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2005 Civic Automatic
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34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
it seems to be a major PITA. I plan on getting a '14 XT in the spring, and I've been reading about needing all 4 tires to be same brand, tread pattern, and tread depth in order not to FUBAR the AWD system.

Honestly, this hassle is causing me to rething a Subaru. I don't want to dread getting a flat and thinking I'm almost stranded. Am hearing if you get a flat in the front, you have to take a wheel off the rear, put it up front, and then take the spare and put it in the back. And then, because the spare will likely not be within the circumference tolerances of the other 3 tires, you can only minimally drive on it. Also, I'm hearing you have to put a blank fuse in the AWD slot to disable it and turn the car into a front wheel drive system.

Ok, so what do you guys do when you get a flat? Scenario 1, the tire can be repaired, and scenario 2, it can't.

From what I'm reading, for a repairable tire, slap the spare on, make sure it's in the rear, disable AWD with the fuse swap, and then get the repaired wheel on asap.

For a trashed tire, I understand your options are to get 4 new tires, or if there is a good bit of life in the remaining 3, you can get a new, matching tire and have it shaved down to match, or go on eBay and get a matching used tire with the same tread remaining.

Bottom line, seems like a pain in the arse and something always hanging over your head when you're driving.

Correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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2015 Forester I-Premium 6MT
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2,362 Posts
technically speaking if you get a flat on the front of your 2005 civic it says to use one of the rear tires on the front also.
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,432 Posts
It is what it is, and you've got the correct understanding of what's required. It's standard operating procedure for most cars with modern AWD systems. Alternatively, you could carry a full size spare and skip the wheel switcheroo hassle if the flat is in the front. In that case you also don't need to really worry about the fuse deal (I've only used the fuse trick once - it's not fun to drive an XT in FWD mode).
 

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2014 Forester CVT
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286 Posts
wow looks like I better review the manual....I hope all of this is in there and clearly understandable.

I have not had a flat in decades but I probably just jinxed myself.
 

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Forester of the Year 2014
SJ XT Premium CVT
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2,818 Posts
If I was in this scenario I would call my insurance and get a tow. I wouldn't want to deal with that mess.
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,432 Posts
If I was in this scenario I would call my insurance and get a tow. I wouldn't want to deal with that mess.
As long as it's a flatbed...
 

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Premium Member
2007 Forester XT 4EAT-VTD
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2,138 Posts
On observation about flats...

In normal on-road conditions, rarely do they happen all at once. More times than not, you pick up a nail/screw/whatever and develop a slow leak and never notice it until it's too late. The leak may take just an hour to make your tire visibly flat, or it may take weeks. But short of catastrophic failure, rarely does a fully inflated tire instantly deflate.

As a former commercial truck driver, one of the requirements every time to get in the vehicle is to do a visual on tires. No, you cannot detect a slightly under-inflated tire by simple observation, but often you can catch a tire going low from a slow leak (or in the case of a heavy truck tire, delamination).

This is a habit that has stuck. I have caught leaks a few times just by looking at the tires before getting in the car. If one looks suspicious, I keep a tire pressure gauge in the glove box and check. If it's low, I will try to find the reason to make sure it's not dangerous to drive on, then use a portable compressor that I keep in the vehicle to inflate it to the proper level. Assuming it is the typical nail-in-the-tire that has caused a slow leak, I drive the car to someplace to have the tire repaired, safely off the road and away from traffic.

Moral of the story is I haven't changed a tire on the side of the road in over 40 years. Maintain proper air pressure, be observant of tire condition, carry a pressure gauge and portable compressor, replace tires when they need to be replaced and the chances of having to rely on the spare become miniscule.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,698 Posts
All good comments. You want to play (AWD) you need to pay. AWD is so amazing..but if its too much effort to have a full size spare (which fits in the subaru spare tire compartment), then AWD is not for you.

BTW I bought a used spare tire for 25 bucks, got a steel wheel wheel and I'm good to go. I can put the tire on front or on the rear. The chances of getting a destroyed tire when the tires are new are rare and chances are that it can be matched close enough. If the tire is older..yea you might need to bite the bullet to get good rubber on there again.

Considering the cost of owning and buying a vehicle...its chump change.
 

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Registered
2005 Civic Automatic
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34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
so what does getting a full-size spare get you, other than not having to do two wheel changes should a front tire go flat? it's still very likely going to be out of tolerances regarding circumference wrt the remaining 3 wheels.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i Prem 6sp Manual
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802 Posts
so what does getting a full-size spare get you, other than not having to do two wheel changes should a front tire go flat? it's still very likely going to be out of tolerances regarding circumference wrt the remaining 3 wheels.
If you have a set of 5 matching tires-ideal in our case- you have the option of performing 5-wheel rotations, which will keep all tires evenly worn and prolong the life of all 5.



Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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6 Posts
so what does getting a full-size spare get you, other than not having to do two wheel changes should a front tire go flat? it's still very likely going to be out of tolerances regarding circumference wrt the remaining 3 wheels.
This is as much a question as it is a response, but would a full sized spare be less stressful on the vehicle than the compact spare tire? Could it reduce the urgency of having to get it replaced (so for example, if you are on a road trip, you could get back home before replacing the tire). Assuming the answer is yes, then it might be worth it.
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
As best as I can tell, the FWD fuse (install to diasable AWD) requirement for Foresters equipped with automatic transmissions was discontinued with the introduction of the CVT in the 2014 model year. Specifically, I can't find any mention of this "feature" in the 2014 owner's manual.

Temp spare use is still limited to a rear wheel position. Considering that the latest AWD configuration can handle the small temp spare without adjustment, a full-size spare that's similar in size to the road wheels should be fine.

Related discussion: http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f72/replace-spare-donut-my-14-2-5i-premium-216930/

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,698 Posts
so what does getting a full-size spare get you, other than not having to do two wheel changes should a front tire go flat? it's still very likely going to be out of tolerances regarding circumference wrt the remaining 3 wheels.
This is as much a question as it is a response, but would a full sized spare be less stressful on the vehicle than the compact spare tire? Could it reduce the urgency of having to get it replaced (so for example, if you are on a road trip, you could get back home before replacing the tire). Assuming the answer is yes, then it might be worth it.
IMHO being out of tolerance a bit is not going to be a problem for a few hundred miles. Remember only one wheel is driving front and rear. When you go around a turn all four wheels are turning at different rates and for sure there is a big mismatch side to side both front and rear. As far as I know subaru has no limit on making turns.

So a little mismatch for a few hundred miles (IMHO) is not an issue. Its very re-assuring when you go on a 500 mile trip that you can put on a full size spare, front or rear
 

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2013 Honda 5spWantManual
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61 Posts
technically speaking if you get a flat on the front of your 2005 civic it says to use one of the rear tires on the front also.
I look manual. Have Civic but manual search bad :(

Please link for "technically speaking if you get a flat on the front of your 2005 civic it says to use one of the rear tires on the front also." Thank you
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,064 Posts
Or just get AAA and not worry about having to do any of the roadside part your self.

- Pick up the phone
- call AAA
- call work or who ever you were going to meet tell them you will be late.
- wait
- point at tire/wheel when AAA service driver walks up
- wait again
- drive away or get a tow to a shop
- have a cup of coffee while you wait at the shop
 

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2005 Civic Automatic
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34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
for the '14, i just checked the owner's manual online, and under "in case of an emergency," there is no mention of the messing with fuses. was this step only necessary for earlier models? does it have to do with the cvt?
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,432 Posts
Or just get AAA and not worry about having to do any of the roadside part your self.

- Pick up the phone
- call AAA
- call work or who ever you were going to meet tell them you will be late.
- wait
- point at tire/wheel when AAA service driver walks up
- wait again
- drive away or get a tow to a shop
- have a cup of coffee while you wait at the shop
Speaking of which, do the new Subies still have roadside assistance? 10 years ago every new Subaru came with 3 years/36k miles of free coverage. It wasn't AAA but Cross Country Motor Club or some such.
 
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