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Also as others have said. With only 3,000 miles I'd plug or only replace the one tire. If it's just a nail hole then I'd just plug it. I've never had a plug fail, ever....
I agree w/Pearl. I picked up a nail when my Forester was less than a month old--took it to dealership who did a great job plugging tire that lasted until I changed all 4 tires a couple of years later.
 

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Holy cow. How many miles do you drive per year? I've only had one flat in my adult life, and that was because I hit a curb on a rainy night!
I actually do most of my driving on a motorcycle which also gets flats because people drive pick up trucks that spew out tailgate nails with wild abandon.
That was also true in Phoenix, where there is a lot of home construction.
I remember my neighbor there pulling up, and I asked him how he was doing. He was just getting back home from fixing a flat on his truck.
I told him... sorry dude, it looks like you have two flats on the passenger side, which he got on his way back.
So for him, that was three flats in a couple of miles... It's not the miles, it's the nails per mile...
 

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Holy cow. How many miles do you drive per year? I've only had one flat in my adult life, and that was because I hit a curb on a rainy night!
Nail, screws, pieces of metal have been pulled from tires in all 3 cars and 1 motorcycle living here in Dallas. It happens on an annual basis. Plenty of pickup trucks, construction trailers towed behind pickup trucks, etc... All littering the roads around here with shrapnel.

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I use canister type tire inflator puncture sealer such as made by slime or something similar sold at walmart store. that way I can keep driving with normal tire and much easier than changing tire on side of road in bad traffic, bad weather, snow, rain, dark at night. I carry 4, 5 canisters often just 1 canister is not enough if puncture is big and need more pressure.

I only use water soluble type, so tire shop can clean up easily just washing with water.

then I plug using normal tire plug kits when it is more convenient later.
 

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I don't understand the concern about differing wear on tyres...

I've frequently had almost-worn tyres at one end and near-new at the other. Think about the turning differential when you spend time in roundabouts, a way bigger speed variation both side to side and front to rear.

At one time I even ran a 65-series tyre instead of a 60-series on one front wheel for a few months. Everything is still fine with the car and I know for sure that all three limited slips work still.

I think there's a tendency to worry too much about little things, but I do agree with the issue of putting the compact spare on the front, I would never do that.
 

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As I noted in my original post AAA New England refused to put the donut on the rear, and now I have more of an explanation as to why. Their stated reason is that as a matter of company policy they won't touch a perfectly functional wheel because if something happens to it while they are moving it, they don't want to be liable for it. If we had called Subaru's Roadside Assistance, I wonder if they would also have the same policy even if it conflicts with Subaru's manual (I recognize that Subaru contracts out their roadside assistance so in the end it could be the same tow company that does the service...)
Late response with my $0.02
As former product manager working with legal, it sounds much more like they were trying to minimize the amount of work to be performed. Liability is an easy excuse to smokescreen the real issue.

Imagine what would happen if you got in an accident because the donut was on the front? Same liability.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Late response with my $0.02
As former product manager working with legal, it sounds much more like they were trying to minimize the amount of work to be performed. Liability is an easy excuse to smokescreen the real issue.

Imagine what would happen if you got in an accident because the donut was on the front? Same liability.
You very well could be right that their motivation was laziness, but I'm not sure it's quite so cut and dry. If they damage my car while removing a perfectly good rear tire and moving it to the front, there's no question they'd be responsible for the damage. If I damage my own car (or possibly something much worse) because I'm driving a car with a spare on the front instead of the rear, they could at least make a plausible case that a reasonably prudent driver exercising reasonable caution should be able to safely operate a vehicle with a spare on the front for the few miles to get to the tire shop (and thus, they would argue, the liability would be my own and not AAA's for any issue that occurs while driving it). So maybe they wouldn't be liable in that case.
 

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I don't understand the concern about differing wear on tyres...
Think about the turning differential when you spend time in roundabouts, a way bigger speed variation both side to side and front to rear.
In a roundabout, you're not holding that differential very long. It's different on the highway at speed.
 

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This morning we woke up to a completely flat front passenger tire. This is a 5 month old new 2019 Forester with ~3000 miles on it. This is our first Subaru and our first AWD car so this is our first foray into the joys of AWD tire maintenance, so I'd love some advice from those of you with more experience in dealing with these issues. My main questions are these:
  1. If it is possible to patch the tire, is that something dealers are generally willing to do?
  2. If it is not possible to patch, or if a dealer won't patch it, can we get away with only replacing a single tire? My understanding is that the tires' tread depth need to be within 2/32" of an inch of each other? I'm hoping that with only 3000 miles the tread depth is still pretty close to that of a new tire.
  3. I've also heard that it is possible to shave tires to match tread depth - I'm assuming this is something a dealer won't do? Have others taken this option? If so, where did you go?
Also, as a side note, my wife called AAA (I had to go to work in our other car) and they came out and put on the spare... but they just stupidly plopped the spare on the front (you would think New England AAA would be more used to dealing with AWD cars). When my wife called back AAA refused to come out and move the spare to the back. AAA offered to just tow the car to the dealer. The dealer (10 miles away) said it would be fine to drive it with the spare on the front to the dealer (perhaps a conflict of interest on their part... "oh look, your AWD needs to be replaced too!"). Sigh.
 

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AAA put the spare on the front of my 2014 Forester. I drove home slowly and to Firestone the next morning. Bought a new tire same brand and size as the other three. Fortunately had no problems from it. Later I read about possible problems this can cause. Two mechanics told me the difference in tires has to be big to cause a problem.
 

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[QUOTE="PiggyUT, post: 7574810, member: ......

often just 1 canister is not enough if puncture is big and need more pressure.

I only use water soluble type, so tire shop can clean up easily just washing with water.

then I plug using normal tire plug kits when it is more convenient later.
[/QUOTE]

I found out the hard way that COSTCO does not plug a tire that has had fixAflat installed... says(verified) that it can corrode the steel belts leading to potential for failure in the future(even if professionally plugged),
They would only replace the tire(@7000 miles) a Michelin.. I had plugged the tire as well..

Was on vacation at the time and the flat fix was only in the tire for a grand total of 18 hours.
Instead of arguing with the kid @ the counter, I resigned to have it fixed elsewhere- which happened to be BIG O TIRES(PRESCOTT,AZ). I knew of a bad stud on that corner and would need that attended to.
The quote to washout, plug the tire, and replace a bad stud was $70-85...
When I went to pay the piper, I was told $27 and change!
Needless to say, my tech's name was "Squirel" and he got a fat tip, as well as an " AT A BOY! letter to store mgmt and corporate.
 

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In a roundabout, you're not holding that differential very long. It's different on the highway at speed.
Granted, but the differential is much greater in a tight corner such as a roundabout. Then there are circumstances where you have a hill descent which goes on for mile after mile with tight corners in both directions.

Anyway, the facts stand, my car suffered no ill-effects with one bigger tyre on the left front than the right front for several thousand kilometres. People worry too much about little things.
 

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Experienced an almost identical situation but with about 4500 miles. Tire unrepairable and replaced at minimal charge because of a road hazard warranty in effect. No negative effects using an identical tire as replacement.
 
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