Adding new spare tire into rotation of used tires.

sampsonrustic

New member
Title says it all. I’ve had a full size spare as long as I can remember, but never rotated it, just put it on when needed, repaired original, and put it back. Just got a new-to-me truck, that doesn’t have a full size spare, so I’m going to order one. It’s hard to estimate how many miles are on the current set but I’m guessing 5-10k. Wondering if I should get the spare and immediately add it to the tire rotation as these are still pretty new, or just keep it separate. Having a fifth tire that’s matched in tread is ideal, but eventually
When you destroy a tire you end up with a new one in the rotation anyway. So the alternative, assuming you destroy a tire, is putting two new ones on the axle, and keeping the now good used one as an extra spare.

Btw, I’m new to this forum, but have been a long time reader. Mostly doing single and double overnights off the beaten path, nothing too wild and don’t really expect to kill too many tires. Currently running hankook dynapros.

I searched but didn’t find anything that seemed to discuss this, so I’m wondering if there’s just an obvious way to go about this.
Cheers from SoCal.
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
A lot depends on the type of tire, but I would just put it in rotation without worrying about it. I go back and forth on rotating 5 versus 4. Most of the reason I rotate 5 is that having one on the back of the Jeep always seems to trash the balance on it. Maybe from the pressure sideways in the mount? Maybe just crap tires? Whatever. They wear fast and I change them pretty frequently.
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
Yup, rotate it in. No worries at all with that low of mileage on your current tires.

The added bonus is that if you keep all 5 around the same tread depth, and you cut one down near the end of the set, you can buy one new tire and just burn down the remaining four tires and get four more that match the new spare and start over. That way your running four tires with matched tread depth even though you bought one new one. I've never cut one down though, so I just burn all five down. You also get 20% get more mileage out of a "set" when you rotate in the spare. :)

When I rotate, I cross the fronts to the rear, and put whichever rear has less tread into the spare positon. Then I cross the remaining rear to the front and put the spare on the other front. I used to try to keep track, but now I just call it as I go based on tread depth, or the flip of a coin. :).
 
When I rotate, I cross the fronts to the rear, and put whichever rear has less tread into the spare positon. Then I cross the remaining rear to the front and put the spare on the other front. I used to try to keep track, but now I just call it as I go based on tread depth, or the flip of a coin. :).
Don't you end up running opposite rotation on the tires because you select whichever rear tire has the most wear? By the third rotation you could be running a tire on the right side that had originally run on the left.
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
Don't you end up running opposite rotation on the tires because you select whichever rear tire has the most wear? By the third rotation you could be running a tire on the right side that had originally run on the left.
Radial tires do not care about direction. I find that crossing them at rotation and hence reversing direction works better to prevent cupping.

Sent from my ADR1776 using Tapatalk
 

shenrie

^^^ hates cars
The wheel and tire setup I have is heavy and I’m lazy. Haven’t had any issues with cupping or irregular wear so far so I just measure tread depth and swap whichever one has the most wear out with the spare. It was left front first 3-4 times, but the right rear was the most worn at the last oil change. I just make sure they wear as evenly as possible. Tread depth gauges are cheap and take the guesswork out of it.
 

sampsonrustic

New member
Thanks for all the replies. It sounds like adding the spare into the mix and rotating every 5000 in one of the suggested patterns is probably my best bet.
 

Wayaway

Member
When I bought new wheels and tires, I bought 5 of each for the express purpose of doing 5 wheel rotations.
 

roving1

Active member
Rotating spares seems like a huge waste of time and money. Buy a nice used tire in the same size that is in the same ballpark of off road capability. Learn how to read dates so that it is not too old. I run St Maxxes and bought a different used late model MT tire for 40 bucks for the that is perfectly fine. Whenever it gets old and dry rotted I'll convert one of the used tires into a spare or buy a newer higher tread depth used tire to replace it.

To me the spare is to get me off the trailhead back to town or back home. I could really care less if it's a brand new 150 dollar tire that is the exact same as what I am running given I am only going to put 50-2000 miles on the tire for its whole life, or possibly 0 miles.

If you have the bucks to spend sure and like tire rotations to be harder for no reason go for it. But there is a pretty good case for for not rotating the spare and not buying 5 new tires.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Financially speaking, there isn't a whole lot to save on a 5 wheel rotation, especially if you are just putting a good used tire on your spare rack. It makes more sense for many applications to just replace the tires in sets. Do whichever axle wears the most (rear for RWD, front for FWD). Put the freshest tires on the rear generally.
 

shade

Well-known member
I found a good deal on two OEM wheels that matched the set of four I already had, so I have six.

I sort of use the 5-wheel 4WD pattern posted by HH. The spare and loose wheel go on the front end on the next rotation, the former fronts go to the rear, and the former rears become the new spare & loose wheel. After rotation, I compare tread depth on the two loose wheels, and carry the one with more tread as the spare.

I have plenty of room for storing #6, and I can carry two spares when going to places that eat tyres, or would be difficult to get one. No big deal.
 
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