Driving with a spare



I’m driving my 99 Toyota Tacoma on a new full size spare. I still have about 10,000 miles left on my other 3 tires. Is it ok to drive for the next 10,000 miles on 3 old tires and one new “spare”?


I suppose it is, as long as it’s the same size as the other three. Except now you don’t have a spare tire, and I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the middle of nowhere with a flat and no spare, but it’s probably the least fun you’ll have all year.


Is it OK? Of course it is. If you have any trouble it will come from one of those three oldies, not from the new spare.


This is why, if you have a full sized spare, to include it in your tire rotation.


If it gets slippery just be extra careful. Typically tires should be replaced at least in pairs. You will have an imbalance of traction that will pronounce itself on ice or snow.


There is one disadvantage to it and while it is not likely, it could be a very bad disadvantage.

The new tyre is going to have a little better traction than the old ones. If you have to do a panic stop that means your car is likely going to not stop as straight as it would with equal tyres. If the new one is on the front, it is even more likely to cause a problem because with less traction on the back, it will loose traction first and you may find yourself turned around with you looking where you have been and the back end of your car going first.

The easy fix for this is to by one more matching tyre and put it and the spare on the back. Keep one of the OK three to use a a spare when you wear out the two that will be on the front and you replace them with new tyres moving the now slightly used tyres to the front and putting the two new ones on the back.

Good Luck


Like others have said, by all means driving with a full size spare is fine and dandy. When I woke up one morning I found myself with a flat tire (still don’t know what happened there…) and I replaced it with my full sized spare. I then had to go to get an oil change and a state inspection, so I had the garage look at my wounded tire. They found that there was nothing wrong with the tire that had gone flat, and that it was actually my full size spare that I had been using (I guess I forgot about that from some previous flat experiences–with the tires I got through Sears, I was able to take advantage of getting them replaced if they ever went flat within their warranty, so they were always ever changing/revolving it seemed.). The tire that I did have in my spare compartment was a very well worn one, so I guess I had the spare one on there because it had much better and matching tread like the rest of my tires.


Why not replace the bad tire with a used tire and put the spare tire back in its place? I prefer to keep my spare in good shape for emergency use.


Buy a used tire and make THAT the spare. Then, when you replace the set, return the original spare to its place.


Is the spare a “full service” spare?
How bad’s the blowout? Will the tuire need replacing?

If the spare is full service, and the flat tire needs replacing, then I’d replace the flat with a new tire similar to the spare, leave the spare on and replace the worst of the remaining three with the new one, and end up with two new tires on the truck.