Friday, April 16, 2010
How Long Can You Drive On a “Donut” Spare Tire?
Donut spare tires are not made for extended service. They have no tread to speak of; the carcass or body of the tire is not reinforced and there is no tread belt to protect it from projectiles and road imperfections. The tire is designed simply to get you to a repair facility. Most of these tires offer a maximum life of 70 miles.
Do Donut Spares Affect The Braking Or Suspension System?
You may notice poor cornering, handling, and braking characteristics. The donut spare has a smaller footprint than a conventional tire, which translates into diminished braking and handling. With the donut spare in place, you may find that, when braking, the vehicle dips to the side where the donut was mounted. Also, you may notice the vehicle pulling to that side.
Why Do Carmakers Put These Spare Tires In Cars?
The use of donut spares is a cost and space cutting measure. Typically the donut spare takes up much less space and is cheaper to manufacture than full size tires and wheels, which translates into more profit for the car makers. It’s quite a compromise and a loss for the consumer.
Can I Put A Full Size Spare On My Car?
Yes, but the question is: where do you carry and stow it? Years ago, cars had spare tire wells to fit the full size spare so that it was out of the way. This space has been eliminated in order to produce smaller cars (and increased profits for the carmakers). Looks like we’re stuck with donut spares. What's worse is that many new cars are doing away with spare tires altogether, opting for run-flat tires. But that's a topic for another day.
Posted by Palmer at 1:12 PM