Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna
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Thread: Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

  1. #1
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    Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

    With compact spare tires from the FWD Sienna almost impossible to find, and tending to cost upwards $150 plus shipping if you manage to come across one - I investigated the using the 16"x4" spare tire from the Chrysler Town & Country / Dodge Caravan minivans, which you can find in abundance at junk yards or on ebay for about $25 plus shipping.

    The bolt pattern is correct, (5x114.3) the center hub hole is about a 1/2" larger (1/4" all around) so it fits over the Sienna hub but is not hub-centric. It also fits perfectly in the left side indentation in the rear floor storage area.

    After test-fitting I found the one downside - it does not fit the front wheels, because it does not clear the front brakes!!! It fits with no clearance problems on the back wheels.

    That being said, if anyone finds either another Toyota or Chrysler compact spare that fits better, let us know!! But since the last time I actually had to use a spare tire was about 18 years ago, I'll stick $25 cheapo Chrysler tire in the back for now and just rotate the tires if I get a flat on the front...
    06 Sienna LE AWD
    02 Subaru WRX Wagon

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  3. #2
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    Re: Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

    mod - please move this to "Tires & Wheels" section -sorry!

    EDIT: Thanks for the "heads-up". I know I sometimes forget to check if a thread is in the proper category myself.... :o 8)
    By: topspy/Mod-Squad
    06 Sienna LE AWD
    02 Subaru WRX Wagon

  4. #3
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    Re: Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

    I'm not an automotive technician or engineer, but I would probably want to err on the side of caution by NOT using a wheel/tire that does not fit properly. It might "work", but you might also be causing unseen $$$$ damage, or possibly jeopardizing your safety.

    YMMV.
    Good Luck!! 8)
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  5. #4
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    Re: Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerswrx
    With compact spare tires for the AWD Sienna almost impossible to find,
    ...
    If we remove word "almost" from your sentence, I would say you are right!

    I am brave enough to state that "OEM compact spare tire for the AWD Sienna does not exist!"

    Furthermore, my typical response to a question about use of compact tire for the AWD Sienna is
    "The only reason to use compact tire is to ruin your AWD."

    This is probably exaggeration, but... it sounds crystal clear and not as boring as a reminder that Sienna Owner's Manual mentions 6 - 8 times: "Do not use tires (including snow tires) of different brands, sizes, construction or tread patterns."

    Some members think that AWD Sienna does not have compact spare tire just because there is no space for it. I agree with them, but please give consideration to other possible reason, which I mentioned.

    EDIT1: after getting clarifications from a later post, added word "OEM" .
    '06 Sienna CE 7 pass FWD
    '07 Camry LE I4 5AT

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    Re: Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

    Any use of a compact spare on an AWD Sienna would presumably be for short distances, at low speeds, in an emergency.

    If someone does decide to do this, I think that it's important to note that even the compact spare for the 2WD Sienna is nearly the same diameter as the full-sized tires, unlike the spares used by some other vehicles. The genuine Toyota compact spare is really a skinny spare. It is on a 17" wheel (even for Siennas with 16" regular wheels) to reach that large diameter. I would not use a significantly shorter spare tire even on my 2WD Sienna, and most of those non-Toyota spares will be too small; the Honda Odyssey's spare is over an inch shorter.

    Although it seems that all AWD Siennas have been supplied with run-flats and no spare, there is a mounting kit for a spare tire for the cargo well, and this is shown in the owner's manual (at least in 2004/2005) as the location of the spare for "four-wheel drive models". In the manual illustration, the spare appears to be the compact width, not full-sized. I believe that this indicates that emergency use of the skinny (but nearly full-height) spare is acceptable, and part of the original design of the second-generation Sienna. I am not aware of any component of the AWD system which would be destroyed rapidly by a tire size mismatch, although TRAC and VSC would not work properly.

    Having said all that, a full-sized tire also fits in the cargo well, so a popular choice among AWD Sienna owners wanting to carry a spare (normally because they no longer use run-flats) is to carry a full-sized spare.

  7. #6
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    Re: Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

    [brian]'s mention of the compact and full-size spare options also appears in several other existing threads in the [Tires, Wheels] section. Or do a [search] at the top-right of most pages...
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  8. #7
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    Re: Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

    Quote Originally Posted by brian_bp
    ...In the manual illustration, the spare appears to be the compact width, not full-sized. I believe that this indicates that emergency use of the skinny (but nearly full-height) spare is acceptable, and part of the original design of the second-generation Sienna.
    Let us go to the illustration from the Manual, see attached.

    The spare tire on the illustration is indeed compact, but the notes are
    "Spare tire (vehicles with standard tires)" and
    "A spare tire is not provided on vehicles with run flat tires", i.e. on AWD.

    In my opinion, this is not a direct or indirect indication/endorsement by Toyota that use of the spare is acceptable for AWD.
    As to terms "for short distances", "at low speeds", "in an emergency" , these terms are indeed in the Manual -- as conditions/precautions for use of spare tire on 2WD vehicles.
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    '06 Sienna CE 7 pass FWD
    '07 Camry LE I4 5AT

  9. #8
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    Re: Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

    Compact spare's of *slightly* different diameter are OK at low speeds and for short distances... for instance to get you off the highway and to a tire shop without destroying your really expensive run flat tires! (Or regular tires if you've decided to ditch the crappy/heavy/expensive/short-lived run-flats that most shops won't fix anyway!)

    Subaru's (of which I've owned two) provides compact spare with their AWD vehicles. That being said, it is important to run as close to the stock tire diameter as possible - as the differential is working extra hard to make up for the difference in tire size.

    The compact spare from the FWD Sienna is:
    T155/80/17 = diameter of 26.8" - close to the
    FWD 215/65/16 = diameter of 27"

    AWD Sienna runs 225/60/17 = diameter of 27.6"
    Chrysler compact runs T155/*90*/16 = diameter of 27"
    That's a lot better for the differential, and will get you where you need to go.

    The larger hub diameter of the Chrysler spare does not affect the ability of the bolts to hold the tires to the wheel - hub-centric wheels are there to help tire installers line up the bolt holes and to stop people from mounting the tire cockeyed. What is critical is that the hole spacing is EXACTLY right and that the bevel on the holes is the same as your lug nuts, to get the most surface contact for the lug nuts. Both are correct with the Chrysler wheel.

    It's not a perfect solution, it is a viable option for those who would rather not be without a spare...

    BTW... even though the AWD does not come with a spare, it does come with a jack in the right side of the rear compartment (Apparently without a spare, a lot of people never even looked for a jack!)
    06 Sienna LE AWD
    02 Subaru WRX Wagon

  10. #9
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    Re: Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

    Thank you very much for this info!

    Numbers look very convincing -- more convincing than my 'philosophy', but the most convincing is your practical experience with Subaru!

    As to a larger hub diameter, I've heard that "rings" are sometimes used (do not know the right term for these "rings"). However, you are saying, this is not a problem. The problem seems to be offset...
    '06 Sienna CE 7 pass FWD
    '07 Camry LE I4 5AT

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    Re: Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

    OK.....innovative and "out-of-the-box" solutions (especially ones that are less expensive, function better, or resolve a scarcity/availability problem) are very cool!
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    20131028

  12. #11
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    Re: Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

    For long trips I just purchased a full size spare. It fits in the wheel well in a platic bag
    2006 XLE Limited AFP

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    Re: Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

    Yes, innovative and "out-of-the-box" solutions!

    To put any of the discussed solutions back "into-the-box", I would like to know effective diameter of RFT when RFT is loosing pressure, but its condition is still OK to drive according to Toyota...


    By the way, is not spare tire size T155/80R17? (O.D. = 26.8" ?)
    '06 Sienna CE 7 pass FWD
    '07 Camry LE I4 5AT

  14. #13
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    Re: Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

    correct - 155/80/17 for the Sienna FWD OEM spare... good catch - fixed the post up above.

    I have no idea what the "deflated' radius of the RFT is, but you're right it would be less than the other three properly inflated tires. I think the manual recommends driving for less than 50 miles on your flat RFT at less than 55mph - I would probably follow the same restrictions for a compact spare.

    Also if someone does not properly rotate their tires, it's entirely possible that the worn front tires could be 1/4" to 1/2" smaller in diameter than the rear tires, and that would be a much longer term problem which would definitely lead to premature wear of the drive system!
    06 Sienna LE AWD
    02 Subaru WRX Wagon

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    Re: Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerswrx
    ...
    I think the manual recommends driving for less than 50 miles on your flat RFT at less than 55mph - I would probably follow the same restrictions for a compact spare.
    ...
    Manual's recommendation for OEM spare tire seems to be more restrictive:
    "Do not exceed 80 km/h (50 mph) when driving with the compact spare tire." It may be wise to be on the safe side of both limits...
    '06 Sienna CE 7 pass FWD
    '07 Camry LE I4 5AT

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    Re: Spare Tire for the AWD Sienna

    Quote Originally Posted by kolkh
    Quote Originally Posted by brian_bp
    ...In the manual illustration, the spare appears to be the compact width, not full-sized. I believe that this indicates that emergency use of the skinny (but nearly full-height) spare is acceptable, and part of the original design of the second-generation Sienna.
    Let us go to the illustration from the Manual, see attached.
    I am beginning to believe that someone's brain shut down at Toyota around 2005, and they stumbled blindly through the manual wrecking things for the 2006 model year publication...

    That illustration makes no sense to me. It shows the cargo well spare location - which is only used for AWD and to store the flat full-sized tire (not the spare) for 2WD, yet it is labelled as if it is the only spare location. Attached are the two diagrams of the 2004 (when it still made sense) manual, showing that actual 2WD and AWD (four-wheel drive) spare locations.

    Quote Originally Posted by kolkh
    The spare tire on the illustration is indeed compact, but the notes are
    "Spare tire (vehicles with standard tires)" and
    "A spare tire is not provided on vehicles with run flat tires", i.e. on AWD.

    In my opinion, this is not a direct or indirect indication/endorsement by Toyota that use of the spare is acceptable for AWD.
    The note about provision of a spare also makes little sense, since of course a vehicle with run-flat tires will not have a spare - that's the whole point of run-flat tires! This statement about a spare being provided does not appear in this form in the 2004 manual.

    Although as Sienna owners we tend to associate run-flats with AWD - the Sienna only has run-flats to eliminate the spare and make room for the AWD system - the two are not necessarily associated. The omission of a spare on AWD models is the result of the run-flats, not of the AWD itself. I believe that Toyota offered optional run-flat tires on 2WD Siennas at some point (although in hindsight most of us would probably not choose such an option), and the early owners manual and the existence of the cargo well spare kit show that the intention was to offer AWD without run-flats.

    Quote Originally Posted by kolkh
    As to terms "for short distances", "at low speeds", "in an emergency" , these terms are indeed in the Manual -- as conditions/precautions for use of spare tire on 2WD vehicles.
    I agree. Indeed, that illustrates that the skinny spare is not a special problem for AWD. When a reason is given or implied for these restrictions (in the 2004 manual), phrases such as these are used:
    • "It has tread life of up to 4800 km (3000 miles) depending on road conditions and your driving habits."
    • "Avoid sudden acceleration, sudden deceleration and sharp turns with the compact spare tire."
    • "Your ground clearance is reduced when the compact spare tire is installed."
    • "Take special care when adding air to the compact spare tire. The smaller tire size can gain pressure very quickly."
    • "It is designed for temporary use only."
    • "Do not attempt to use a tire chain on the compact spare tire, as it may result in damage to the vehicle as well as the tire."

    The restrictions on the use of the spare are all about it being a less capable tire, and mismatch causing handling and control problems; I have yet to find any mention of mechanical issues or wear concerns. Even if the mismatch accelerates centre differential wear, it will do the same to the front (and only) differential of a 2WD, and this is just another reason to keep the use of this tire to a short-term basis.
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