Allpar Forums banner

The Spare Tire Thread

40900 190
This thread is to be all about spare tires. Given the age of many of our cars, our spares are probably due for replacement. What have you done, or how have you addressed this? Can be anything from, "I had to add a spare to my SRT car that didn't come with one," to, "I had to buy a new T125/90-18 to replace the old one," or anything else relevant...
141 - 160 of 191 Posts

·
Virginia Gentleman
Joined
·
8,471 Posts
GasAxe said:
Yup, nails, screws or other bits of steel account for the majority of my flat tires. Pot holes cutting the sidewall or breaking belts account for the rest. In the 15 months I've had my Ram I've had three flats. No problem with the OEM jack.
FWIW - I've had my Ram since Sept 2006 (bought new) and it's logged over 184,000 miles and not one flat. I define a flat as a tire that has deflated completelely for whatever reason (puncture, pothole hit, bent rim, etc). I did have some leaks that were repaired - picked up a nail or two, but they were slow leaks and easily repaired. But I don't consider them "flats" as the tire never deflated completelely. I never lowered the spare - it has zero miles on it.

The last time I remember having a flat I had a 1979 Monza and my oldest daughter (now 27) was about 18 months old. Driving down the road the right rear suddenly went down. The Monza was originally equipped with a inflatable donut and "fix-a-flat" type canister to inflate it. But I had replaced it with a full size spare so I was up and running within 15-20 minutes. I had found out the hard way in another incident , over time, the canister failed and it had never been used. In that incident I was 1 mile from home when I had a flat. Nothing more frustrating than finding out you can't inflate the donut! Ended up walking home. Ever since then I made sure to have full size spares! I really don't like donuts. The full size spare in the Monza (mine was a notchback) made it tight in the trunk - I could see why GM went with a space saver spare.

The last time my wife had a flat was about 10+ years ago when she was working in northern VA (we live east of Fredericksburg). As she got on I-95 heading home there was some rough pavement and one of the rear tires more or less blew out. Fortunately the state run highway safety patrol came along as she was calling AAA and changed the tire for her.

Spares are like insurance. Hopefully you won't need it, but you sure are glad you have a spare if you do have a flat.

dak4x4 - I hear ya. The spare on my Ram is mounted on a black plain jane steel wheel. The rest of them are alloy rims. If I had thought about it when I bought the truck I would have had the dealer mount the spare on a matching wheel.

Another FWIW - most of the flats I do see in this area (DC metro), the tire is so shreaded it will have to be replaced. Fix-a-Flat ain't fixing it.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
9,852 Posts
Doug D said:
Another FWIW - most of the flats I do see in this area (DC metro), the tire is so shreaded it will have to be replaced. Fix-a-Flat ain't fixing it.
Yup. Unless you happen to find one of your tires on the ground when the car is parked, or you have a very slow leak, if you get a flat while driving, chances are you won't have much of a chance to stop to replace it before it gets shredded.

This is exactly what happened to me this week: it appears I drove over a screw, which came off on the freeway as we were doing 80 MPH. The tire lost air very quickly. By the time I managed to slow down, avoid the fast oncoming traffic and find a spot to stop...that tire was SO done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
651 Posts
JavelinAMX said:
Think of the out-of-pocket price of a full-size spare; but then think of the other costs - you just pointed out several others. This aspect of car ownership is too critical to play the sort of games the Mfr's are contemplating or actually doing now.
If I was to ever buy new, and am only one lotto ticket away from that, I would insist on a full size spare with the rim matching the other 4, period-- not up for discussion; and if the dealer gave me any guffaw on that, I'd turn tail and go to the next dealer....
 

·
DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
Joined
·
1,333 Posts
Discussion Starter · #144 ·
dak4x4 said:
If I was to ever buy new, and am only one lotto ticket away from that, I would insist on a full size spare with the rim matching the other 4, period-- not up for discussion; and if the dealer gave me any guffaw on that, I'd turn tail and go to the next dealer....
Trouble is, some vehicles don't have room for a full-sized spare. If my wife's Integra has a flat, the conventional wheel and tire won't sit all of the way down into the spare tire well, the trunk floor covering will be up off the tub.

What I really detest is when manufacturers mount the spare upside-down so that there's no good way to check the tire pressure without removing it from the trunk. That's really stupid, and I've gone out and purchased the parts to properly tie-down the spare with the valve-side up for both of our daily drivers, even though I had to spend more money that one would normally think it'd cost, given that the tie-downs in both daily drivers are all metric hardware and so I had to buy more metric threaded rod and wingnuts and the like.

If they think that mounting the tire upside down means that people will take it out of the trunk to fill it, thus checking it over for flaws, they're wrong. People don't even check their spare tire pressures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,642 Posts
TWX said:
Trouble is, some vehicles don't have room for a full-sized spare. If my wife's Integra has a flat, the conventional wheel and tire won't sit all of the way down into the spare tire well, the trunk floor covering will be up off the tub.

What I really detest is when manufacturers mount the spare upside-down so that there's no good way to check the tire pressure without removing it from the trunk. That's really stupid, and I've gone out and purchased the parts to properly tie-down the spare with the valve-side up for both of our daily drivers, even though I had to spend more money that one would normally think it'd cost, given that the tie-downs in both daily drivers are all metric hardware and so I had to buy more metric threaded rod and wingnuts and the like.

If they think that mounting the tire upside down means that people will take it out of the trunk to fill it, thus checking it over for flaws, they're wrong. People don't even check their spare tire pressures.
I'm wondering if that is a result of depending on automation. Just guessing. Perhaps the fitting that picks-up the tire from source cannot grab the 'part' cleanly with the air valve in the way, so those from inventory flip it valve-side down. Also, I'm not trying to make excuse for them. I think being 'Customer Centric' is more important than handling ease at the factory. But this is all simple conjecture from me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
I don't know how many cases it applies to, but on my "new" KK, the spare mounting hardware only allows for mounting with the valve stem up against the body, where pressure cannot be checked without lowering the spare down. Also, I've seen cars (can't remember make/model) where the same "no valve stem access" spare mounting hardware in trunk applies---it in those cases was not just how the factory installed them--they were designed that way---as I think previous poster implied/stated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
651 Posts
Why you need a spare tire if you let your wife drive...

We bought an Omni in the mid 1980's. It was to be my car for commuting. The car was a few weeks old and she insisted on driving one Sunday evening. She is driving along, and I casually mentioned to trun down the brightness of the instruments. She grabs holt of the knob, starts to twist it dimmer, and suddenly the car veers off the road to the right, and clobbers the front passenger side wheel against the curb. The tire sidewall is torn up, and the brand new rim is bent to destruction. Lucky the fender escaped the impact. Put on the spare, it was full size but a temporary tire. And I drove home in the midst of a shouting match. I says she drives like a dufus, and she says if I didn't tell her to dim the dashboard lights it wouldn't of happened so the whole busted tire and rim are is my fault.

The following monday I was at the parts counter buying a tire and rim I shouldn't of had to, told the parts man what happened and he laughed out loud.

Sometimes you just cant win for losing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
valiant67 said:
Four built in jacks would probably be safer, but more complex expensive and much heavier than a single jack.
I think it's a neat idea but doubt it ever becomes a production item.
I have good news and bad news to offer you regarding this.

The Good News: Someone did it back in the 60s
The Bad News: It was the Renault Dauphine

How do I know? Saw a TVLand "Retromercial" a number of years back that made a big deal of a "typical suburban housewife" pushing the dasboard button and the car jacking itself up (looked like an inverted bottle jack).
 

·
DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
Joined
·
1,333 Posts
Discussion Starter · #149 ·
Rob Mayercik said:
The Bad News: It was the Renault Dauphine
Sounds like something Citroen would have tried... Weren't they the hydraulically-powered-everything manufacturer?
 

·
Yes, This MK Goes Off-Road
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
I'm definitely in the group that prefers to have a full size spare. I've had a few flats over the years and my commute is long enough to justify having the convenience.
I finally upgraded to a full size spare for my Patriot (with matching rim). Of course it doesn't fit in the spare compartment under the back floor panel. I tried to stand it up like the XJs do in the cargo area, but it doesn't fit with the rear seats up. So now it's just lying flat in the cargo area. Good thing I don't use the cargo area too often.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,036 Posts
I like having a full sized spare, but it isn't a necessity. Also the matching rim isn't such a big deal. Someone stole the matching spare tire from under my Dakota (probably a crack head for the scrap aluminum value) and I replaced it with a plain steel wheel to save money ($50 for a steel wheel with a tire or $150 for the bare aluminum wheel). The Challenger has the factory donut but I do have a full sized spare in the garage just in case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,642 Posts
Two Days ago, Driving the 2005 Neon SXT, Wife was tooling along in the right lane at a slow speed and experienced the Left Front tire delam right in front of a Ford Business Truck section of their dealership. It delam'd quickly and I'd estimate she drove forty feet to get out of traffic, directly into the parking lot of the dealership. This was just a couple miles from home.

A while later - directly after work - we drove back to the car and swapped out the flat and put the Doughnut on. I'm glad we had that (given what's coming when you purchase new cars).

I hate those stinkin' Doughnut/Temp wheels. Yet, I was very glad to have it at the ready; but I'm old-school enough to want the Read Deal.

In THIS instance, however, with a complete delamination of the tire, the Alloy wheel was scarred quite a bit and the car was resting on that rim. I could barely get the scissors-type jack under the appropriate spot to lift the 'works' up high enough to fit the Doughnut. I'm thinking a proper Full Size would've been a bit of a problem ... perhaps by another two inches. So the whole process worked, and it was a reminder of how much I prefer another approach to things. But with it being right on the edge of not succeeding I bring all of this up. { Along with it I made mental note of what's lacking in this car's trunk to make these unwanted experiences more manageable }.

As for the tire, It was old ... granted. But something on the order of an aerosol can of 'Fix-a-Flat' would've been a joke. As it turns out, this thread on Allpar.com IMMEDIATELY came to mind, so in acknowledgment I'm supplying a real-world Virtual Vote against doing away with Spare Tires while scoffing at Fix-a-Flat (although I realize there's a place for that sort of thing).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,114 Posts
I am with MoparNorm: Bean counters and marketeers don't get you home, preparation does. I have to have a tow package for my boats and other small trailers so when I get flats, I want a full size tire. My Nissan PU and GC have that full size spare as I always seem to get flats. My wife had some blow outs also, so to me driving without a spare puts you and your family in harms way, especially in middle of nowhere since there a lot of areas where there is cell phone reception.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
360VF said:
A few years back I had a very low milage 1977 Aussie Valiant Charger. The original owner had removed the original styled steel rims and tyres, and installed a set of alloy rims with wider tyres when the car was nearly new and luckilly stored the originals. Occasionally for local shows I'd put them back on and drive the couple of low speed miles to the show and back. To all intents and purposes on the outside the tyres looked fine. Great tread depth, supple sidewalls and tread with no visible weathering. One day whilst pushing the car around in the garage, I hear a 'sloshing' sound coming from the tyres after stopping. Thinking that they had somehow absorbed water (mirraculous has they held pressure perfectly) I took one and had it pulled from the rim. Inside were hundreds of rubber 'ball bearings' ranging up to an 1/8" or so in diameter. The tyres were literally disintegrating from the inside. After that I would only put the tyres on at the shows after getting there........

As an aside they were around 25 year old OEM tyres, called Dunlop Aquajets - used on all Aussie performance cars of the day. Similar I suppose to Polyglas GT's.

They were more popularly know after the technology passed them by in the late 70's as Dunlop Aquaplanes' though.

These tyres
I have seen garden tractor and riding lawnmower tires disintegrate from the inside because of aerosol sealants. Those sealants are often used on garden tractor and riding lawnmower tires driven in places with sandburs.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
A friend of mine just bought a 2013 Malibu today. When asked if she got the Eco, she said "no I did not get an eco, the ecos have no spare tires in the trunk." That is a direct cut and paste of her response. My first thought was of this thread.
 

·
DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
Joined
·
1,333 Posts
Discussion Starter · #158 ·
Christopher said:
A friend of mine just bought a 2013 Malibu today. When asked if she got the Eco, she said "no I did not get an eco, the ecos have no spare tires in the trunk." That is a direct cut and paste of her response. My first thought was of this thread.
Did she find out if there was room for a spare tire, or if they repurposed that space for something else?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
There is no room for a spare. You get a can of fix-a-flat. This has prompted a lot of talk about the absence of a spare with a number of people saying they won't buy a car without at least a doughnut spare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
I'll probably jinx myself for writing this, but it has been enough years that I don't remember the last time I suffered a serious enough tire failure that a can of tire sealant and an air compressor wouldn't have gotten me back on the road to where I could get a proper repair.

The last flat I had that I couldn't get to the tire store to get it fixed without removing the wheel was in our 2008 Grand Caravan at a Texas Rangers game with a van load of people to get home and the cargo area full of ice chests. The space saver spare replaced the flat tire, but I was then left with a very dirty space saver spare cover and a dirty flat full size tire that doesn't fit in the spare tire hole and no good place to put it. A friend wound up putting it in his car's trunk so I could pick it up from him later. I'm pretty sure I would have been better off with a can of tire sealant and an air compressor.

When we bought new tires for our 2003 Grand Caravan, we bought a steel wheel and mounted one of the take offs so we had a "real" spare instead of the compact spare. If we had the 2003 GC at the Ranger's game, the dirty flat tire wouldn't have been a problem. But that's not an option with the Stow and Go Seats, where there is only room for a compact spare.

The new Grand Caravans are not coming with even a space saver spare (and the space saver spares are not an option now because of a CAFE problem Chrysler is having). My first reaction was I'd have to buy a compact spare, a jack, tire tools, cover, etc. But after thinking about it, we usually are not on deserted country roads, much less off-road. And my Pontiac G8 came without a spare and it's not been a problem in over five years.
 
141 - 160 of 191 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top