I always rotate all my tires.
●A 5 tire rotation lasts 25% longer than a 4 tire rotation. 5 tires costs 25% more than 4 tires. $800 every 40k/4yr is the same as $1000 every 50k/5yr. Arguing cost is stupid.
●If you change patterns or sizes, you didn't waste money on the spare you never used.
●You never need to worry about using an old rotted spare.
●If you DO need your spare, the tread is always within 3k miles of your flat (I not convinced this matters).
IMO, it is a no-brainer. If you can't afford all 5 at once, just get 4 and save for the fifth before your next 3k rotation. If that's not possible, maybe Jeep ownership isn't for you.
personally when i bought my tires i planned on rotating in my spare that's why i bought 5 new tires. but recently i was reading opinions back and forth where people didn't for the reason i stated above. but i do agree with what you said. i just passed 3k miles since i put them on, have not rotated them yet, but will be doing it real soon.
Build - http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f197/4x4jeeps-build-thread-1341031 - SOLD
i can not see why you would not? I mean you are saving the spar for? after 5 years even unused it is at the point of rot anyway? at least out here the AZ sun eats things up. on many of these newer heeps i would bet that if a tire is off like 1/2 inch it might think you are in a skid. got 5 rotate em all.
It drives me crazy when I see mismatched spares on the back of 4x4's. A classic one these days is the fancy new JK on giant MT's (that probably never goes off-road, but that's a totally different issue) with a stock-sized highway tire on the back. FACEPALM
I have a set of 5 for 3 seasons, and they're all in rotation. I use my original set of 4 (since my XJ didn't come with a full-sized spare) for winter tires.
If I had a matching spare/wheel, I would for a reason not mentioned.
If you have 5 matching tires/wheels all with the same age/miles, and you damage a tire either by off-roading and a hiway road hazard, you have a ready to go match to put into service. Then buy something else used for a spare.
I have seen/read many times where people have been forced to buy or put into service a new tire to go with the other worn three, or buy a new set because the three they have remaining is not available, etc.
Like mentioned above, I have a F150 and Tahoe in the drive where the new spare rotted because of a rim that didn't match and could not be rotated in.
BTW - I read somewhere that tires that aren't driven on crack and rot faster than tires that are driven on.
This because tires flex when driven and that (allegedly) works fresh protective oils, waxes, and UV protectants to the surface of the tread and sidewalls, which (allegedly) slows decay from ozone and UV.
So if that's true, driving on a tire delays decay/rot/cracks.
Even if that's not true, I guarantee an unused spare will eventually rot/crack and be wasted (regardless of the exact causes).
So if you don't rotate your spare in, it will eventually go to waste from cracks/rot, AND the other 4 tires tread will wear out 25% faster.
Warning: I often edit my posts a few times to get them complete, or to correct errors.
The real question to me is this. Is it worth buying a 5th tire? I'm undecided. I guess it depends on your finances.
In the long run, it doesn't cost you any more because rotating it in makes your tire set last longer than it would if it was just 4 in rotation. If you don't have a matching spare to begin with, it's just a one-time extra cost to purchase it in the short-term. Like someone said earlier--if you can't afford to buy 5 at one time, buy 4 and just buy the 5th one sometime before your first rotation.
Makes your tire set last longer.
Guarantees you'll never have to use an underpressured or rotting spare.
Guarantees that you'll never have to use a spare that's too large or two small which is especially great if you find yourself needing 4wd.
The only additional long-term cost is the mounting/balancing of a 5th tire every X years.
For exterior-mounted spares, you won't look like a yuppie idiot poser with a tiny, mis-matched spare on the back/top of your rig.
It matters a lot on newer AWD vehicles and vehicles with a AWD selection(like a Jeep with the 242 t-case).
Company's that make AWD's have a 3/32" tread depth difference max spec between all the tires.
Yes, if the AWD isn't optional, it matters. I was thinking more of people who don't have to use any form of AWD if they don't want to and just taking for granted that people know never to used A/4wd with tires that are different sizes. My XJ is a 4x4 and came with a compact spare because it is assumed that if you need your spare, it is only for the emergency and only for as long as it takes you to get the flat repaired asap.
That's a distasteful situation which is why I snagged a set of 5 for 3 seasons. I use a set of 4 in the winter because my chosen winter tires are directional and not as friendly to an odd-numbered rotation as a non-directional tire is.