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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
Furnace
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Spare Tire Questions

Sadly I woke up this morning to a flat front tire. I swapped out the tire with the space saver spare and was about to drive to work, when I though, maybe I'll check the manual out for a sec.

Well, to my surprise, I found out the manual states:

Do not install the temporary spare tire
on the front wheels (driving wheels):
Driving with the temporary spare tire
on one of the front driving wheels is
dangerous. Handling will be affected.
You could lose control of the vehicle,
especially on ice or snow bound
roads, and have an accident. Move a
regular tire to the front wheel and
install the temporary spare tire to the
rear.


Also, in my manual (which is in the car), there was a blurb about limited slip differentials and how you should never use a space saver spare on it. The electronic copy of the manual (which is probably US based) doesn't have this blurb in it.

Do our cars have a limited slip diff in the front? I didn't think so.
Also, any harm in using the spare up front?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 11:29 AM
StitcH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Furnace View Post
Also, in my manual (which is in the car), there was a blurb about limited slip differentials and how you should never use a space saver spare on it. The electronic copy of the manual (which is probably US based) doesn't have this blurb in it.
The LSD essentially works by gauging large differences in speed between the left and right wheels (assuming it is a torque-sensitive LSD, not a geared LSD). If one wheel is spinning much faster than the other, the LSD engages and tries to get them to spin at the same speed. So you can imagine the spare would have to spin much faster than the full size to maintain the same speed. This would cause the LSD to engage and force it to work VERY hard and, if driven long enough, prematurely fail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Furnace View Post
Do our cars have a limited slip diff in the front? I didn't think so.
The MS3 does, the regular MZ3 does not. I think there is something in the manual by that note that says "for 2.3L engine." Maybe not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Furnace View Post
any harm in using the spare up front?
I would think the only harm would be terrible speedometer/odometer readings and poor traction. I could be wrong though. If I were in the same situation, I would jack one side of the car and, using jack stands, put a rear tire on the front and the spare on the rear.

Last edited by StitcH; 02-08-2010 at 11:46 AM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StitcH View Post
If I were in the same situation, I would jack one side of the car and, using jack stands, put a rear tire on the front and the spare on the rear.
+1 Especially if there is snow or ice present!

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 12:59 PM
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Yes, there is a reason they state to never put a donut on the front! Speaking from years of experience working in a garage that mainly did tires (NTB to be exact) I've seen lots of people come in with damaged tires because they drive like normally and not extra careful. The donut on the front will hurt handling, turning, and is much, much worse in the snow and ice, even the cold.

If you turn too sharp, turn to quickly, or even accelerate too quickly you can actually pull the tire off the wheel. They seem to seat differently and they are a very, very high profile so they just act differently.

Do what everyone else recommends, put the spare on the back and rotate a good tire to the front! It is a little more work but better than getting in an accident, or driving into the garage with just a metal rim!!!

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 01:34 PM
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Another problem with running the spare on the front drive wheels could come from transmission damage from the drive wheels not being the same diameter.

In an automatic transmission Subaru for instance, they tell you if you have a flat to ensure the front axle has two normal tires on it and then pop a special fuse which kills the power to the rear axle and turns the car into FWD. If you have a manual, you are just hosed and have to drive only a very short distance because the AWD system is different.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 08:24 AM
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The space saver spares are made to get you to safety, not for daily driving. They usually have a top speed of 45 mph and some have a 50 mile distance limit. lf you have a flat and have to get home put the spare on the front - especially if it is only a few miles - there won't be any damage if you take it slow and drive home or to a repair shop.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphadog View Post
The space saver spares are made to get you to safety, not for daily driving. They usually have a top speed of 45 mph and some have a 50 mile distance limit. lf you have a flat and have to get home put the spare on the front - especially if it is only a few miles - there won't be any damage if you take it slow and drive home or to a repair shop.
I think you said it well!

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 10:21 AM
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Wow wish i had known this a couple months ago. I hit some glass in the parking lot of my apartment and had to put on the spare. luckily it was warmer. It was the first time id ever had a flat actually. i was on one hand smart enough not to to over 45, turn hard, accelerate hard or do anything more than slow and easy grandma driving because of how nervous it made me and i got it changed in like 3 days. but i wish i had k known about switching them around i hope i didnt do any damage unintentionally, the shop didnt say anything but who knows.
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