On our last episode we explained the advantages to including the spare tire in a tire rotation. Those advantages are notable, but there are times when you need to leave it out. But how do you know?
Yep, there are notable benefits to rotating tires with a full-size spare, there are some drawbacks to consider, too. One big one? The increased complexity and time required for the rotation process. Including the spare means that an additional tire needs to be removed, inspected and reinstalled during each rotation, which can add to the overall time and effort involved in the task.
Another drawback is that it introduces the potential for increased wear on the spare tire. Since the spare is not actively engaged in regular driving, it might experience different wear patterns compared to the other tires. As a result, including the spare in the rotation cycle could lead to accelerated wear and aging of the spare tire, potentially compromising its performance when needed in an emergency.
The condition and age of the spare tire are also critical factors. If the spare tire is significantly older than the other tires or shows signs of aging, including it in the rotation cycle is not advisable.
In cases where including a full-size spare in the rotation process poses a challenge or is not recommended, there are, of course, alternative options. The most common approach is the four-tire rotation, where the spare is not involved, and the front and rear tires are rotated across the vehicle. This method can simplify the rotation process and reduce the time and effort needed to finish the job.
For vehicles equipped with a temporary or compact spare tire, also known as a donut spare, a different set of considerations and rotation practices apply. Donut spares are typically intended for short-term use in emergency situations and are not designed for long-term regular driving. So, if your customer’s spare is, indeed, a donut, don’t include it in the standard tire rotation process.
Ultimately, the decision on whether to rotate tires with a full-size spare depends on individual circumstances, vehicle requirements and driving habits. By carefully weighing the pros and cons and considering the specific factors that impact tire rotation, you can make an informed choice that aligns with the optimal maintenance of your customer’s vehicle. At the very least, talk to your customer about it to show off your expertise on the subject.