Does a Spare Tire Kit Decrease MPG?

As vehicle technology continues to advance, drivers are constantly seeking ways to improve their fuel efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint. One topic that often arises in this quest is whether or not a spare tire kit can have an impact on a vehicle's miles per gallon (mpg). While there may be differing opinions on the matter, it’s essential to consider various factors that could potentially affect fuel consumption. These factors may include the weight of the spare tire kit, it’s location within the vehicle, and the overall aerodynamics of the car.

Should I Take the Spare Tire Out of My Car?

When considering whether to take the spare tire out of your car, there are a few factors to take into account. One significant advantage of removing the spare tire is the reduction in weight it brings. By eliminating the spare tire, as well as the accompanying jack and lug wrench, you can potentially reduce your vehicles weight by up to 50 pounds. This reduction in weight can have a positive impact on your vehicles overall performance, including it’s fuel efficiency.

Spare tires that are typically positioned beneath the undercarriage can create air drag, which can negatively impact the vehicles fuel consumption. By eliminating this spare tire from beneath the vehicle, you can reduce the air drag and enhance the vehicles aerodynamics. This improvement can further contribute to a boost in your vehicles MPG.

The most obvious drawback is the lack of a spare tire in case of emergencies. If you remove the spare tire and encounter a flat tire while on the road, you”ll be left without a backup option. This can leave you vulnerable and require you to rely on other emergency solutions, such as roadside assistance or a tire repair kit.

Alternative Options for Storing a Spare Tire, Such as Roof Racks or Trunk Organizers.

  • Roof racks
  • Trunk organizers

Spare tires are a crucial safety feature in case of emergencies, but they often come with specific limitations. Understanding their speed ratings is essential to avoid potential risks. While spare tires typically have a maximum recommended speed of 50 mph, some can handle speeds up to 70 or even 90 mph. However, it’s important to remember that these speeds should only be temporary solutions until a proper replacement can be obtained.

Can You Go 60 MPH on a Spare Tire?

When it comes to traveling at high speeds on a spare tire, caution should be exercised. Spare tires aren’t designed to withstand prolonged use or high speeds like regular tires. In fact, spare tires are specifically designed for temporary use only.

It’s important to note that spare tires are rated differently and their limitations are indicated on the side of the tire. This rating typically includes a speed limit, which is usually around 50 mph. Exceeding this limit can put excessive stress on the tire, leading to potential blowouts or other tire failures.

While some sources suggest that spare tires can be driven up to 70 miles, it’s important to remember that this distance is just an approximation and can vary depending on various factors such as tire condition, road conditions, and driving habits.

How to Properly Care for and Maintain Spare Tires

  • Inspect the spare tire regularly for any signs of wear or damage.
  • Check the air pressure in the spare tire at least once a month.
  • Make sure the spare tire is properly inflated to the recommended pressure level.
  • Clean the spare tire using mild soap and water to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the tire.
  • Store the spare tire in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Rotate the spare tire with the other tires on a regular basis to ensure even wear.
  • Replace the spare tire if it’s more than 6 years old or has been used extensively.
  • Consider having a professional inspect the spare tire if you’re unsure about it’s condition.
  • When using the spare tire, drive at a reduced speed and avoid sudden braking or sharp turns.

However, the lack of a spare tire may not necessarily be due to fuel efficiency concerns alone. Manufacturers are known to prioritize cost-saving measures, and the elimination of spare tires, tools, and jacks can amount to significant savings in production costs, potentially reaching around $100 per car for large manufacturers.

Does Taking Out Spare Tire Save Gas?

Additionally, by eliminating the spare tire, manufacturers can reduce the weight of the vehicle, which can result in improved fuel efficiency. This weight reduction can have a more significant impact on gas mileage compared to simply removing the spare tire alone.

However, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks of not having a spare tire. In the event of a flat tire or blowout, drivers without a spare will be left stranded and potentially face costly towing fees. This can be especially problematic in remote areas or during late night hours when roadside assistance may not be readily available.

A spare tire acts as a backup in case of tire failure, providing a temporary solution until the tire can be repaired or replaced. Without a spare, drivers are left vulnerable to potential dangers on the road, such as accidents or damage to the vehicle.

It’s also worth noting that modern vehicles often come equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) that alert drivers to low tire pressure. This feature helps to minimize the risk of a flat tire and allows drivers to address any issues before they become more severe. However, TPMS doesn’t eliminate the possibility of tire damage or blowouts.

Source: Will removing my spare tire from my car improve my MPG …

Regardless of the type of tire, your spare needs to be replaced sooner rather than later. If you use a temporary spare tire, you shouldn’t drive more than 50 miles, and no more than 50 miles per hour before replacing your spare tire. A spare tire is meant to get your vehicle safely to the nearest auto repair shop. But does it make sense to keep a spare tire on hand at all? Let’s explore the pros and cons.

Should You Keep a Spare Tire?

Regardless of the type of tire, your spare needs to be replaced sooner rather than later. While it may seem like a hassle to keep a spare tire in your vehicle, it’s a wise decision to have one on hand in case of emergencies. A flat tire can leave you stranded on the side of the road, and having a spare can help get you back on the road quickly.

If you use a temporary spare tire, also known as a “donut” spare, you shouldn’t drive more than 50 miles, and no more than 50 miles per hour before replacing your spare tire. Donut spares are designed to be temporary solutions and aren’t meant for long-term use. They’ve less traction and aren’t as durable as regular tires, making them unsuitable for extended driving.

It isn’t intended to be a long-term solution. In fact, driving on a spare tire for too long can cause damage to your vehicle and put your safety at risk. Spare tires are usually smaller than regular tires and may not provide the same level of stability and control on the road.

Run-flat tires have their limitations and may not be suitable for all situations.

Dont forget to periodically check the condition of your spare tire and replace it if necessary.

The Best Practices for Storing a Spare Tire in Your Vehicle

  • Ensure that the spare tire is properly inflated before storing it.
  • Clean the spare tire and remove any debris or dirt from it’s surface.
  • Place the spare tire in a secure location within your vehicle.
  • Avoid storing the spare tire near any heat sources or flammable materials.
  • Use a tire cover or bag to protect the spare tire from sunlight and environmental damage.
  • Regularly check the spare tire’s pressure and condition to ensure it’s ready for use.
  • Store any necessary tools, such as a jack and lug wrench, alongside the spare tire.
  • Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific instructions on storing the spare tire.
  • Periodically inspect the spare tire for any signs of wear or damage.
  • Replace the spare tire if it becomes worn, damaged, or too old.
  • When using the spare tire, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation and removal.

Many car care organizations and authorities strongly encourage drivers to always have a spare tire in their vehicles, even though there’s no law or state requirement that mandates it. This is because having a spare tire can come in handy during unexpected situations on the road.

Is It OK to Drive Without a Spare Tire?

Having a spare tire isn’t a legal obligation for drivers, as there’s no law or state requirement that mandates it’s presence in every vehicle. Nevertheless, it’s highly recommended by car care organizations and authorities that drivers always carry a spare tire in their vehicles. This precautionary measure ensures preparedness for unforeseen circumstances that may arise while on the road.

Flat tires are among the most common issues that drivers encounter, caused by factors such as sharp objects on the road or tire punctures. This self-sufficiency can be particularly beneficial for individuals who frequently drive in rural or less inhabited areas where help may be limited.

In the event of a flat tire, you may have to tow your vehicle to the nearest repair shop, purchase a new tire, or face expensive repair costs. However, if you’ve a spare tire available, you can avoid these unforeseen costs and make a temporary fix until a proper replacement can be obtained.

Being prepared for unexpected tire issues can save you time, money, and the stress of being stranded on the side of the road.

If left untouched, a spare tire can last up to ten years. However, certain factors can affect it’s longevity. For instance, if your spare tire is stored in a vulnerable spot like outside or underneath your vehicle, you need to be more vigilant about checking it’s condition. Harsh weather and road salt can deteriorate the tire’s condition over time, making it difficult to remove when needed.

How Long Does a Spare Tire Last if Never Used?

Additionally, if a spare tire is never used, it’s important to periodically inspect it for signs of aging or damage. Over time, the rubber can deteriorate, causing cracks or bulges. These issues can compromise the integrity of the tire and make it unsafe to use in the event of a flat tire on the road.

This may include regularly checking the tire pressure, inspecting for any visible damage, and rotating the spare tire with the other tires as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

If your spare tire has been in use for an extended period and shows signs of aging or damage, it’s advisable to replace it with a new one. This will help ensure that you’ve a reliable spare tire available in case of an emergency.

Harsh weather conditions and road salt can also affect the condition of a spare tire, making it necessary to check it more frequently if stored outside or underneath the vehicle.

How to Choose the Right Size Spare Tire for Your Vehicle

  • Measure the diameter of your vehicle’s wheel
  • Identify the bolt pattern of your vehicle’s wheel
  • Determine the width and aspect ratio of your vehicle’s tire
  • Consult the owner’s manual for recommended spare tire sizes
  • Research online or contact a tire specialist for further guidance
  • Consider purchasing a full-size spare if storage space allows
  • Verify the load rating and speed rating of the spare tire
  • Test fit the spare tire to ensure proper clearance
  • Remember to regularly check the air pressure of the spare tire
  • Keep necessary tools and equipment for tire changing handy


In conclusion, the impact of a spare tire kit on fuel efficiency remains a complex issue. While it’s reasonable to assume that the added weight and changes in aerodynamics may lead to a decrease in MPG, the extent of this reduction can vary depending on several factors such as the type of kit, driving conditions, and vehicle specifications. With advancements in technology and the introduction of lightweight materials, manufacturers are striving to minimize these potential drawbacks.

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