Q: I now have a donut on and my AWD light flickers and my steering wheel jerks.Its normally during acc but can happen randomly.

asked by on March 16, 2017

I bought the car about a week ago, I drove it home and it ran just about perfectly. I hit a rut and the bead broke leaving my tire ruined. I put the donut on and it drove as normal as a car with a donut on would. But the next day and ever since my AWD light flickers once I hit about 50mph. I tried stalling my car but it didn't go away until after I put it in park and turn it off then turn it back on. The more concerning issue is the steering wheel is stiff and jerks very violently. I have to hold it tight to keep it from swerving off the road. It is not an alignment as it happens randomly, mostly during acc. But it jerks both ways and steers fine after it has its moments. I also filled the power steering fluid. It didn't do this before the donut was put on.

My car has 126300 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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Hello, thank you for writing in. The spare tire on your vehicle does not have the monitoring systems the rest of the tires have. The spare will not input wheel speed sensor and other data to the computer. This is what is likely triggering your AWD warning light. As far as the bad handling is concerned, this is likely caused by the spare tire being a different size, and the steering and suspension having to compensate for it. The issues will very likely go away once you have a normal tire put on. These are not full sized tires that are designed for long term use, but only a means to keep the vehicle mobile for a short period of time. More damage will likely occur if too many miles are driven on the spare, and you should have a full sized tire put on ASAP.

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