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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning my first tire rotation and because I have a full size spare I was going to rotate 5 tires. The owners manual shows a 4 tire rotation sequence without using the spare. I called corporate and they tell me the spare is on different wheel yet I have the factory stock steel wheels. They assure me the spare tire is identical to the others and its wheel is rated for continuous full load but it is a different wheel. They say my only option if I want to use the spare in rotation is to re mount it on one of the other 4 wheels or have a different looking wheel. Is this really true? I am physically challenged and cannot myself lower the spare for inspection.
 

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Master Overland Custom Vans Tampa
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I am planning my first tire rotation and because I have a full size spare I was going to rotate 5 tires. The owners manual shows a 4 tire rotation sequence without using the spare. I called corporate and they tell me the spare is on different wheel yet I have the factory stock steel wheels. They assure me the spare tire is identical to the others and its wheel is rated for continuous full load but it is a different wheel. They say my only option if I want to use the spare in rotation is to re mount it on one of the other 4 wheels or have a different looking wheel. Is this really true? I am physically challenged and cannot myself lower the spare for inspection.
OK that sounds crazy. I specifically purchased five new tires so that I could do the 5 tire rotation. I don't see anything different about the spare steel wheel. Maybe call and ask for a supervisor to verify this info.
 

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Well , if the spare is any different, they sure fooled me. Had a puncture at about 18k, put on the spare. I'm at 117k now on what was originally the spare. TPMS works too.

For the first 30k, I rotated the tires every 8k or so. Then I got lazy and stopped doing that. There's probably an empircal way to know this, but I think rotating is likely a waste of time unless you aren't running a lot of miles. For most people, anything over 100k on a set of tires is already a win, and the .001 millimeter of tread you'd have saved by rotating them just isn't a big deal. Certainly not worth it if it involves busting out the floor jack and rolling around on the ground, or the amount of brake dust you are going to eat muscling the tires around. Also....those **** things are heavy and they are pin located on the hub which makes it a finagle to get them on.

One last thing: the TPMS system is not a 5 channel system that reads the spare tire. Call me crazy, but I think I'd rather have a 1 channel system that reads ONLY the spare - that seems more useful.
 

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I've been dropping the spare (see my bad winch thread) and rotating every 10k miles. I move the spare to the left rear and keep going all around CW till the right rear ends up the spare. I've never noticed any difference between any of the Stella rims, perhaps they were saying if you have the mag wheels you get a regular steel rim? I didn't realize all the tires don't have the TPS tho - good to know.

I would say at 30k miles my tires are all about half worn. I don't expect to get more than 50 or 60 thousand out of them even with roaring them. They aren't Michelens for sure and I won't miss them when they go!
 

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Odd to say the spare isn't TPMS as my '15 showed the light and the only tire that was low was the spare and it was near 60 psi. I got them all to the number on the door (72 spare and rears, 65 fronts) and drove for a couple of days and the light went off. All the other tires were 62 or more. The spare was under 60 so I felt it was the spare!

BTW as far as rotation

From the user Guide:
Spare Tire Matching Original Equipped Tire And Wheel — If Equipped
Your vehicle may be equipped with a spare tire and wheel equivalent in look and function to the original equipment tire and wheel found on the front or rear axle of your vehicle. This spare tire may be used in the tire rotation for your vehicle. If your vehicle has this option, refer to an authorized tire dealer for the recommended tire rotation pattern.

AND:
http://www.autoblog.com/2014/10/30/fca-recalling-33k-vans-suvs-tire-pressure/
 

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Here's my 2 cents, but I'm sure plenty of people will disagree. Considering your physical limitations, unless you're operating your van as part of a business or you will be traveling in distant areas far from services. I'd say ditch the spare completely, get roadside assistance and just run a 4 tire rotation!

I haven't had a flat on my 10 ply van tires in over 15 years. 75% of the time any leak is going to be slow and you'll have plenty of time to get to a service station, or add air using a small pump. I'd rather get the fuel savings of ditching the 100lbs of tire, sell the spare for $150, not have the additional cost or hassle of rotating or replacing the spare. In the rare event of a catastrophic failure of a tire while on the road, the cost of the service and replacement will probably be covered by savings of ditching the spare.
 

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Tell that to my wife as we sit on the side of the road at night waiting for Good Sam to send a truck over!

I managed to get the spare down this morning and rotated them all. The rims all have the same part number on them. I have no idea if all of them have the TPS but the light doesn't come on no mater what position the are in so I have to assume they do.

If you do only have 4 tires I have to agree with Kip, rotating is a waste of time but if you have 5 all on the same rims it only make sense to keep rotating them 10K so you don't end up with a useless new spare and gain 20% more tire usage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re post 6 eliminating the spare. I once had a failure in a semi rural area of a tire on a van converted to an RV with the spare eliminated in favor of tankage. My roadside service contractor had to find a store that had the correct tire in stock, go purchase the tire, and then come to my aid. Two hours later the service person appeared. Using old timey long tire irons he then had to manually unmount the old tire and install the new onto the wheel while it rested on a piece of old carpet on the side of the road. This took another hour and considerable skill and physical strength that many roadside service folks might not have. His gasoline air compressor would not start until he fiddled with it for 15 minutes. Since that time I vowed to always have a spare.

Interestingly the failure was not the tire itself but a sudden total failure of the valve stem. By the time I could stop from high speed the rim had destroyed the tire.
 

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Clarifications: all 5 tires have a TPMS sensor in them, but as far as I can tell they the computer doesn't/can't read the one in the spare tire position. Mine had the TMPS recall done around the time of the Autoblog post. It takes 2 minutes at a dealership, so anytime your PM is at a dealer they probably did the update and may not have even told you. Maybe it's germain to me, but my spare currently in position and totally flat, and I don't have a light. Another point - the computer is pretty smart. It knows what the pressure is supposed to be in each position (65 front, 72 rear), and will learn each tire's position in a mile or two. From past experience with a leaky tire, I'd guess the threshold to light the light is 5psi, maybe as much as 7psi.

Regarding not carrying a spare, I could see both sides. About 1 year ago I got a puncture in the PM, and was darn glad to have the spare even though it was an adventure learning how the winch/jack/iron worked at night in the rain. But it made the difference between delivering on time and not delivering on time. But for local travel I see the appeal. I most of my passenger cars, I ditched the spare years ago because the x-wife was pathologically unable to learn how to change a tire. So what's the point. If you, or whomever is driving isn't willing and able to change it, then there's probably no point in carrying one. TravelDerby makes a very good point; tires don't go flat as often as they once did.
 
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