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Unread 07-16-2013, 10:24 AM   #1
Butterjeep
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Wranglers and 5 tire rotations.

Nothing makes me happier than when I see a Wrangler and I notice that the spare tire is worn evenly with the other 4 tires. It means that the owner is doing a 5 tire rotation.

Kudos to all of you that do this, you are extending tread life and saving money.

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Unread 07-16-2013, 10:41 AM   #2
2jhanna
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The other benefit to 5 tire rotations is that if you every damage a tire, you already have a "equally worn" same make/model tire to take its place. So you aren't forced into buying 1 new tire and then having a "misfit".

You can always pick-up a used tire for a spare until you are ready to buy a new set again.
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Unread 07-16-2013, 10:54 AM   #3
biffgnar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterjeep View Post
you are extending tread life
Please explain how the actual tire to ground mileage that the tread on any individual tire lasts changes from a 4 to 5 tire rotation. I understand how from a time perspective you may be extending the period of time it takes for mileage to run up on a tire as each tire gets an "off" time but that's just spreading the same miles over 5 tires instead of 4. On that theory, I'd really extend tread life if I had a whole additional set of tires and did an 8 tire rotation.
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Unread 07-16-2013, 12:01 PM   #4
joe108
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I don't like to have a brand new tire on the back because that's just good money sitting there unused.
I would rather carry around a worn spare and just do a 4 tire rotation, unless you want a new spare for looks.
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Unread 07-16-2013, 12:41 PM   #5
Renegade88
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I do 5 tire rotations because if I don't the spare seems to sun bleach and dry rot.
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Unread 07-16-2013, 01:05 PM   #6
Bhamshooter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
Please explain how the actual tire to ground mileage that the tread on any individual tire lasts changes from a 4 to 5 tire rotation. I understand how from a time perspective you may be extending the period of time it takes for mileage to run up on a tire as each tire gets an "off" time but that's just spreading the same miles over 5 tires instead of 4. On that theory, I'd really extend tread life if I had a whole additional set of tires and did an 8 tire rotation.
Talking in circles there. You answered your own question. The mileage on each tire is the same, but is at 80% of the miles on the vehicle. So you buy that 5th tire, and it is longer between buying sets of tires. I recently bought 4 BFG Rugged Terrains, and when it is time for the first rotation I'll be buying a 5th and rotating it in.
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Unread 07-16-2013, 05:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhamshooter View Post

Talking in circles there. You answered your own question. The mileage on each tire is the same, but is at 80% of the miles on the vehicle. So you buy that 5th tire, and it is longer between buying sets of tires. I recently bought 4 BFG Rugged Terrains, and when it is time for the first rotation I'll be buying a 5th and rotating it in.
But over the life of the vehicle you buy exactly the same number of tires. Agree that a spare that is never used can be a waste, but as it relates to tires that touch the road there is no difference in 4 v. 5 tire rotation as it relates to tread wear and ultimate cost to owner.

Here's a simple example to prove it. Take my extreme example of having a completely separate set of tires and doing an eight tire rotation. And let's say tires last 40k miles. I can either buy four tires now and in 40k buy a second set that will be worn out at 80k or I can buy 8 tires now and not have to buy anymore till 80k. But at that point completely the same - you've paid for eight tires. I suppose you could get real carried away and try to figure out the time value of money (i.e. buying the extra tires later versus now) compared to inflation and commodity prices (i.e. what do tires cost today versus what they will cost in future) but good luck with that.
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Unread 07-16-2013, 07:29 PM   #8
Butterjeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
Please explain how the actual tire to ground mileage that the tread on any individual tire lasts changes from a 4 to 5 tire rotation. I understand how from a time perspective you may be extending the period of time it takes for mileage to run up on a tire as each tire gets an "off" time but that's just spreading the same miles over 5 tires instead of 4. On that theory, I'd really extend tread life if I had a whole additional set of tires and did an 8 tire rotation.
Ok yes, you have me on this. I meant what you said.

I was inspired to start this thread because at the grocery store, I happened to park next to a Liberty and it was obvious that the owner was doing 5 tire rotations. My wife asks why I had a big doofy smile on my face and I thought of explaining to her the 5 tire rotation concept, but she thinks I'm strange enough anyway, so I just told her it was because I was excited we got Cinnamon Toast Crunch instead of the usual "healthy" cereal and I was excited to get home and eat a bowl. Unfortunately, that didn't add to my wife thinking I am not strange.
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Unread 07-16-2013, 08:19 PM   #9
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I'm a fan of the 5 tire rotation, but unfortunately the previous owner wasn't. So I have a nice, new spare with 50% wear on all of the others. Oh well, next set will get rotated with all five.
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Unread 07-16-2013, 09:28 PM   #10
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Similar issue on mine. I bought my Jeep with 32" BFGs, presumably its second set. But my spare is an unused 31" Wrangler. The BFGs might be worn enough that I could run the spare without too much worry getting home.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 07:31 AM   #11
2jhanna
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A frustrating problem that I have had on 3 different vehicles (Tahoe, F150, RAV4) now, is where the each vehicle would have a new matching spare tire, but the wheel is different. Therefore it can't be rotated in without swapping wheels.

In the Tahoe and F150, the new tire just sits under the rear and weathers.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 08:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2jhanna View Post
A frustrating problem that I have had on 3 different vehicles (Tahoe, F150, RAV4) now, is where the each vehicle would have a new matching spare tire, but the wheel is different. Therefore it can't be rotated in without swapping wheels.

In the Tahoe and F150, the new tire just sits under the rear and weathers.
I feel your pain. Know what I did with our old WK in that situation? When it came time for new tires, I kept one of the worn tires and had the shop put it on the spare rim. Then, I only bought 3 new tires, and had the spare (brand new) put on the remaining 4 wheels. If I ever get a flat, the worn tire still has plenty of tread to get me home.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 09:54 AM   #13
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I do a 5 tire rotation but not because I'm saving money but because I only have to jack up one corner at a time.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 10:01 AM   #14
brycec
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Lets math a little, shall we?

Facts
5 wheel rotation results in longer tread life when measured by time, but does not increase in tread life when measured by miles.
When using 5 wheel rotation, replacements are more expensive because you replace 5 tires instead of 4.

Question
Over the ownership of the Jeep, does performing 5 wheel rotations save money due to the fact that tires are replaced less often?

Example
Assumptions
Tread life in miles: 40,000
Miles driven in a year: 15,000
Tire replacement cost: $200

Replacement Interval Calculation
4 wheel rotation (4WR) 40,000 miles / 15,000 miles/year = 2.67 year replacement interval (32 months)
5 wheel rotation (5WR) 40,000 miles / (15,000 miles/year x 4/5ths*) = 3.33 year replacement interval (40 months)

Replacement Cost Calculation
4WR 4 tires x $200 = $800 per replacement
5WR 5 tires x $200 = $1,000 per replacement

*Let me explain my wear position ratio really quick In a 5WR there are 5 positions in which a tire may reside; only 4 of those 5 result in the tire incurring mileage wear. If we assume that tires are worn evenly under a rotation method, a 5WR results in each tire only incurring mileage wear for 4/5ths of the total miles driven. So in my example of 15,000 miles/year, a 5WR tire only experiences 12,000 miles of wear because for 3,000 of the total mileage driven (1/5th of 15,000), it was the spare.

Replacement Summary for 360 months (15 years), Detailing Month of Replacement
4WR 32, 64, 96, 128, 160, 192, 224, 256, 288, 320, 352 (11 replacements total)
5WR 40, 80, 120, 160, 200, 240, 280, 320, 360 (9 replacements total)

Summary
Tires are replaced at consistent intervals for each method (every 32 and 40 months for 4WR/5WR, respectively) and replacement costs are $200 more expensive for 5WR. However, since a 5WR replaces an extra tire, there are only four 5WR replacements for every five 4WR replacements. The time period necessary to incur four 5WR or five 4WR replacements is 160 months (13.33 years). This is a great interval for assessment, since at month 0 you have all new tires under each method, and month 160 is the first time in which you replace your tires under each method at the same time (thus restarting the 160 month interval again), and consequently the total cost of replacement under each method is the same (there is one less 5WR replacement, but the cost for each of those replacements was 1/5th more). So every 160 months it costs exactly the same to replace tires under either method ($4,000 for 20 tires), but it is true that these costs are not evenly distributed throughout the interval. So the question is: Within the 20 tire/160 month interval, are there more months for which it is less expensive to use a 5WR method?

Answer
Its the same. For 80 of the 160 months the total cost using 4WR is cheaper than 5WR and vice versa for the other 80 months. But again, those months are not evenly distributed. 5WR is favored in the back 80 months, while 4WR is favored in the first 80 months (at a ratio of approximately 70%/30%). In other words, if you were to sell your Jeep at a random month in the first 6.67 years of ownership, youd be statistically more likely to have saved money by performing a 4WR. If you were to sell it at a random month between 6.67 and 13.33 years, youd be more likely to have saved money using a 5WR.

Final Thoughts
So we mathed, and it was pretty cool. But there are more things to take into consideration, and this is where my bias is going to start to show.
  • When you do sell your Jeep, what condition do you want your tires/spare in? Depending on where you are in the replacement cycle (either method) you may end up blowing any savings out of the water by having to do an early replacement. Also, do you think a brand new spare equate to +$200 to the selling price?
  • At any point in time, would you rather have new tires on your Jeep or old tires? A 5WR lets you keep fresh tires longer, but consequently you end up having worn tires longer as well.
  • In the case of a flat, would you rather put on an brand new tire, or a spare that only has 10% life left?
If anyone is curious as to what I do... I do a 4WR, and not really for any of the reasons I stated above. Because I'm shallow and don't want a snaggly-*** tire hanging off the back of my baby. Same reason why I have my wife shop for lingerie at Victoria's Secret and not Walmart; I'm willing to pay more for the things I love to look good.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 10:14 AM   #15
SilverStreaker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brycec View Post
............Same reason why I have my wife shop for lingerie at Victoria's Secret and not Walmart; I'm willing to pay more for the things I love to look good.
Hey, walmart has great lingerie and spare tires lol
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