What to do with the spare tire.

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What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:55 am

The spare (5 years old, looks perfect) has NOT been on the ground. Do I buy 3 new tires and
use the spare, using an old one for the spare?

Sorry, it's an Ford Explorer, so it has been exposed to the elements for 5 years.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:58 am

That sounds like a plan.

Why have you not been rotating the spare?
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:03 am

I never rotated in the spare on my Ranger because it had a different rim and thus looked stupid.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:04 am

If it's completely brand new and it is a regular, full-size tire, then you can use it. Many cars come with a 'donut', a temporary use spare tire that isn't meant to be used except in an emergency. This tire should not be used regularly. You must be sure your spare is a full-size spare.

If you do get three new tires, you must ensure that each of the three is identical to the one you have in every way. Mismatching tires causes many problems. If your vehicle is equipped with TPMS or other tire pressure management system that alerts you to low tire pressure, be sure that the spare has the TPMS circuitry in it as well.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:06 am

Ford rotates the tires when they change the oil. Check the signature block, too Old & Lazy!
It is a full spare -- Rim and all

Good catch, on the TPMS circuitry, I'll check.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:12 am

Just a question, is the TPMS a function of the Tire or the Rim?
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:13 am

Ok tyres have a 6-year shelf life according to manufacturers. Check out CarBibles and this Video
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:26 am

Dirge wrote:Ok tyres have a 6-year shelf life according to manufacturers. Check out CarBibles and this Video


Good find, and the most important post yet. Your ability to stop and turn safely relies more on the tires than anything else, as the tires are the only things that connect your car to the ground. I'd follow the 6-year rule religiously.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:33 am

So, is it still good enough to remain a spare?
Its got to be better than one of those donuts.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:37 am

Being old and lazy doesn't prevent you from being crotchety enough to make the dealership people do the rotation properly. :evil:

If there are no signs of cracking, I'd say use it.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:47 am

Crotchety, I can do, no problem.


This however still doesn't answer the question --

Does the spare not have TPMS and is that why the dealership
is not useing it in the rotation?
Last edited by RealityChk on Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:47 am

Given that web site's recommendation, it's not recommended. Probably the best idea is to get five brand new tires and rotate in the spare every time you rotate the tires. That's what I'd do.

Materials can break down without any visible damage, so even if the tire looks okay it could still disintegrate if you stress it with sudden braking or turning.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:26 am

RealityChk wrote:Just a question, is the TPMS a function of the Tire or the Rim?

Rim. It's either a device that screws onto the valve stem or is banded to the inner surface of the rim. Most nowadays are the valve-stem type.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:48 am

Now we're talking real technology!!

Let see --

1. The device is part of that itty bitty valve stem.
2. The device requires NO internal or external power.
3. It reports it's status (over or under tire pressure) the
vehicle's on board computer.
4. There are four of them and they don't interfer which
each other.
5. Let's not discuss all the environmental conditions it has to
survive.

How does it work???
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:52 am

It's got a long-life lithium battery in it (I think). I don't think RFID could send enough power to run an air pressure sensor, but I could be wrong. Environmentally, other than temperature changes, inside the tire is a pretty benign environment.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:59 am

If you're going to drive your car for another full set of tires, get 5 new tires and insist that the spare be part of the rotation like it's supposed to be.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:11 am

You would have to take it back to the tire vendor, if the spare didn't have
a TPMS stem.

Because the spare tire would have to be remove from its original trim to be
placed on one of the TPMS rims and the rotated tire placed on the spare's rim.

No dealerships is going to do that for you.

Solution -- have a TPMS installed in the spare rim.
2nd Solution -- buy a new car.

Can you do that and will it work??
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:32 am

RealityChk wrote:Solution -- have a TPMS installed in the spare rim.

Most cars can only register 4 TPMS sensors, so you'd have to go to the dealership and have them register the spare's sensor after you put it on.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:03 pm

RealityChk wrote:How does it work???


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_TPMS

As Captain Ned says, most systems use a battery powered sensor. Like him, I'm not sure if an unpowered RFID chip could do the job (RFID chips use the energy from the incoming query signal to power their reply, and there are lots of pizeoelectric pressure sensors that are powered by the physical forces they measure).

There is also another system called Indirect TPMS, that monitors the RPMs of each tire, and if the RPM changes for a given tire (eg if one tire gets a flat), the system reports it. This system doesn't need fancy sensors (the ABS unit on most cars already read RPMs), but I don't know if this system is used on any consumer vehicles.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:15 pm

Wow, Wow, Wow!

I could actually be breaking the law by running my spare!

Quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_TPMS

"The use of direct TPM in vehicles in the USA was mandated in 2000 by the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act (or TREAD)."


I'm going BACK into hiding.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:24 pm

Contra some of the suggestions, I would NOT re-use that spare as a daily driver for two reasons:

1. At five years old, it may have degraded somewhat, as already noted. In fact, if it's mounted underneath the vehicle (typical for many trucks, vans, and utility vehicles) then it almost certainly has, due to salt and elemental exposure. If mounted on the tailgate without a cover, then UV exposure has taken a toll.

2. It likely has a different tread pattern then whatever you buy to replace the others. This is usually not fatal if the tread application is the same (e.g. all-seaon light truck) but could have odd effects on grip and handling, particularly during emergency maneuvers and off-road duty.

I've had three cars with full-sized spares, but have never rotated the spare into the succession. I suppose with matched rims it would be easy, but I've always had alloy wheels and a steel spare, and yet I can still do my own rotation in the garage if I leave the spare out of it. And since spare rotation with an unmatched spare then requires breaking two sets of tires off the rims with every rotation, I would think the lost time at the tire shop and risk of wheel or tire damage every 3-5k miles would easily outweigh the benefits of obtaining even wear for a tire that you shouldn't be driving for long distances anyway (i.e., get to the tireshop ASAP so you're not driving around without a spare).
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:52 pm

If you do decide to use it (I wouldn't personally, but it seems most of the time when people ask stuff like this, they've already decided) please do not just mount it and forget it. After putting a little distance on it, inspect the sidewall (within a week or two). If you see ANY cracking at all, the tire needs to be replaced.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:19 pm

I am running my last set of recall firestones on an expedition right now. They are almost 11 yrs old. They were stored in a basement for till june of this year. Still fine.

Any decent tire shop can furnish another tpms or break down your tire and move one from another tire in. They will know how to get it to talk to the computer. Going to be pricey though... probably $100 more.

Watch tire shops change tires... if they don't have multiple well worn torque wrenchs in each bay, just leave. Sams club and wal mart video every tire change and terminate for failure to tourque (thats their line to thier insurance company anyway). I have had tires changed by about every shop in my area, and sams club,
walmart, and one more private store are the only ones out of about 200 that don't screw up the lugs or torque I have had a car come back for the largest tire shop in the area with 6 lugs (out of 20) wrung off. Had a good experience in firestone store in Atlanta Ga. thier prices were high, but their work was good. Get yourself a torque wrench and check them yourself when you get home. We finally just gave up and got our own tire equipment.

normally I save the last best tire and make it the new spare and mount a new tire back on the old spare that way the spare is reasonably fresh.

See if you can get more tires like the one you have if you try it. You can probably find some NOS (new old stock). I would expect it to take 1,000 miles or so to scrub off the weathered layer, so I would probably start with it on the back.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:53 pm

TPMS is so lame.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:15 am

MadManOriginal wrote:TPMS is so lame.

Agreed, but we're stuck with it because Ford blew off what Firestone regarded as the optimal tire pressure for the Explorer/Exploder simply because Ford wanted the lower pressure for "ride quality".
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:02 pm

I would be OK with it if it were not so useless. I think my wife's mazda3 doesn't come on until the pressure is below 23PSI, where the nominal is 32. It should alert at below 30, IMHO, just to save fuel economy and tire wear. As long as its there, it might as well be useful.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:24 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:I would be OK with it if it were not so useless. I think my wife's mazda3 doesn't come on until the pressure is below 23PSI, where the nominal is 32. It should alert at below 30, IMHO, just to save fuel economy and tire wear. As long as its there, it might as well be useful.

Unfortunately, tire pressure can change by a few psi just from normal temperature variations during cold weather spells -- TPMS comes on at a cold start, then maybe goes away after driving for a while, or when the ambient temperature rises. If they don't allow enough margin for ordinary variation, you get lots of service calls and customer complaints on one hand, and lots of people ignoring the TPMS light on the other hand.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:44 pm

ludi wrote:
SpotTheCat wrote:I would be OK with it if it were not so useless. I think my wife's mazda3 doesn't come on until the pressure is below 23PSI, where the nominal is 32. It should alert at below 30, IMHO, just to save fuel economy and tire wear. As long as its there, it might as well be useful.

Unfortunately, tire pressure can change by a few psi just from normal temperature variations during cold weather spells -- TPMS comes on at a cold start, then maybe goes away after driving for a while, or when the ambient temperature rises. If they don't allow enough margin for ordinary variation, you get lots of service calls and customer complaints on one hand, and lots of people ignoring the TPMS light on the other hand.

Service calls? Fill up your damned tires! Not that hard.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:45 pm

Use spare tyres for this.
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Re: What to do with the spare tire.

Postposted on Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:09 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:Service calls? Fill up your damned tires! Not that hard.

The rule of thumb is that for every 10F decline in ambient temps, resting (i.e. car is parked) tire pressure goes down 1 PSI. The tires you filled to 32 PSI when it was 80F are now at 27PSI when it's 30F one morning. While you and I would understand why the TPMS light is lit, the average drone would not. The average drone thinks nothing of tire pressure, which is why when they go to chain oil-change shops the "techs" simply inflate the tires to the max PSI on the sidewall. I can't tell you the myriad forms of bushwa I've heard spewed from those shops as to why it's always "best" to pump the tire to its limit.
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