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Tires & Wheels

Will A Donut Tire Fit Any Car? – No Way!

Will a Donut Tire Fit Any Car
Last Updated on Aug 16, 2023 By Lillian Kazmierczak

A flat tire is a nightmare for any car owner and spare donut tires act as a savor in case luck is not in your favor.

You may have a spare tire from another car and now you’re wondering if you can use that for your own vehicle. Well, that, unfortunately, won’t work for you.

Why? We’ve got your answer here.

Will a Donut Tire Fit Any Car?

Donut Tire

No, donut tires are manufactured differently for different makes and models of cars. They are specifically designed to be smaller and narrower than the standard tires to save storage space in the trunk.

However, no spare tires are created equal and donut tires are no exception. They are meant for emergencies and not using the right donut tire may cause you more harm than good.

We strongly recommend that you get the donut tire that is specific to your vehicle.

What Is a Donut Spare Tire

Also known as the “temporary used spare” tire (TUSTs), the “get me home” tire, or the “space-saver tire”, a donut tire is the emergency solution in case you have a flat tire in the middle of nowhere and no repair shop is nearby.

You can easily distinguish a donut tire from the standard one by the bright yellow or orange-colored rims that serve as a constant reminder to change your tires as soon as possible. They are also lighter, smaller, and inferior to your standard car tires in every way imaginable.

Why Is Donut Tire Used

The main purpose of a donut tire is to provide you with the necessary mileage so that you can visit your nearest repair shop or your home safely and get your tires fixed or replaced. The donut tires are for emergency purposes only and are inferior to your actual tires.

These donut tires are lighter and smaller, so they occupy less cargo space within your trunk. The lightweight nature also helps them not to hamper the fuel economy. Additionally, repairing your tire yourself may not always be a viable option.

That’s where these spare tires can save you. Just replace the flat tire with the donut tire and you have a temporary solution till you find a permanent fix.

What Is the Difference Between a Donut and a Spare Tire

The donut tire will be much smaller and lighter compared to your regular car tires. The main reason behind the donut tire being small and light is to occupy as little room as possible in your car. This makes carrying them around a bit easier.

Additionally, the manufacturers designed the donut tire to aid in your emergencies only. They didn‘t have your comfort in mind and as a result, you’ll notice a significant drop in quality and performance.

You can also get your hands on a premium-grade spare tire, but it will be a bit tougher to handle because of its weight.

Why Are Spare Tires So Small

One name of your donut tire is “space savers”. As the name suggests, the goal is to take as much less cargo room as possible. Donut spare tires are smaller in diameter, narrower in width, and shallower in the tread. This makes carrying them around a lot easier.

There is no point in having a trunk if all the space is occupied by your spare tire only. Additionally, donut tires are a lot easier to handle.

How Much Does a Donut Tire Cost

Donut tires are much cheaper than your regular tires. However, no spare tires are created equal. The price of your donut tire will depend on the manufacturer and the quality of the tire.

Premium brands offer superior quality, performance, and durability and their replacement tire can cost up to $300 whereas a typical donut tire will cost only a fraction of that amount, like $50 or so. You’ll get a decent quality donut tire within $60-100.

However, it may be a cheaper option to buy your donut tires online since there is no third-party involved.

How Long Does a Donut Tire Last

Well, that depends on how you maintain your spare donut tire. The safe limit is 70 miles. The main purpose of a donut tire is to last long enough so that you don’t get stuck on the road and can find the nearest repair shop.

However, we’ve even seen a donut tire lasting for a couple of hundred miles without any issues. But remember, exceptions can’t be an example and you shouldn’t drive your donut tires more than the safe limit.

How Fast Can You Drive on a Donut Tire

How Fast Can You Drive on a Donut Tire

**Photo Courtesy: YouTube

Usually, donut tires come with a speed limit of 50mph or 80kmph. You can check the exact speed limit and distance rating of your specific donut tire engraved on the tire’s sidewall.

It’s not like the tire will fall off or burst if you cross the speed limit, but it will increase the risk of potential hazards on the road. Going faster than the tire can handle may even cause problems in your steering as well as pose a danger to everyone on the road.

Don’t rush. Take your time and return safely. Your life is a lot more valuable than the time itself.

Is It Ok to Put a Donut on the Front Tire

Don’t forget that the smaller size of the donut tire can hurt other parts of your car as well. Though it’s not advisable, you technically can put a donut tire on the front side of your car.

A smaller donut tire has less traction than a full-size spare and the misalignment can cost you costly suspension repairs.

The ideal solution is to replace the front tire with a rear one and install the donut on the rear side. However, that isn’t practical all the time.

Even if you technically can put a donut on the front tire and drive beyond the limit, you definitely shouldn’t. If you must, be quick about it.

How Much Air Should Be In a Spare Tire

Not more than 60psi. You won’t use your donut tire frequently and an air pressure higher than the indicated limit may actually damage the tire.

However, keeping a stable air pressure inside your donut tire is essential. The last thing you want is to have a flat donut tire when you need it the most. Donut tires can’t be repaired.

Keep your donut tire under regular maintenance and don’t overuse it. That way, even your donut tire will serve you for a long time.

Why Is There No Spare Tire in New Cars

This might be true that the donut tires are a lot lighter in comparison with your standard tires, the donut tires still have some weight that adds up to your car’s cargo capacity, speed and fuel economy.

Carrying extra weight in your car inevitably affects the speed and mileage of your car. That’s why modern manufacturers are ditching all the extra weight they can and the donut tire is one of them.

Just replacing the donut tire with a tire repairing kit can help to get rid of about 40-50 lbs and that’s what the modern car manufacturers are doing.

Is It Illegal Not to Have a Spare Tire

No. There is no legal requirement to have a spare tire in your vehicle all the time. Though the donut or other spare tires can help you in your hour of need, the authority has made no regulations about it.

In fact, reports indicate that around 90% of modern cars don’t come with a spare wheel. Instead, they are switching to run-flat tyres or repair foams. That takes care of the additional weight problem.

With the continuous developments and inventions across the automotive industry, the days of your donut tires are most probably numbered.

Can You Put a Regular Tire on a Donut Rim

No. You can’t put a regular tire on a donut rim. A donut rim is much smaller in diameter than your standard tire rims. Regular tires will go on regular-sized rims and nothing else.

Donut spare tires are an emergency solution only. It would not be wise to tamper with them in any way since that can seriously hamper your safety on the road. Keep good regular maintenance going on and your donut tire will be there to save you in sticky situations.

About the author

Lillian Kazmierczak

As far as I can remember, I would say I have been a car nut for my whole life. My father was a car dealer who used to change and repair his cars himself. This gave me the opportunity to get around all sorts of cars and get my hands dirty repairing vehicles from an early age.

A great fan of Japanese quality and German preciosity, my deep passion lies in older models that I believe have a flair that takes me back to my childhood! I also love their extraordinary durability and reliability when compared to today’s modern models.

When not out taking a ride, I enjoy socializing with fellow motorheads online and consuming any car facts and figures I can get my mind on!

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