is there an advantage to exercise spare tires?

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I have a full size spare tire in my RAV4, but it's on a steel wheel. The other wheels are alloys. Initially, I tried 5 wheel rotation but I didn't like the look of mismatched wheels, so I went back to 4 wheel rotation. I just did a tire rotation with a new set of tires with a similar thread depth and I'm tempted to involve the old spare again, at least for one interval. Do you thing it would be of any benefit for the spare?
 
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I have a Rav as well. Some posts I've come across where they incorporated their full size spare is the miles of their tires was longer vs just only rotating between four. These were posts regarding how long the OEM tires lasted for other owners.
 
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British Columbia, Canada
I'd get a 5th alloy wheel and go back to a 5 wheel rotation. Then when I buy new tires put the best tire on the spare wheel and revert to a 4 wheel rotation. Avoids having a no wear but grossly out of date tire as a spare, or throwing out a perfectly good but out of date tire. Guess the decision depends on the cost of a 5th alloy wheel. But I'm not too proud to pick one up at a used parts place. Ecotourist
 
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I think it's a wash. If you have to spend money on an extra rim, that's probably the same as getting a new tire later.
 
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Montreal, QC, Canada
I would go with a 5 wheel rotation. You reduce the wear rate of your tires, and if you get a flat the "spare" becomes a "regular" tire. If your tires are worn half way, you are stuck buying 2 NEW tires to put on the back "axel". So it is more $$$. But what is more of a pain is they might not have your tires in stock, or they are discontinued at that point. After a flat happens, then a brand new tire sits in the spare well. You can then make it a different tire completely, one that maybe you plan on purchasing in the future as your full time set. I was thinking of doing a fifth wheel rotation at one point with a tire that would stay in my storage locker as I have a small spare. That way if you have a tire blowout, you aren't shopping for a full new set. And your tires wear is reduced by 25 percent by adding the fifth tire into the rotation sequence.
 
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friendly_jacek

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I well understand the benefits of 5 wheel rotation. I was curious if there are any benefits to exercise the spire tire from time to time. I heard that tires that sit a lot are more susceptible to dry rot compared to tires that move.
 
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Would using tire products that have conditioner and UV protection help against this?
Originally Posted By: friendly_jacek
I well understand the benefits of 5 wheel rotation. I was curious if there are any benefits to exercise the spire tire from time to time. I heard that tires that sit a lot are more susceptible to dry rot compared to tires that move.
 
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Cincinnati
I still have my original full-sized spare from 2005, under a vinyl cover. Looks brand new because it is. I've never used it once. I should probably buy a new one just because this one may be aging out. I never rotated it in and probably never will. The factory tires were garbage anyway.
 
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Does the RAV4 have an AWD system which requires matched tires or is it more forgiving? I like 5 tire rotations to start with. Incorporating the new spare in my sister's Jeep's rotation schedule kept her from having to buy tires before she sold it. The math just worked out that way. Plus it felt good to get every penny's worth of use out of a set of Bridge$tone tires. Kira
 
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You're correct in that tires that sit a lot are more susceptible to dry rot compared to tires that move. The tire is impregnated with oils and waxes that migrate and preserve the rubber when it flexes as it rolls.
 

friendly_jacek

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Originally Posted By: berniedd
You're correct in that tires that sit a lot are more susceptible to dry rot compared to tires that move. The tire is impregnated with oils and waxes that migrate and preserve the rubber when it flexes as it rolls.
Thanks! This is exactly what I've heard. I don't remember the source though.
 
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Idaho
Originally Posted By: berniedd
You're correct in that tires that sit a lot are more susceptible to dry rot compared to tires that move. The tire is impregnated with oils and waxes that migrate and preserve the rubber when it flexes as it rolls.
I remember reading the same thing in the Michelin documentation that came with my tires. The OP was asking about a full size spare tire. But I wonder if this also applies to compact spare tires? Or do manufacturers add special preservatives to compact spares, because they often sit for ten years in a hot trunk?
 

friendly_jacek

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Originally Posted By: SubLGT
do manufacturers add special preservatives to compact spares, because they often sit for ten years in a hot trunk?
Doubt it. When my corolla's compact spare tire was about 8 year old (IIRC), it exploded while sitting in the trunk. Properly inflated all the time. Had to order another used one from ebay. I thought it was very unusual until I googled and there are lots of similar accounts of explosions.
 

friendly_jacek

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Originally Posted By: berniedd
You're correct in that tires that sit a lot are more susceptible to dry rot compared to tires that move. The tire is impregnated with oils and waxes that migrate and preserve the rubber when it flexes as it rolls.
This is very true indeed. I put the spare tire in rotation again and after a couple of weeks of riding after a few years of inactivity, you can actually scrape a thin layer of wax from the surface. Cool!
 
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