Cookie Wheel: How Fast and How Far Can I Go with It?

Changing a flat tire is something most of us have done at least once in our driving lives. It usually involves nothing more than putting on the spare tire and continuing on our journey. Unfortunately, for many years, cars have opted to mount a tedious anti- puncture kit . Luckily, some come with a spare wheel . But not one like the one you would find in a car from the 90s, but the one known as a "cookie wheel" .

As you probably already know, these wheels are nothing like the rest of the vehicle, so you will have to pay special attention when driving with one on. A biscuit wheel is a thin sheet metal tire with a peculiar appearance that some of the modern vehicles carry as a spare tire these days (and many others seeing that the age of the Spanish fleet exceeds 13 years ). It is also called a compact or temporary spare wheel , but that does not change that they are an emergency solution and not a regular spare wheel.

Their size and shape help them save space in the car and they are also lighter than the standard size spare wheel (same purpose that has led to the rise of puncture- proof kits ). This convenience comes with compromises, of course. The most important and dangerous, of course, concerns the handling and safety that your car offers . As the rubber is so narrow, the contact surface with the asphalt is smaller, something that does not help the steering, stability or braking distances much.

At what maximum speed can I circulate with a biscuit wheel?

This affects the handling of the vehicle and you could end up in potentially dangerous situations . Especially when braking or accelerating hard, as you will have uneven forces that could cause the car to drift to one side with the spare wheel, so it is easy to end up in a ditch or oncoming traffic if the road is a dual carriageway. sense. This is why it is recommended to drive slowly and smoothly when using a biscuit wheel. And when we say slowly, we mean no more than 80 km/h .

While you can drive on the road open to traffic, it's safer to stay out of it, or stay in the right lane at the pace of slower trucks. Also, keep in mind that systems such as electronic stability control (ESP) and traction control (TC), as well as anti-lock braking (ABS) will not work properly with the part . Therefore, it is understood that you should drive as little as possible while you have that type of tire on the car, but everyone understands differently what that means.

What is the maximum distance I can travel with a biscuit wheel?

Maybe you find yourself lost in the middle of nowhere and the next workshop is 100 miles away. But this is one of those very extreme situations that should not be taken as a reference. As a general rule, you should not drive more than 115 km with a biscuit wheel . And even so, it must be taken with caution, since there are some experts who recommend not exceeding 80 kilometers due to the state of the rubber. Think about it, that wheel may have been more than 10 years without being used. The compound no longer has the same resistance and contact.

A cookie wheel is not made like normal wheels. They are less durable and cannot take the abuse of driving like a normal tire would. The rubber they are made of is of inferior quality and is much thinner than in a normal tire. This also means that you will have to throw them away when they get punctured or damaged, as they cannot be repaired . That is why they are also called temporary… However, if you are lucky enough that you have not needed it in the useful life of the car, you will not have to change it.

But the rubber will deteriorate over time, and even when not in use, the waffle wheels will eventually need to be replaced. This is true regardless of whether you have a full size wheel or a reduced size. Except that with the first one, you can consider changing tires in the rest of the corners. If you want to be on the safe side, it is recommended to replace the biscuit wheel after 10 years , because even if it looks “like new” (it is not).

In the end, you should know that both normal and biscuit spare wheels have their advantages and disadvantages, and the use of one or the other depends on the car you have and your driving habits. In general, the largest and heaviest vehicles still have a normal spare wheel, while passenger cars already opt for the biscuit (although it is already a rare bird ). Of course, a standard wheel is preferable , but in most cases, that would not be practical as it takes up more space in the trunk of the car (and is better than the puncture kit ).