Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Do Spare Tires Differ From Regular Tires?

SpareTireTrunk

Unless you drive one of the select few vehicles that are equipped with a full-size matching spare tire, your spare tire is not the same as the other four that are on your vehicle. There are significant manufacturing differences that make it clear that your spare tire is for temporary short-term use only.

The tire is a different overall height and width

Your spare tire, be it a full-size non-matching spare tire or a compact spare, is typically a smaller diameter than your four normal use tires. It may be a slight half-inch up to a couple inches in diameter different and the width is usually significantly less than your factory tires. This is to save space in your vehicle when the spare tire is stored.

The wheel or rim is made of lightweight material

The structure of the spare tire rim is less important than regular use rims, so it may have a much different wheel offset, or may even be made of lightweight steel compared to normal wheels. Being smaller and made of lightweight material makes it easier to install when necessary but also not usually as rigid or capable of the same abuse a normal wheel receives on the road.

The tread depth is much shallower

Because it is designed for use strictly in emergency situations, your spare tire will have very little tread and only a few sipes in the tread. It is meant to get you to a safe location or perhaps to a tire repair facility and not for everyday or long-term use.

Spare tires are not meant for everyday use, no matter if they are a full-size spare or a compact space saver spare tire. Have your regular use tire repaired and re-installed as soon as possible.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...


Related questions

Q: The steering wheel is shaking when driving at slow speeds

Steering wheel shaking could be caused by a couple of things. Check the condition of the front tires for uneven tread wear and how much tread is left. Having the tires balanced and aligned may resolve the issue. If not,...

Q: My tire went flat. Loud screeching noise since putting on spare tire.

It's apparent due to timing that something to do with the new tire is your source for unwanted sound. Something is making contact to something else that it should not be. You need to start by removing the spare tire...

Q: What Makes a Spare Tire Different?

Spare tires come in all different types depending on the what the manufacturer felt was necessary for the design of the vehicle. Your spare tire may be the most common type, which is a space-saver spare. There are also collapsible...