Tire rotation and AWD [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: Tire rotation and AWD


Budman
02-03-2005, 02:06 PM
Hi all,

Had the oil changed today at the dealer (new Express service - drive in, no waiting, no appt.). The tech told me something about Honda issuing a bulletin about tire wear affecting the AWD. Seems if there's more than a 2/32 differential in tire wear (front to rear) the AWD may kick in when it's not supposed to (due to the computer sensing a difference in tire circumference). He suggested rotating the tires every other oil change.

Not sure if it's accurate info or not, just thought I'd post a heads up.

biocube
02-03-2005, 05:00 PM
rotate every other oil change?

at the 5k interval, so every 10k?

at the 10k changing interval, so 20k?

at changing your oil every 2k, so at 4k?


i just always try to rotate mine every 10k, which seems to be working fine.

are you suggesting every 5k or what?

Budman
02-03-2005, 05:17 PM
rotate every other oil change?

at the 5k interval, so every 10k?

at the 10k changing interval, so 20k?

at changing your oil every 2k, so at 4k?


i just always try to rotate mine every 10k, which seems to be working fine.

are you suggesting every 5k or what?

From what I was told if you wait too long and the front tires wear to more than 2/32 smaller than the rear and then rotate the tires (meaning the rear tires are now smaller in circumference) the rear wheel drive will engage when it doesn't need to.

He didn't give specific mileages but said every other oil change would be a good idea. Since they usually note 3k on the sticker I'd assume he meant 6k-8k (I usually go about 4k between changes - sometimes up to 5k).

Nat
02-04-2005, 07:52 AM
I have an 03 DX AWD. I've now got almost 41,000 miles on the OEM Goodyears and the tread is still pretty good. I've always rotated my tires every other oil change regardless of vehicle. On the Honda I rotate tires every 10,000 miles (every other oil change). I'll buy new tires at 50,000 miles.
Never encountered AWD kicking in unless there was definate wheel slippage. For me, it's pretty easy to detect when AWD kicks in because there is always a subtle milisecond "twitch" when the opposing wheel bites during the process.

BigFoot
02-04-2005, 09:19 AM
I seem to recall reading recently that if you pay to have your tires rotated you're wasting money as the extra life you might get from your tires is worth less than the cost of all the rotations.

Say you get 50,000 miles with 5 rotations that cost $20 each, that's $100 or the cost of one tire. So you've just spent $400 + $100 for four tires, giving a cost per mile of $500/50,000 or $0.10/mile.

If you don't rotate and get 40,000 miles it's also $0.10/mile plus saving five rotation appointments.

Of course, you may also be able to get 50,000 with no rotations which would then give one a cost of $0.008/mile.

For me, rotation is low on the list of priorities as the sooner I get rid of the stock tires the better.

Budman
02-04-2005, 09:26 AM
I seem to recall reading recently that if you pay to have your tires rotated you're wasting money as the extra life you might get from your tires is worth less than the cost of all the rotations.

Say you get 50,000 miles with 5 rotations that cost $20 each, that's $100 or the cost of one tire. So you've just spent $400 + $100 for four tires, giving a cost per mile of $500/50,000 or $0.10/mile.

If you don't rotate and get 40,000 miles it's also $0.10/mile plus saving five rotation appointments.

Of course, you may also be able to get 50,000 with no rotations which would then give one a cost of $0.008/mile.

For me, rotation is low on the list of priorities as the sooner I get rid of the stock tires the better.

But on a front wheel drive vehicle you would have to replace the front tires a lot sooner than the rear. Rotating causes them to wear evenly and so gives the longest life of the tires and more even handling.

You'd be buying tires more often if you don't rotate. Obviously if you do it yourself you'd save money but the pain in the ass for me is worth $15.

paulj
02-04-2005, 11:13 AM
I've read that the rt4wd system requires something like a 2% difference in rotation speed to activate. To be more precise, the front oil pump in the unit has to rotate about 2% faster than the rear to start applying pressure on the clutch.

2% is about the size difference between 215/70/16 and 225/70/16 tires, about a 1/4" in radius (7 mm).

If you run tire pressures as recomended by Honda (32/34), the rear wheels have a higher rolling diameter, quite likely on the order of 2/32" or more.

Still, even if the rt4wd is not activated, it is a good idea to rotate your tires, especially on a car like the Element that wears the front fast. If you buy new tires, the tire shop or chain may provide free lifetime rotations.

DOGBOX
02-04-2005, 02:17 PM
Are tire rotations or alignments covered under the HondaCare plan???

Nat
02-04-2005, 10:00 PM
Bigfoot writes:
Say you get 50,000 miles with 5 rotations that cost $20 each, that's $100 or the cost of one tire. So you've just spent $400 + $100 for four tires, giving a cost per mile of $500/50,000 or $0.10/mile.

I pay $10 per tire rotation.Without rotation, you will usually get more wear and instead of 50,000 miles per tire set, you will be at about 35,000 miles with each tire set. At 70,000 miles you are onto your 3rd set of tires and I still got 30,000 more miles on my tires before they need to be replaced. I get rid of my vehicles between 100,000 and 115,000. Your already onto your 4th set of tires and I've only used 3 sets during the life of the car. Factor in $10 (tire rotation) x 11 = $110. 3 sets of very good tires = $1200 + $110 =$1310.

your non-rotated 4 sets of tires = $1600 vs. my rotated 3 sets of tires = $1310.

BigFoot
02-08-2005, 04:28 PM
Well, went to the dealer today and a guy came up and asked about the tire life I was getting on my Element, as he had one and was disappointed in how fast the tires were wearing. I told him I was at 16,000, and thought some people had gotten 50,000, and how I was satisfied. Gave him the EOC web address and told him to check out opinions here.

Also told him I had yet to rotate.

After he left I looked at my tires and used a coin to compare the rear with the front and was shocked, shocked!, at how much more tread was left on the rear than the front! I will measure and post here but offhand I would say the rear had about twice as much remaining thread as the front.

So, me stupid, and I need to rotate ASAP to get as much life out of these crummy tires as possible, as it seems I could easily have bald tires in front with another 10,000 remaining on the rear.

Never too old to learn something. Why didn't they teach this in highschool?

Nat
02-09-2005, 09:17 AM
Hey BigFoot:
Sorry to hear about your tire dilemma. I learned this with my first new car ever bought. My 1984 Dodge Colt (actually a Mitsubishi Mirage wearing the Dodge nameplate), 5 speed 3 door.. It was front wheel drive and I had never had rotated my tires. At about 25,000 miles my front tire were shot. I then had to decide to either invest in two new crappy OEM tires or just bite the bullet on replacing with four new quality tires. I ended up just buying two replacement oem tires. From then on with that car, I always had two tires that had significantly different wear due to different change schedules. After that, I always rotated tires fairly consistantly around oil changes. I'm on my 3rd new vehicle since 1995 and this formula has worked well. When my tires are done, they are replaced with four fresh, quality tires. Only one time it didn't work when I paid $300 installed for four mini-van ( gas station brand) tires a day before a 1000 mile trip. Those tires only lasted 35,000 miles with rotations. Another lesson learned about quality. I seem to always squeak about 50,000 miles with quality name brand tires and I prefer quality grade Goodyear's for both my E and my wife's Accord. There are also other quality branded tires out there but premium Goodyear's have been very consistant in their quality and performance since 1995 on all of my vehicles.(I'm not a schill for Goodyear just a satisfied customer)

DougC
03-16-2005, 09:25 PM
When I picked up my preowned E (18,000) the back tires looked pretty well abused...probably because they had been rotated just before I got it. Couple of days ago (21,000) I put a set pair of Cooper Discoverers on the front and moved the original Goodyears to the back. To maintain the warranty on the Coopers I have to rotate every 8,000 miles and my dealer will handle the rotation when required for $6. :)
DougC
03E 5sp 2wd SOP

paulj
03-16-2005, 10:28 PM
Which Coopers? H/T? I have been good wear on a set of Mastercraft equivalents on my other car.

paulj

orome
03-17-2005, 07:58 AM
My dealer offers free tires and installation for life, provided one does all the required maintenance there. I'm still musing on whether that's worthwhile or not.

lizzurd
03-17-2005, 08:58 AM
My dealer offers free tires and installation for life, provided one does all the required maintenance there. I'm still musing on whether that's worthwhile or not.


Free tires?....for life?


I have seen free lifetime tire rotation when tires have been purchased....but free tires would be a hard one to pass up.

orome
03-17-2005, 11:02 AM
Free tires, for life. Yep. That's why I'm torn - I have to figure what my savings would be if I did much of the maint at my closer, local, trusted mechanic.

Phreaxer
03-19-2005, 12:30 AM
simple math here folks... 2/32" = 1/16"

Budman
03-19-2005, 01:39 AM
simple math here folks... 2/32" = 1/16"

um, well, yes that'd be correct. Not sure what you mean though. Tire wear is usually measured in 1/32 increments.

soopa element
03-19-2005, 08:27 PM
My dealer offers free tires and installation for life, provided one does all the required maintenance there. I'm still musing on whether that's worthwhile or not.

Eventually, somehow, somewhere, the dealer will pick up all those costs for the tires in your maintenances one way or another. That is how a dealer works on my opinion.

cjmclean
03-19-2005, 09:30 PM
I have 6,000 miles on mine now. I just rotated the tires at 5,000 miles and have not seen any adverse wear at this point. It is pretty obvious why a FWD (especially one as easy to spin the tires as the E) would need to have the tires rotated more often than usual.