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What Is Doing Donuts In a Car and Is It Illegal?

The donut maneuver, performed at some abandoned parking lot, is a time-honored tradition. Doing donuts in a car, is for anyone who loves the thrill of tires spinning, billowing smoke, and a revving engine. 

The donut is an emblazoned circle on asphalt, and with the right audience looking on, it is its own “Great Reward.”

Car Donuts

Through the years, cars doing a donut in some lonely parking lot was akin to a right of passage for young drivers to prove their driving prowess. NASCAR race winners began performing a donut at the end of the race, and the maneuver quickly became a tradition.

Most of us have seen a movie’s vivid action of a car’s billowing smoke and the intense smell of rubber. Car donuts are generally celebratory maneuvers at the end of a race or showing off one’s driving skills.

According to Guinness World Records, Jaime Marrow of the United Kingdom gave the world 280 consecutive donuts on September 4, 2011.

What is a Car Donut?

Spinning donuts in a car entails rotating the front or rear of the vehicle in a continuous motion while accelerating around the opposite set of wheels. The goal is to create a circular skid-mark pattern made of rubber, possibly causing the tires to smoke. Simply, a donut is spinning the rear wheels while the fronts remain stationary.

How To Do A Donut In A Car

The classic donut maneuver should include a small, light vehicle with a manual transmission. Performing a donut may be dangerous. However, the maneuver can be performed safely with proper precautions taken. Make certain to turn off any “traction control” options; discover if your vehicle has this feature by accessing a well-informed vehicle history report. Master the skill of doing a donut and impress all your girlfriends.

Rear-wheel Drive Donuts

car wheels doing donuts

  • Place the car in first gear, then gradually press on the accelerator. Drive forward slowly until the car reaches 15mph to 20mph. Turn the steering wheel in the direction you want your donut to go. Keep turning the wheel about 45 degrees while making a large circle to see how the car feels and the way it turns.
  • The following two steps need to be done in sequence and rather quickly. Tighten the circle by sharply turning the steering wheel while gradually accelerating. Position your steering wheel so it is between a 45-degree angle and a 90-degree angle. As you turn the wheel, press the clutch to the floor and engage your handbrake.
  • Floor the accelerator, and release the clutch and handbrake together. The rear wheels will begin to lock up, and with enough speed, the car will go into a spin. After one or two donuts, decelerate and bring the steering wheel to a forward position.
  • After your first successful donut, exit the vehicle and start screaming wildly!
     

Front-wheel Drive Donuts

  • Shift the vehicle into first gear or mountain-climbing mode if it is an automatic. As you shift into gear, begin sharply turning the steering wheel in one direction. 
  • Start pressing the accelerator pedal hard while turning the steering wheel in your direction. The car should be going into its spin; as the car begins to glide, pull hard on the handbrake to begin the rear-wheel slide.
  • Practice and learn to press the accelerator and lift the brake handle simultaneously. This learned ability keeps the car spinning and gliding across the asphalt with ease.
  • As the vehicle loses power and spin, let the handbrake go and accelerate slightly to bring your car under full control.
     

Legalities of Doing A Car Donut

As with most everything of great fun and questionable propriety, doing a car donut on public property is illegal. However, there seem always to be exceptions to the rule in the United States. 

It would be wise to check local laws before going crazy in your car. 

On public streets and roadways, it is highly illegal for a person to do donuts; it is considered reckless driving. However, each state has its own interpretation of the law. For example, Florida statutes outlaw unsanctioned street racing, takeovers, wheelies, burnouts, and donuts.

One of the most significant questions a driver must ask: is it illegal to do donuts in a parking lot? The ramifications of the answer could be earth-shattering. Unless specific permissions from the owner are given, car donuts are also illegal on abandoned parking lots. 

The primary reason car donuts are illegal, how inherently unsafe the practice has become to drivers, passengers, and others.

A driver performing donuts will likely receive a ticket from most law enforcement officers. Depending on the circumstance, charges can go much higher, such as losing your license, reckless driving, and being charged with a street takeover.

Donut Damage

Pulling a wheelie, making cookies, or doing a donut in an abandoned parking lot is an immense pleasure. However, depending on the age and condition of your vehicle, donuts can and will cause damage to already weak components.

Drive trains usually take the brunt of the donut abuse. Hard moves with the transmission and clutch put tremendous stress on the suspension. CV Joints, differentials, brakes, and fuel lines are susceptible to damage.

Aggressively turning the steering wheel to its lock-out position can quickly wear out a power-steering pump. Slamming on the brakes while aggressively stomping on the gas pedal over and over may cause thermal stress on the vehicle. If the vehicle has a faulty cooling system, abusing the gas pedal and building heat does not help.

Damage you do not see can affect your vehicle for weeks and months. Another malady of making donuts in your car is the horrid smell of burnt rubber. Depending on the number and difficulty of the maneuver, your tires will be harmed the most. 

Shrugging off the pastime of making donuts in your car, as just harmless fun is dangerous; tell that to the cop writing you a ticket.

Alternatives

What Is Doing Donuts In a Car and Is It Illegal

If your heart and foot yearn to be free, try seeking out a Drifting Track near you. Drifting tracks, courses, and competitions are springing up nationwide, usually at the large NASCAR tracks and similar venues.

Drifting is the act of steering an automobile, skidding around the track in a controlled sideways motion around a turn while having the vehicle’s front tires pointing in the opposite direction that the car is turning.

Drifting began in the early 1980’s and has since grown into a competitive sport, with drivers squeezing every inch of excitement out of the maneuver. The sport of drifting is still in its infancy; however, in certain parts of the country, the sport is experiencing phenomenal growth.

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