Driving Duration on a Spare Tire: Safe Limits?

QuestionsCategory: Ask An ExpertDriving Duration on a Spare Tire: Safe Limits?
Bob Barry asked 6 months ago
I'm currently facing a dilemma with my Hyundai Tucson AWD. After a tire puncture, the mechanic replaced my damaged tire with a spare space saver tire from the trunk. However, the new Michelin tire I need is only available in early January. Given that I drive approximately 30,000 kilometers annually, I'm concerned about the longevity of the spare tire. Is it safe to drive about 1,000 to 2,000 kilometers with this spare tire? What are the recommended limits for driving on a spare tire?
1 Answers
Paul Hadley Staff answered 5 months ago
Hi Alex, Your situation is certainly a tricky one, but let's navigate through it. Typically, spare tires, especially the space-saver type (often referred to as "donut" spares), are designed for temporary use. They are not meant to replace a regular tire for an extended period. For your Hyundai Tucson AWD, it's crucial to understand that driving on a spare tire for a distance as long as 1,000 to 2,000 kilometers is not recommended. These spares are generally designed to be driven for no more than about 80 kilometers at a maximum speed of 80 km/h. This is due to their smaller size, reduced durability, and different tread patterns compared to your standard tires. Continued use of the spare tire can not only wear it out rapidly but also pose risks to your vehicle's handling and stability. More importantly, for AWD vehicles like yours, prolonged use of a mismatched tire can lead to significant mechanical issues, particularly with the differentials and transmission system. Here's what you can do:
  1. Short-term Solution: For immediate use, limit your driving to essential trips and keep the speed and distance within the spare tire's recommended limits.
  2. Temporary Replacement: Consider purchasing a used tire or a pair of tires with a similar tread pattern and size as your existing tires. This will serve as a better temporary solution until your new tire arrives.
  3. Tire Monitoring: Keep an eye on the wear of your other tires. If they are significantly worn, replacing all four might be necessary to maintain the balance and performance of your AWD system.
In summary, it's best to avoid relying on the spare tire for an extended period. Look into temporary replacement options to ensure your safety and the well-being of your vehicle. Paul - Motor Verso Mechanics Team