The Difference Between a Spare Tire and a Doughnut

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Depending on the vehicle you drive, you could either have a spare tire or a doughnut - aka compact spare. The difference between these two "emergency" tires is significant.

Spare Tires

Spares are full-size tires that match the existing tires on your vehicle. Ideally, the spare will be the same brand, series, dimension and tread pattern. If you've gone to a different brand, style or size of tire from the OEM equipment, it's important to also replace the spare. Replacing a flat tire with a spare will allow you to drive normally with no significant change in handling or performance. If your vehicle is equipped with a full-size spare, it's important to include this tire in your regular tire rotations. Doing so will ensure the spare is properly inflated, balanced and is wearing at the same rate as other tires on the vehicle.

Doughnuts or Compact Spares

A doughnut or compact spare is a short use, temporary spare tire. Generally, much smaller than a regular tire, doughnuts are meant for travelling short distances and at lower speeds. Essentially, a doughnut is intended to get you to the tire shop, and that's it. Performance and handling of the vehicle will be noticeably different when using a doughnut spare.

A doughnut spare needs to be inspected when the other tires are being rotated for condition and proper air pressure. And like any tire that sits unused for an extended period (spares can sit in your trunk for years), doughnuts need to be inspected and replaced occasionally. Over time, the rubber compound can become stiff or cracked and can result in tire failure. This is also true of the tires installed on your vehicle, LEARN MORE about the effect on tires when a car is parked too long. Another important point to consider for all your tires is their expiration date, READ MORE on our blog about how to find this information.

At Drayton Valley's Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centre, we can check and rotate your tires - including your full-sized spare - every time you're in for a service. READ WHY regular tire rotations are crucial for your tire's health and longevity. And if your doughnut spare has sat in the trunk for a long time, ask us to check it's overall condition and inflation. And remember, we offer you the best price every day on a new set of replacement tires with our Price Match Promise. CLICK TO GET A QUOTE. We've got the best selection of top tire brands for every make and model of vehicle. We'll keep you safe on the road today and every day.

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