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Old 07-03-2015, 10:38 PM   #1
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Anyone towing a Subaru ever had a flat tire?

Has anyone using a Subaru as a toad ever had a flat tire while towing? ...or specifically, a flat tire on the front?

I've owned two Subarus as toads and haven't experienced or really thought about a flat tire either under normal driving circumstances or while towing. The procedure when having a flat under normal circumstances is to use the donut-spare on only the rear position. In other words, if the flat tire occurs on one of the front tires, you are to take the rear full-size wheel on the same side and transfer it to the front position then use the donut-spare in the rear.

If having a flat on the front while towing, would it matter if the donut-spare was used on the front?

Having to change a tire on the side of the road is bad enough but to be required to transfer the rear tire up front and mount the donut on the rear is something I'd like to avoid on the side of the road. I don't think it would matter if not being driven but I'm not sure.
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Old 07-04-2015, 06:49 AM   #2
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I don't think it would hurt anything to run the donut while towing. Keep in mind the donuts are usually rated at lower speeds.

I've never had a flat on the TOAD, but I specifically bought a full size spare for my Civic in the event I get a flat

The full size spare doesn't fit in the spare tire compartment in my trunk, the diameter is OK, but it sticks up a couple inches above the floor of the trunk (to thick compared to donut).

The reason I bought the full size, if I need to change the tire, i want to be on my way and I'll deal with fixing the flat at my destination.

But if I use the donut, I don't want to run long with the donut, so I would make a stop to get the flat repaired so I could put that wheel back on the car.
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theroc View Post
Has anyone using a Subaru as a toad ever had a flat tire while towing? ...or specifically, a flat tire on the front?

I've owned two Subarus as toads and haven't experienced or really thought about a flat tire either under normal driving circumstances or while towing. The procedure when having a flat under normal circumstances is to use the donut-spare on only the rear position. In other words, if the flat tire occurs on one of the front tires, you are to take the rear full-size wheel on the same side and transfer it to the front position then use the donut-spare in the rear.
If having a flat on the front while towing, would it matter if the donut-spare was used on the front?
Having to change a tire on the side of the road is bad enough but to be required to transfer the rear tire up front and mount the donut on the rear is something I'd like to avoid on the side of the road. I don't think it would matter if not being driven but I'm not sure.
theroc
If your do-nut spare is a different diameter than the regular tire, (which it probably is ?)... towing your Subaru with that spare on the front may damage the Subaru's transmission or transfer case.
Personally I wouldn't take that chance.
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Old 07-04-2015, 12:53 PM   #4
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Walter21- Thanks for the response. Yes, I've considered going with a full-size spare but didn't want the extra weight and I don't believe it will fit in the same compartment. I think most manufacturers state that donuts should not be used for distances over 25-miles and not to exceed 50 MPH so it's strictly for getting to a destination where the flat tire can be repaired.

mel s- Yes, that's my question ...whether the donut can be run on the front when towing. The manual states that if I was driving the car, the donut should only be used on the rear. So if a flat occurred on the front, I'd have to transfer the rear tire up front and use the donut on the rear. I just wondered if when towing it would be okay to use the donut up front. My concern is as you say, it may do damage to something even when towing. So I guess my thoughts go with your recommendation and that if I do have a flat on the front, I should still put the rear wheel up front and use the donut on the rear. Thanks so much for your thoughts on this.


Subarus also have that 1/4" rule that requires all tires be within a 1/4 inch in diameter of each other to prevent damage to the AWD system. Evidently, running a donut on the rear for a short distance will not do any damage.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:36 AM   #5
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Subarus also have that 1/4" rule that requires all tires be within a 1/4 inch in diameter of each other to prevent damage to the AWD system. Evidently, running a donut on the rear for a short distance will not do any damage.
The Subaru has two differentials and a transfer case, and bias for 40/60 drive traction, if I recall correctly. They are likely worrying about overheating the transfer case for extended periods of donut driving. Having a cheap full size tire/wheel would be good insurance and allow you to pick a spot of your choosing for repair.
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:30 PM   #6
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The Subaru has two differentials and a transfer case, and bias for 40/60 drive traction, if I recall correctly. They are likely worrying about overheating the transfer case for extended periods of donut driving. Having a cheap full size tire/wheel would be good insurance and allow you to pick a spot of your choosing for repair.
Thanks, Jim.

I may consider taking a full-size spare with me when towing. I just wondered what others towing Subarus are doing ...if they are giving any thought to it at all.

Yes, my understanding is that a Subaru with an automatic transmission has a front-wheel bias and the torque split will be about 60/40. However, a manual transmission Subaru (the only ones that can be towed 4-down) have pretty close to an even split of 50/50 using a viscous couplings.
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