Rotate Spare Tire (Explained For Beginners)

It is no question that all your tires must be rotated because tire rotation is an important activity in lengthening the life of your tires. Now, so many car drivers are asking if they should rotate their spare tires as well. With that, let us talk about rotating spare tires. 

This is a discussion that many car drivers are asking because almost all the vehicles have a temporary use mini spare or a spare tire, and some of them do not have a spare tire at all. For an SUV, or if you are an owner of a truck and you have a full size and matching spare tire, you have to include them in the rotation schedule, and it can then extend the lifespan of the complete set. With that, you can save a lot of money. 

However, every wheel position on any vehicle will comply with those tires with different levels or types of force. This will then make different wear rates and patterns too. You might want to skip one rotation or two rotations on your average front-wheel-drive vehicle and observe if you are not bothered with the noise coming from the rear tires. 

Many front drivers, especially those minimums, have a stiff rear suspension and are sometimes not used, which will leave the tires to take a beating than the springs or shocks. This will then make a chopped wear pattern. 

So with that, this article is made to address whether you have to rotate your spare tire. In this article, we’ll talk all about spare tires and if they have to be rotated or not. So without further ado, let’s get started. 

Rotate Spare Tire

Should The Spare Tire Be Rotated?

Huge vehicles like trucks or SUVs have a standard full-size spare tire. Almost all vehicles have a spare tire. 

The donut spares and the run-flat spare tires are not needed to be put on rotation, but the full-size matching spare tire must be maintained well. If your car has a spare, you have to replace this one tire and put another into the spare tire storage position. 

How Do I Rotate My Spare Tire?

Many people are asking how they should rotate their spare tires. Suppose you have a vehicle with full-size and non-directional spare tires like the one that is not branded for temporary use and a wheel that is the same size as the four main tires and the wheel. In that case, you should consider the following rotation patterns in keeping all five tires evenly worn. 

This is very important if you have four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles. This is because you will need to use your spare tire, and it has different wear compared to the other three tires you have. So you have to check first your vehicle’s owner manual to see if the manufacturer has a recommended tire rotation pattern. 

If you have one, you have to follow the guidelines. If there is no information available on the rotation, you must consider the following patterns. 

1. Forward Cross For Front-Wheel Drive

If your car is in a front-wheel drive and you have non-directional tires with full-size matching spare, the pattern on the left will be used. The rear tires will then be moved into the opposite front positions. 

The left front tire will then be moved into the left rear position. Finally, the spare tire will be moved to the correct rear position, and the right front tire becomes the spare.

2. Rearward Cross For Rear-Wheel Drive Or Four-Wheel Drive

If your car is a rear-wheel or a four-wheel drive with non-directional tires and a full-size matching spare, the pattern in the right above will be used. First, the left rear tire will be moved into the left front position. 

Next, the right rear tire will be moved into the correct front position. Finally, the right front tire will be moved to the left rear position, and the spare tire will be moved into the proper rear position, and the left front tire will be spare. 

Is It Important To Rotate Your Spare Tire?

If your spare tire is a matching full-size tire, unlike a temporary spare, and you wish to keep it in rotation, you can move the spare tire into the proper rear position. You then have to place a tire to go to the right rear in the spare position. If your car has dual-rear wheels, the pattern of the location will look like two triangles. 

It will be one on the driver’s side and the passenger’s side. On each side, you can move the dual outer tire into the inner and the inner dual tires into the steer and the steer tire into the dual outer sides. So it is not essential to rotate the spare tire. 

Many people will never include the temporary spare tire in the rotation. The directional tread patterns should be rotated front to rear only. This is so that the direction of the rotation will not change. 

What Happens If You Don’t Rotate Your Spare Tire?

A tire rotation is done because it is a way of compensating for minor variations in the alignment, the camber, and many more that will happen in every car over time. This will be a lot cheaper. It’s also a lot faster than the realigning of all things. 

This does not prevent excess wear because of misalignment, but it will spread the wear evenly in all the tires instead of just one. Asa result, this will prolong the life of the tires. 


In summary, many people have their vehicles, and their vehicles have spare tires. And these people are asking if they should rotate their spare tires. 

You can rotate them, and you can also not. It will depend on you, but many people are saying that you do not need to rotate them.



Image credits – Canva

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more