Can You Put Two Spare Tires on a Car?

Can You Put Two Spare Tires on a Car? (Shocking Truth Unraveled)

Howdy there, tire swapper! Ever found yourself in a tricky situation and wondered, “Can I stick two spare tires on my car?” Well, I sure have, and let me tell you, it was a real head-scratcher. I faced nearly every possible obstacle on that bumpy road, but don’t you worry, I learned a thing or two. In this article, I’m going to share what I discovered about fitting two spare tires onto a car. It’s a journey filled with surprising twists, turns, and a lot of car jargon that I promise to make easy for you. So buckle up, this ride’s going to be an interesting one!

The Risks of Using Two Spare Tires on A Car

In most scenarios, relying on two spare tires can present certain risks. I’ve seen situations where drivers used two spare tires only to face issues later on. Remember that spare tires, whether full-size or temporary spares, are primarily designed for emergency use and not for prolonged driving. The main risks you might encounter include uneven tire wear, potential damage to your differentials, and compromised handling and stability.

Understanding the Limitations of Spare Tires

It’s crucial to understand that spare tires are not designed for long-term use. From what I’ve seen, most are designed to last around 70 miles, or till you can get your vehicle to a repair facility. These tires are made with less rubber and a narrower tread, making them less durable than regular tires. Exceeding their limitations can lead to tire wear, blowouts, and even accidents.

The Difference Between A Spare Tire and A Donut Tire

You might wonder about the difference between a spare tire and a donut tire. Full-size spares, especially matching ones, resemble your vehicle’s regular tires and offer better safety and handling. However, they might affect fuel economy and tread life. On the other hand, donut tires, also known as mini-spares, are smaller and only suitable for speeds up to 50 mph. While they create less drag, their size and design limit their usability.

Impact on Vehicle Performance When Using Two Spare Tires

Driving on two spare tires can significantly impact your vehicle’s performance. I know it might seem like a quick fix, but it’s essential to understand the effects.

Effect on Vehicle’s All-Wheel Drive (AWD) Functionality

If your car is equipped with all-wheel drive, using two different spare tires could potentially damage the differentials. These components compensate for differences in tire rotations during turns, but they can be stressed if the tires are of unequal sizes or types.

Stability and Handling Issues

I’ve seen cars with two spare tires struggle with stability and handling. The reason is that these tires are not made for regular use. They can cause your vehicle to handle differently, especially at high speeds, during turns, or in wet conditions.

Impact on Speed and Driving Distance

With two spare tires, your speed and driving distance are also likely to be affected. With a donut spare, you should not exceed 50 mph and should aim to replace it within approximately 50 miles. This limit is in place to prevent rapid wear and potential failure of the spare.

Spare Tires and Vehicle Safety

The use of spare tires brings about a myriad of safety considerations. It’s crucial to be aware of these to ensure a safe and smooth journey.

Safety Recommendations for Using Spare Tires

From my experience, the key to safe spare tire use lies in following manufacturer’s recommendations and understanding limitations. You should aim to replace a spare tire, especially a donut, as soon as possible. Do not exceed the recommended mileage or speed, and remember to check the tire pressure before using.

When Not to Use a Spare Tire

There are times when it’s unsafe to use a spare tire. If the spare tire is more than ten years old, it may not be safe due to the potential degradation of the rubber and other materials. Also, if the spare tire is damaged or excessively worn, it’s better to seek other solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Spare Tires

I’ve gathered some commonly asked questions about spare tires to help you better understand the topic.

Is it Safe to Drive on 2 Spare Tires?

In general, it’s not recommended to drive on two spare tires. The risks include potential damage to your differentials, especially in all-wheel-drive vehicles, and compromised vehicle handling and stability.

What is the Limit on Spare Tires?

The limit for most spare tires is around 70 miles, and for donut spares, it’s about 50 miles. They’re designed for emergency use to get you to a repair facility, not for long-term use.

How Many Spare Wheels Can You Drive On?

Ideally, you should only drive on one spare wheel. If you have a full-size spare that matches your regular tires, you might be able to use two in an emergency, but it should be replaced as soon as possible.

Can You Drive with Two Donuts?

Driving with two donut tires isn’t recommended due to their limitations. They’re designed for limited speed and distance, and using two simultaneously can compromise vehicle performance and safety.

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have a Spare Tire?

If you don’t have a spare tire, consider alternatives like run-flat tires or tire repair kits. Run-flat tires allow limited driving even after losing air, while repair kits can temporarily fix minor punctures, allowing you to reach a repair facility.


In conclusion, while it might be tempting to use two spare tires in an emergency, the risks and potential damage to your vehicle make it a less than ideal solution. It’s best to replace any damaged tires with new ones as soon as possible for your safety and your vehicle’s performance.