What should be a spare tire?

A spare tyre is necessary in case any tyre of the car is accidentally damaged. It is a must-have, especially when you often drive over a rough road. Nowadays, there are two types of spare tyres:

  • Full-size Spare Tyre
  • Donut Tyre 

Besides, the car can be equipped with a repair kit.


Full-size Spare Tyre 

A car can be equipped with a full-size spare tyre that does not differ from your existing tyres. Tyre experts recommend taking it on a long journey. If one of your tyres is damaged, a full-size spare tyre allows you to continue safe driving.

It is advisable to buy a full-size spare tyre of the same size and model that you have on your car.  If it is not available, you should purchase a tyre of a similar size to get to the nearest outlet or service centre. 

It’s worth mentioning here about the organizer. This accessory allows you to place tools, a washer and a warning triangle around and in the spare tyre itself. The organizer can consist of a different number of compartments, as well as be designed for a specific brand of car.


Donut Tyre 

Donut tyre is not meant to be driven long distances, but just to easily reach the nearest service centre at a speed not exceeding 80 km / h, as it differs from your existing tyres. A donut tyre differs from a standard tyre as follows:

  • Smaller in width
  • Inflation pressure is 2 times the standard
  • Uncomfortable driving on rough roads
  • Worse handling

Donut tyre is much smaller than your regular tyres, therefore it takes up less space in a boot. But you have to accept the fact that it has worse handling due to different road grip.


Repair kit

Repair kit is a standard set that consists of:

  • Tyre sealant spray 
  • Basic repair tools and rubber (rubber-cloth) parts for tire sealing

When pumping, a can with tyre sealant spray is connected to the hose. Sealant together with the air enters the tyre and seals the place of puncture. Repair kit is only suitable for repairing the tread punctures. If the sidewall is damaged, the tyre cannot be repaired in this way. 

How does a donut tyre influence the car handling?

If you use a donut tyre as a spare tyre, the car handling is getting poor. This is the result of a change in tyre grip. The contact patch of a donut tyre is smaller than of a standard tyre one. Comfort of driving also leaves much to be desired for the same reasons.

Do I need a separate spare tyre for summer and for winter?

In most cases, a manufacturer completes a car with one spare tyre. A full-size spare tyre designed for summer season is also available. In winter, it can lead to some difficulties in driving. It depends on the place of a spare tyre mounting:  

  • Spare tyre on the front axle

Rotation effect under heavy braking: a car turns around a smaller-size tyre (donut) or around a tyre designed for a different season.

  • Spare tyre on the rear axle  

In this case, you must be careful about possible sidewise skidding. The rear axle is unloaded, so the rear of the car can skid during braking or when entering corners.


If a full-size spare tyre is designed for winter season, it is important that it fully matches the existing tyres. If the tyres are different, you will immediately feel it from the first meters of driving, especially with existing studded tyres and a non-studded spare tyre.


How to use a spare tyre

If in winter you still have to use a spare summer tyre or a donut, it is better to mount it on the rear axle. This is done even when a front tyre is damaged. You will have to mount the rear tyre to the front axle, and then fit a spare tyre to the rear axle.  

A donut tyre is not recommended for long distances. It is used only to get to the nearest service centre. It is also permissible to use it for short distances ("office - home"), if for some reason you cannot buy a new tyre. 

Tips and recommendations  

  • Always choose a safe place to stop outside a roadway. 
  • When replacing a tyre, the car should be on a flat horizontal surface. 
  • Be sure to turn on the alarm and put the warning triangle.
  • If necessary, place any solid object under a tyre jack that will prevent the jack from falling into the ground.
  • Always block tyres with wheel blocks. 

Shelf life and state of a spare tyre

A spare tyre should be stored in a boot. A spare tyre life is equal to the service life of standard tyres, even if you have never used it. Tyre appearance may look good, but rubber will lose its properties over the years, and it will be dangerous to use such a tyre.

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