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Unread 07-17-2013, 10:30 AM   #16
brycec
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Unread 07-17-2013, 11:10 AM   #17
Bhamshooter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
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.
Or you could do like I did. When it is replacement time, replace 4 of them. Next rotation buy a 5th and rotate 1 of the 4 originals to the spare. That way you always have 5 matching tires. As it is now, I have 4 31-10.50 BFG Rugged Terrains on the ground, and a 30-9.50 BFG A/T on the back. But in another month or so, I'll add the 5th 31-10.50 and all 5 match.

Doing a 5WR is better if you're apt to change the tire, as some Jeep owners are likely to do. Right now, I'm running the 31's, but in a couple of years, I might want to change my set-up from a stock one to one with a mild lift and go to 32 or 33 inch tires. So at that time, I'll probably keep whatever is the best looking 31-10.50 as my spare for a few months, and then get a matching 5th at the next rotation. It will truly be a "spare" tire and not one that gets into the rotation.

All of the time value and tread life stuff is fine. You'll get more vehicle miles on the 5 vs the 4. But tread life on each tire is the same. What it does is prolong the number of months before you're replacing tires. And I like mine to match, so there's that as well.

Another thing that I just thought of while typing this. If you're truly doing the 5WR each time, then that means you're more likely to keep it balanced and the right PSI. I couldn't tell you right now what the PSI is in my spare. I think it was original to the vehicle. It has probably rarely, if ever, been checked. So there's an added safety factor to doing a 5WR in that at least at every rotation you are getting all 5 to the proper balance and PSI.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 10:46 PM   #18
joe108
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Unread 07-18-2013, 06:35 PM   #19
grogie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brycec View Post
Let’s 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
It’s 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, you’d 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, you’d 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.
That is one hell of a post! I do practice a five-tire rotation (every 3k with my MTRs, 5k with the wife's ATs), but call me simple as I've never thought that much about a five-tire rotation.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 06:35 AM   #20
wwch99tj
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I do a five tire rotation because possibly when I buy new tires they might not be the same tire or same size...

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Unread 07-21-2013, 06:50 AM   #21
halfmoonclip
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Reader's Digest version, without most of the math; using a 5 tire rotation gets you 20% more mileage before you need to get new tires.

With the exception of the TJ, everything else in our house has a space-saver spare, so it's rapidly becoming a moot point on anything but a Jeep.

I've taken to carrying a patch kit so as not to be damned with the speed and handling issues on the space saver if we do have a flat.
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Unread 07-22-2013, 06:29 AM   #22
bhoch
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I just do a 5 tire rotation every 5K. Basically, it's the "oil change/tire rotation morning. Takes about 30 minutes for me to swap out the tires. If I'm lazy I just drive over to Discount Tire and have them do the tire rotation. Fun to watch the kids put the tire up on the tire carrier too. heh..

Part of my OCD life.. I check the PSI in all 5 tires on the 1st and 3rd Saturday monthly in the winter and just 1st Saturday during the summer. Checking the spare is so easy, it's almost like cheating.
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Unread 07-22-2013, 08:27 AM   #23
cjheap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwch99tj View Post
I do a five tire rotation because possibly when I buy new tires they might not be the same tire or same size...

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Or they change the design. I have a brand new 2006 MTR since the previous owner did not rotate the spare.

The other thing is that tires have a shelf life so if you do not rotate in the spare, it is still deteriorating .
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Unread 07-22-2013, 12:15 PM   #24
PMSteve
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As much as a new set of tires cost these days, I see no advantage to having all five tires going bald at the same time.
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Unread 07-22-2013, 12:32 PM   #25
JStrider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjheap View Post
The other thing is that tires have a shelf life so if you do not rotate in the spare, it is still deteriorating .
This is where any potential benefit is, in my opinion.

If you don't rotate the spare in, it is still exposed to the elements, and getting older, increasing the likelyhood that you'll have a problem with it when you do need to use it.
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Unread 07-23-2013, 11:28 AM   #26
Matt The Hammer
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I drive 20k a year. 4WR for me. So when my '13 is due for new tires, I'll only need 3 since my spare is new(ish) since it's only 2 years old. At $220+ a tire, I'll enjoy the savings of not needing to buy the other 2.

Although with BFG MT KM1s only found these days on factory Rubis, I'm not sure if they'll even be available in a year or two.
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Unread 07-23-2013, 06:22 PM   #27
zte87
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I 5wr my stuff so they keep equal thread, I like the thread equal so that my rear spool or front auto locker don't throw a fit or wear the tires funny!
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Unread 07-25-2013, 11:55 AM   #28
halfmoonclip
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There's something to the above. Too much diff in tire diameter can cause mischief in a 4wd powertrain.
Moon
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Unread 07-25-2013, 12:41 PM   #29
propped1
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There are all kinds of things that go into tire ROI. How long will they last? Harder rubber is slicker in the rain and mud and wet rock, but last longer. Softer has better traction on all surfaces but wears faster. Its the money dropped between purchases. Purely a cash flow thing.

5 Toyo MT's set me back 1600. 4 would have been 1280. With proper maintenance and rotation they are supposed to last 50-60K Miles each. Some other tires I looked at were supposed to last 40-50. some 35-45. They were more expensive but also best reviews in all conditions and lasted longer.

My Jeep is no longer my daily driver, but I drive it regularly. Since installing I have put 12K miles on with 5 tire rotations at 5 and 10K. They still look new, I get compliments, and since there is 20% more tread to use up, I will be able to get 60K on the low end and 72K on the high end between tire purchases. Guys who have spent 250 on a cheaper tire that doesnt last as long but takes care of it is spending 1000 once and parts with another 1000 before I do. At the rate I'm driving it, that will be 6 more years before I need to think about the next set.

I like the look of no spare on the back. Therefore I could have bought just 4. What happens if I need a replacement? Gotta call a tow truck? What if I neglect my spare and it goes flat on the back? Gotta call a tow truck? $100 minimum + patch (if it can be) + labor/storage/shop fee.... and blows your ROI up.

To be honest, I don't have respect for guys with cars with a different brand and size tire in the front than in the back. I dont respect guys I see with stock spares and huge tires on the wheels. It shouts to me without knowing you that you skimp. If I am buying your Jeep, It makes me wonder where else you skimped? Oil been changed? what kind? how often? Diffs? both or just rear? Trans? Radiator? Waxed regularly? brakes? etc... If you cant afford tires, dont buy them til you can. Jeep gives you 5 full size tires and Jeep is cheap. Must be a reason.
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