road.

Is it OK to use an old spare tire?

It is not recommended to use an old spare tire. Spare tires are typically stored in the vehicle’s trunk for a long period of time, and during this time, their air pressure can decrease significantly. 

Additionally, the rubber on the tire may become brittle or cracked due to age and exposure to elements such as sun and rain. If you need to replace your spare tire, it is best to purchase a new one that meets the manufacturer’s specifications for your vehicle.

As mentioned above, when driving on a spare tire, you should remember that they are designed for limited use only. You should drive at slower speeds and avoid sharp turns or sudden stops. 

You should also check the air pressure regularly and replace the spare tire as soon as possible with a full-size tire that meets your vehicle’s requirements.

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How long can you use a donut spare tire?

How long can you use a donut spare tire

We’ve already mentioned above that you should not drive more than 50 miles on a donut spare tire and it’s best to get the tire replaced as soon as possible.

It’s because donut spare tires are intended for short-term use only. They are designed to get you safely to the nearest tire service center, where you can install a regular-sized spare in place of the donut. 

“Once you get to the tire service center, you should “make sure that the new spare is exactly the same size and load-rating as the other tyres on the vehicle,” added Chuck.

What’s the difference between a spare tire and a donut?

A spare tire is a full-sized, temporary tire that can be used to replace a damaged or flat tire. 

It is designed to match the size and style of the car’s original tires and is intended to be used as a long-term solution until the owner can purchase a permanent replacement tire.

A donut (also known as a space saver or emergency spare) is an undersized, temporary tire that provides limited use for short distances at low speeds. 

In most cases, it does not match the size or style of the car’s original tires and should only be used in emergency situations. 

A donut should never be driven faster than 50 miles per hour and should generally not remain on your vehicle for more than 70 miles. 

Once the emergency situation has passed, you should replace the donut with a permanent spare tire as soon as possible.

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Do donut spare tires need air?

Yes, donut spare tires also require air. You can put air and inflate the donut tire. You can use an air compressor and hose to inflate the donut tire. 

Its PSI level should be 60 when filled, according to the standard. However, you should always check your vehicle’s manual to find the correct PSI for your specific model.

However, if you are driving on a donut spare tire for an extended period of time, it is recommended that you drive at slower speeds and avoid long drives or highways.

In addition, you should check your spare tire regularly for signs of wear or damage. If there are any visible damages, such as cracks or bulges, you should replace it immediately as it can lead to further damage or even an accident if left unchecked.

What happens if you drive on a spare tire too long?

Driving on a spare tire for too long can be dangerous. You know that spare tires are not designed to be driven on for extended periods of time and can wear out quickly. 

Additionally, they have less grip and traction on the road due to their smaller size than the regular tires. This can lead to decreased handling and braking performance, as well as increased risk of a blowout or other tire failure. 

Why can’t you go fast on a donut tire?

As mentioned above, donut tires are much smaller than regular tires. The small size of these tyres means that it has less grip and traction than a regular-sized tire, making it unsafe to drive at high speeds. 

Additionally, donut tires are made from softer rubber which can cause them to wear out faster when driving at higher speeds. 

For these reasons, it is best to avoid going fast on a donut tire and instead drive slowly and cautiously until you can get your regular-sized tire replaced.


Why do spare tires lose air?

Spare tires are prone to slow air leaks and fluctuating temperatures, making it important to check the air pressure regularly. A temporary spare tire requires more air than a regular tire because it is much smaller and thinner, so it needs more pressure to handle the load capacity that the car puts on it. Without enough air, a spare tire is no longer a spare.

Why do new cars no longer have spare tires?

In an effort to boost fuel efficiency and meet higher regulatory standards, many automakers are removing the spare tire from their vehicles. By eliminating the 40 or 50 pounds that a tire and jack add to a vehicle’s weight, carmakers can gain a slight increase in miles per gallon.  This cost-saving measure is being adopted by more and more manufacturers in recent years.

Wrapping up

Thanks for reading this guide on when and how to reuse a donut tire. The bottom line is that you can safely reuse a donut tire for short distances if needed in an emergency situation, but you should always replace it as soon as possible for safety reasons. 

Be sure to check the owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to use your spare tire safely.

We hope this article has been helpful! Please share this post if it is helpful. Feel free to leave a comment or question in the comments section below. 

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