driving with a spare... on the front

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by V8Cobrakid, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    So.. i can't find this anywhere else.. and i can't remember


    what's the penalties of driving with a spare on the front? will i tear up anything? i know the prius doesn't have a LSD to worry about... so.. anything i should watch out for when driving with a spare on the front?

    my car has aftermarket wheels and the tuner lugs are special keys.. i don't have the key anymore because it warped.. then i fixed... but then my dad lost it. (took my took box and emptied everything inside)

    trac kicks in above 30mph.. it slowly blinks. i know you're not supposed to travel fast.. so i won't list how fast the car goes while trac is kicking in the entire time.

    i will say that i get better gas mileage with that 1 tire changed out...

    if this can damage the car.. i'm sure it has.. since i was abusing it yesterday. (bad day) (trac control light on all the time.) so.. for the rest reading this.. what happens when you put a spare on the front end? will it tear anything up?
     
  2. mingoglia

    mingoglia Member

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    When running a smaller tire on 1 side of the drive wheels your differential will run a little warmer because your differential spider gears will be whizzing away (technical term) compensating for the smaller wheel having to spin more revolutions to keep up with the other side. Differentials are a closed system and can't dissipate heat like for example your cooling system. This is why it's recommended to drive a slower speed for a limited distance. I honestly don't know how the differential is different in the Prius as I haven't gone that deep into the design of the powertrain but I'm guessing it's similar to traditional cars in this respect.

    Mike
     
  3. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Good gravy... If you can't get the tire fixed immediately at least move the spare wheel to the rear. You'll still have to go slow but you'll save wear on the drive system.

    Think about putting some more-common type of wheels on the thing (or even, *gasp*, dare I say it? the originals) to avoid this kind of fooling around in the future.
     
  4. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    i would have the stocks on.. if i could have afforded to re thread them... but i couldn't.. and purchased these because they were hundreds less.

    i'm sure i caused damage then... hitting 70+mph isn't good for any spider gear system that can't self cool.... it makes me want to attach some heat sinks to it.. like the MB and BMW's have.. haha

    So.. untill i get cash... which may be never at the rate i'm currently moving... the spare stays on.. and it stays on the front. if the front end blows.. i'm thrashing the car... i can't fix it.. so.. i'll be sour about it all.
     
  5. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    Howstuffworks "Open Differentials"

    oh.. like that... so.. besides hearing the spare spin up.. the gearing i'm hearing spin up would be the front differential.


    i'm gaining approx. 20 to 30 revs per mile with the spare.... *Shrug*
     
  6. JHSmith

    JHSmith Camry Hybrid Owner

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    aa
    By "spare tire", I'm guessing you're talking of the temporary / idiot / doughnut tire.

    If so, I just looked it up in my owners manual to be sure of some things. 1) The compact tire's pressure should be around 60 psi, so unless you have the matching tire @ 60 psi, you might see handling problems; 2) Tread life is around 3,ooo miles; and 3) <the biggie:> (according to the manual): DO NOT EXCEED 50 MPH when driving with the compact spare tire.

    Therefore, you have two completely different sized tires, one of which is recommended for max speed of 50 mph, and you have them on the FRONT, driving, steering control "axle"! If you blow that tire due to your already self-admitted speed of 70+ mph, it is NOT going to be pretty.

    It has already been recommended that you move the tire to the back. You really don't state the reason you refuse to move the tire to the safer position of the rear (such as if the rear tires are welded on). Chalk this up as another suggestion for the safety of others to put that temporary tire on the rear.

    I realize that this may be coming over as an extremely negative post, and not answering you original question concerning damage to your car. That being said, I had to respond to some of what has transpired.
     
  7. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    I just think it's dangerous to have the space saver on the front due to reduced grip. I recently had a flat and took the time to fit the spare to the rear and the rear wheel to the front where the flat tyre was, it just makes sense. The diff is the same as any front drive Toyota, the bearings are not designed to work constantly like when there are different size wheels on each side. It wont fail today but you are shortening the life of the differential. It also confuses the ABS and traction control. Better economy is an illusion because your speedo is reading fast too due to higher revs per mile.
     
  8. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    thanks for the response. i'll see what i can do about changing it tomorrow morning.
     
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