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Discussion Starter #1
I had a flat tire on the interstate early evening on Saturday. Luckily it wasn't a blowout, and as soon as the warning came on I was able to take the next exit, and while watching the tire pressure keep going down, I managed to pull the car into a gas station. :1pat:

With less than 2 months of ownership, home 180 miles away, and the whole family with me in the car, I called Acura road side assistance. Unfortunately all the tire shops were all closed. After I got the spare on, the local towing company came, and told me about a tire shop 15 miles away that offers help after hrs. That shop was great and fixed the hole on the tire, and we got home safely.

This got me thinking. On road trips in remote areas, a flat tire can be a big headache. Spares are not rated to go fast, and on interstates it can be pretty dangerous. (If one is not diligent, the spare itself may not be filled to spec.) Obviously the space for the spare tire is sufficiently large to carry the full size tire. Wouldn't it make sense to carry along a full size on long trips?

Has anyone put a full size tire at the spare tire location for significant amount of time?

By the way, I couldn't find the torque spec for the wheel lug nuts in the owner's manual. After some internet search, it appears to be 80 ft-lbs.
 

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If you do a search of this site I believe you will find a thread with pictures of an Gen 3 ADV with a full size spare tire. If I remember right it fits but can be seen because it is wider than the space saver. If it is not on this site try the other MDX site.
 

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I couldn't find the torque spec for the wheel lug nuts in the owner's manual.
It's in the 'Replacing the flat tire' section on page 444 of my 2014 owner's manual (likely a different page for other years) and you have it right - the torque for the lug nuts is 80 ft-lb.

The easiest way to find things like this is to download the soft copy of the owner's manual and just do a key word search.

I think the likelihood of getting a flat is typically low for most people which means that living with a temporary spare usually suffices. It's meant to get you to a place that can fix the flat tire and it apparently worked okay in your case even though many shops were closed. Even if you had a full size spare you should just use it to go to the nearest decent tire repair place to have the flat tire fixed since you're otherwise now without a spare and Murphy's law is liable to strike.

If one is towing a trailer where there's a concern about the load on the rear tires one can always put the space saver spare on the front and one of the fronts on the rear if there was a flat on the rear.

Given that, as indicated above by others, people have put full size spares there and there's a thread here on it.

One thing I would 'not' be comfortable with is 'no spare' such as with the FWD models. There have been multiple times where I had sidewall punctures that couldn't be fixed by the can of fix-a-flat so I would have been stuck - and not everywhere has cell coverage and even then it sometimes takes hours for a tow truck to show up, even within an urban/suburban area. AAA is no substitute for being prepared.

So far though I haven't used the spare on the MDX in the 3 years I've had it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great thanks everyone.

For me, in that situation having a full size means I can get home reasonably quickly that evening. Using a spare means traveling at low speed on the interstate not very safely, or find a motel and still have to get home slowly since most places are not open on Sundays.

Our MDX will be our main travel vehicle, and with trips to various national parks and other remote areas for hiking/camping, having a full size spare could really be a difference maker. My 2002 CR-V has a full size spare mounted on the back, and of course I've not had to use it at a remote place yet.

If it's hard to find an OEM wheel, I might just go for a wheel/tire set from Tirerack.

I've heard some old school car enthusiasts do 5-tire rotation with their full size spare.
 

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I've heard some old school car enthusiasts do 5-tire rotation with their full size spare.
On vehicles I've had that had a full size spare mounted on a rim that matched the other 4 - I did a 5 tire rotation until it was about time to replace tires in which case I bought 4 tires, put the best of the old ones to the spare, and then did a 4 tire rotation from then on. It helps get your money's worth out of the spare tire and still leaves you with a viable spare.

Don't forget what I said about essentially traveling with no spare when you have a flat and are using the spare. I've been on family trips before when I've had a flat and used the spare and in those situations generally went and found a place to repair the flat so I could rest assured I had a true spare - especially if I had multiple days left of vacation and planned to be in remote type areas - which is generally the case. At least one time that I recall I was on my way home and only had a few hours of travel left and risked driving with the flat stowed and no real spare to get home.

By now there s/b wheels/tires available from wrecked MDXs. Just double check the 3rd gen rim size since different trim levels have different sizes. On the other thread I thought someone said some rims from the gen 2 would fit as well but that should be confirmed. It's possible a dealer might have an extra used wheel around as well from people who wanted to upgrade rims - probably not but you could check with a few in your area. Discount tire and the like might have one as well albeit a one-off non-matching one. If you plan to do a 5 tire rotation make sure the rim matches but otherwise you can get a cheapo rim that fits and doesn't match.
 

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I usually did a 5 wheel rotation with my full time AWD vehicles just because when you needed the spare, you wanted it to run roughly the same diameter wheel as the others or you had to pull a fuse to make it run in FWD mode (aka Subarus). For longevity of your rear differential, this is an essential practice.

I don't think the MDX has the same thing noted in its manuals, but is probably necessary unless you plan on just calling a flatbed all the time and dealing with costs of towing/stranding outside of the the included roadside services.
 

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With old-school fully mechanical limited-slip AWD/full-time-4WD systems, 5-wheel rotation was good practice. Especially with viscous coupled differentials. But I don't think modern electro-mechanical systems are quite as finicky about tire diameter. If anything, the "sensing" tech might shut off on vehicles so equipped.

I agree with considering a full-size spare if you plan to be in remote areas far from repair service, and especially for trailering in the outback. But I admit in this era of cell phones, I have become lazy and complacent. I just carry the donut.

Refinished/remanufactured wheels are available for much less than new OEM wheels. 1st-gen MDX wheels will work, although they are smaller diameter and will require a taller tire, but 2nd-gen MDX wheels have a different lug spacing. If you pick up a cheap aftermarket wheel, be aware that most will use conical lugs whereas Acura lugs are ball seat. You don't want to mix and match because they won't stay tight and that's bad. The lugs are easy to tell apart once you know the difference, and I have aftermarket winter wheels, but it can be a headache to keep track of the lug nuts and make sure you have the right ones when you need them! For instance, when the winter wheels are on, I have to remember to carry ball seat lugs for the Honda/Acura compact spare!
 
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