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What You Cannot Do When Driving on Spare Tyre

  • All vehicles are expected to have spare wheels as substitutes in case of a puncture or any eventuality.

    However, the majority of them are the donut spare wheel types. But what is a Donut tyre? Like a spare tyre, a donut tyre is a replacement tyre that is stored inside your vehicle in case you get a flat tyre and need to replace it. 

    Donut spare wheels are smaller, and lighter, and are preferred by car manufacturers to reduce overall car weight and save on space.

    Even so, they are not meant for regular use as standard tyres. They have limitations and therefore have some safety rules to follow when using them.

    An image of vehicles with spare tyres hooked at the back.

    An image of vehicles with spare tyres hooked at the back.

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    Donut spare wheels compromise your vehicle’s capability when driving.

    Since it is smaller than the rest of the wheels, the vehicle will lose balance and have its handling jeopardized. Braking and traction will also be affected because the donut spare tyre is thinner.

    Here are some safety rules to adhere to avoid accidents and damage to your car;

    Avoid Driving For Long Distances

    Donut spare wheels should only be used in case of a flat tyre emergency.

    Their main work is to get you to the nearest tyre repair point to have your flat tyre repaired or replaced.

    They are not designed for long-term use and should never be used for more than the time it takes to go to the tyre repair shop.

    Typically, they are only suitable for short distances.

    Avoid Speeding

    Most donut spare wheels have a maximum speed limit indicated by the manufacturer.

    If you can’t find it, check the car owner’s manual.

    Since donuts are smaller than standard tyres, they aren’t designed to put up with the same stresses — they have little to no tread, and are more of a stopgap than anything.

    And since they’re smaller than the other standard tyres, they have to spin faster to keep up with the moving vehicle.

    The general rule of thumb is to drive at a low speed, say something less than 50 kilometres per hour, which means no getting on highways without using your hazard lights. 

    Avoid Overloading

    Donut spare wheels aren’t as strong as the normal tyres thus if you are carrying a heavy load in your car, find a way to reduce it.

    Avoid Using Donut Tyre as Front Wheel

    It’s a bad idea to drive even a short distance with a donut for a front wheel.

    Many vehicles weigh more in the front due to the engine being housed there, but the front wheels also do the bulk of the braking, turning, and acceleration. 

    An image of a vehicle and a spare (donut) tyre.

    An image of a vehicle and a spare (donut) tyre.

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    AutoCar

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Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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