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I just got back from the dealer getting my tire replaced. I had to drive the car at 25MPH to keep the AWD Overheat Warning from appearing. Nissan does not sell a full-size donut for cars with larger wheels.

The service rep said that the only thing I can do is order a full size wheel and put a tire on it. The service rep also said when driving with a donut to keep the speed low and pull over when the overheat warning shows. That was it. Considering the layout of the car's trunk I don't think a full size spare will fit where the donut is stored.

I miss the good ole days when cars had full sized spare tires.
 

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Have things changed with the system since 2003? I didn't bother to research it before buying the 2021 since I didn't really care; I get AWD only because it takes a lot of weight off the front tires which, in turn, makes the steering wheel feel less heavy and prevents the frontend from feeling as though it's plowing into a corner. I can't stand just FWD...feels dangerous on many cars, and I remember on the 2003 MO it felt like the car was going to roll over when doing sudden, sharp maneuvers. With the AWD, the extra drivetrain components seem to make the car sit more centered and the weight more evenly distributed, making handling far better.

Anyway, I seem to recall reading online that you should only use the donut on the rear wheels, never on the fronts, since AWD isn't locked to the rear unless called for. So, if a front becomes flat, you'd take a tire from the rear to replace it, then place the donut on the missing rear. I still wouldn't drive fast with it or go any further than I had to. Maybe I'll have to read the manual to see if Nissan stipulates using the donut only on the rear.
 

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The previous AWD car I had was a Volvo S80. Due to tire issues I've had the donut on front and back and never had a problem. I look at the wrong sized donut as a fail for Nissan. I'll have to see if I missed anything in the manual regarding where a donut can go.
 

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Here's some useful info from the Altima forum about spares and size, etc.

 

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Thank you for the link. It sounds like Nissan is guilty of being lazy regarding their cars with 19" wheels. I had an AWD Volvo and had to put the donut on a couple of times. There were never any issues.
 

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I did some math tonight regarding regular tires and spare donuts. According to the internet, my car has a tire diameter of 26.2 to 26.4 inches, dependng on the trim level of the car. Rim size plus tire size comes to those diameters. The donut is a 135/70R16 which is a wheel and tire diameter of 23.4 inches. The different in tire sizes is what is causing the overheat in the differential.

They do sell a 135/90R16 which will give you a rim + tire diameter of 25.4 inches which is closer to the 26+ inches the car is use to.

The only question is, will the larger donut and rim fit in the well at the bottom of the trunk? This I haven't looked into.
 

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I did some math tonight regarding regular tires and spare donuts. According to the internet, my car has a tire diameter of 26.2 to 26.4 inches, dependng on the trim level of the car. Rim size plus tire size comes to those diameters. The donut is a 135/70R16 which is a wheel and tire diameter of 23.4 inches. The different in tire sizes is what is causing the overheat in the differential.

They do sell a 135/90R16 which will give you a rim + tire diameter of 25.4 inches which is closer to the 26+ inches the car is use to.

The only question is, will the larger donut and rim fit in the well at the bottom of the trunk? This I haven't looked into.
So I guess the trick would be to put on the donut, then deflate the other three tires until the correct diameter is achieved. :)
 

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Last wk two warnings came across my dash: First-Warning AWD Error see owners manual and the other was Warning Malfunction. I was told that I can drive with those warnings. A few days later a light came on stating that my two front tires were low. I didn't have time to get air. Just yesterday the lights went out so I figured it corrected itself. This morning a Warning AWD high temp stop vehicle light came on. I immediately turn the car off. Don't understand because the car was cold from sitting overnight how can it be overheating? I need to take the car to the dealer can I drive with it overheating? Please help
 

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If you don't have "time to add air" when the tires are low PARK THE CAR!

This is not a "when it's convenient" problem. It can cause permanent damage to the transfer case.

Do not drive the car!

You should have the car flat-bedded to a dealer, have the warning cleared, and have them inspect the transfer case. I'd have them drain the gear oil and replace it so they can make sure there are no metal parts loose in the transfer case. Hopefully you didn't damage it...and the odds are that you caught it in time IF - and I repeat, IF - you do not drive it.

I may be over-reacting a bit, but I don't know how low those tires are, nor how far you've driven it that way. At the very least, inflate the tires correctly before moving the car, then drive directly to the dealer. (Borrow a tire tank to inflate the tires if you don't have one.)
 
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Last wk two warnings came across my dash: First-Warning AWD Error see owners manual and the other was Warning Malfunction. I was told that I can drive with those warnings. A few days later a light came on stating that my two front tires were low. I didn't have time to get air. Just yesterday the lights went out so I figured it corrected itself. This morning a Warning AWD high temp stop vehicle light came on. I immediately turn the car off. Don't understand because the car was cold from sitting overnight how can it be overheating? I need to take the car to the dealer can I drive with it overheating? Please help
There is a tire pressure display that will show the tire pressure for each tire. It takes a mile or two of initial driving before the tire pressures display. Next time you get the tire pressure warning, check the tire pressure display and add air ASAP. To prevent AWD damage, stop driving if any tire is very low.

It would be interesting to know which tire(s) were low, and what the tire pressures are... Do you have a tire pressure gauge to check them manually with?
 
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