4 Facts about Spare TiresIn the past, drivers simply switched out a flat tire for a full-sized spare and had ample time to repair the damaged one. As car sizes became smaller, there was less and less room in the trunk for a full-sized spare in the trunk. This is when the compact or temporary spare made its appearance.

Compact Spare Tires, (also known as Donuts)

A compact spare tire fits into the base of your trunk, usually under a cover, so as not to take up any room in the trunk. It is already mounted and inflated on a small-diameter wheel, ready for use. Contrary to what many people believe, it’s not meant to be a permanent replacement for your full-size wheel and tire. (Shocking, isn’t it?) The compact spare is only intended to assist you in an emergency so you can reach the nearest service station to have a new full-sized tire and wheel installed.

Compact Spare Tire – Driving Speed

This should be common sense, since the spare is not a full-size replacement. Experts recommend you do not travel faster than 50 miles per hour on a compact spare tire. The tire is not designed for driving on the highway. Remember, it’s just a short-term solution to get you to a location where the full-sized tire can be repaired or replaced.

Compact Spare Tires – Driving Distance

You should always check with your manual, but generally, it is recommended that you not drive any farther than 50 miles on a “donut” spare tire. We cannot reiterate enough, the compact spare is only meant for emergency situations. When you leave a donut on for too long and drive it further than recommended a flat will result.

Safe Air Pressure for a Compact Spare Tire

Not surprisingly the recommended air pressure for you compact spare tire can vary from your full-size tire air pressure. Check your manual or the side of the tire for exact pressure recommendations for your compact spare. The standard recommended air pressure for a compact spare is 60 pounds per square inch. We recommend that you check your spare monthly and pump more air into your spare if it is below this pressure.