Experience with the doughnut spare tire

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by CaliforniaBear, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. CaliforniaBear

    CaliforniaBear Clearwater Blue Metallic

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    There's a thread on the Plug-in forum regarding concerns about actually using the doughnut spare. "Spare" your thoughts... | PriusChat Some of us have bought a doughnut spare to carry in our Plug-ins on trips or just around town. Since you may not be following that forum I thought it would be useful to start a thread here.

    Have you ever used the doughnut spare?

    Have you had good or bad experience with the doughnut spare?
     
  2. Sfcyclist

    Sfcyclist Senior Member

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    that tread is about not having a spare. Not quite the same as experience with using the donut spare.
     
  3. peterjmc

    peterjmc Ping pong in Ding Dang...

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    I'm glad I have a spare tire in the car. I've used it three times on this car in two years of ownership. My previous car, which I owned for 5 years, I used it's spare twice. I'd much rather throw on a spare than wait around for a tow truck/road side assistance. Sometimes it takes hours for assistance to arrive depending on where you are. It takes me less than 30 minutes to throw on the spare, guaranteed.

    Incidents in the Prius....
    1st incident - A friend of mine was driving us home late at night and unexpectedly hit a pothole at highway speeds. It really wasn't avoidable in the driving situation we were in. As a result from hitting the pothole, I had a small cut in the sidewall. A temporary tire patch wouldn't work with the sidewall damage. I had to put on the spare to be able to get the car home and get a new tire put on it.

    2nd incident - I had a puncture in one of my tires from road debris. I had to put on the spare to take it to a shop for a patch repair.

    3rd incident - The patch repair failed and leaked air. I had o put on the spare to take it home and get the tire properly repaired.
     
  4. CaliforniaBear

    CaliforniaBear Clearwater Blue Metallic

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    One person said this which I find a bit unusual...

    "There are other issues as well. My wife used the doughnut on her Subaru, This resulted in a $1000 repair to the AWD transfer case. A limited slip differential would also be damaged by a continuous difference in rotational rate caused by dissimilar tire circumference.
    The issue I had with the Prius is that the doughnut rim is very soft metal and was bent by a small bump in the road. The doughnut's narrow side walls do not provide much protection from road irregularities. You are much better off with a full size spare."

    hence my question about actually using the doughnut spare.
     
  5. DumbMike

    DumbMike Active Member

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    The spare came with my car (not a plug-in). I only had to use that spare tire once. I was on my way to work and got a flat just 1/2 mile from where I live. I put on the spare, drove to work (about 15 miles), then after work, I drove to Costco to get a new tire. I had no problems. But, just some words of caution. Don't drive too fast on the spare. Maybe about 45MPH, max. In Los Angeles in rush hour traffic, you can drive on the freeways and never get about 45MPH. I'd drive on that spare tire no more than is necessary, so go get the tire repaired or replaced as soon as reasonably possible. You'll know what I mean once you put that spare tire on. It really doesn't look safe to drive on at any speed. And if it is on the front of the car, it's even worse. No handling at all.

    And for the statement above that "You are much better off with a full size spare." Duh. But who has the room for one? And who wants the added weight? For this car, I'll take the smaller spare tire and have to get it fixed as soon as reasonably possible. That's a reasonable tradeoff.

    Mike
     
  6. Sfcyclist

    Sfcyclist Senior Member

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    right, I commented on that as well, the Subaru has an AWD system with limited slip. Prius far from that
    Subaru has AWD with LSD.
     
  7. Munpot42

    Munpot42 Senior Member

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    I had a flat when I only had 1000 miles on the car, used the little spare and drove around until I found a place that had the same tire that was ruined (Bridgestone EP20). So I only put about 15 or 20 miles on the spare, It's been back in it's place for almost two years now ( I really should check it's pressure). Now problems at all.
     
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  8. SteveLee

    SteveLee Active Member

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    It seems there are a number of sidewall damaged tires. I wonder if the LRR tires have weaker or thinner sidewalls that make them more susceptible to this damage. Just has a flat recently and used the doughnut tire. Seemed to do ok for the short distance it was needed. One thing, it only had 30psi and I think it is supposed to be like 60. Fortunately we had a portable electric tire pump. The spare probably had never been out of its place and over time apparently lost air. Might be a good thing to check once a year.
     
  9. peterjmc

    peterjmc Ping pong in Ding Dang...

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    The spare wheel will be susceptible to damage from road irregularities if it's not properly inflated to 60psi. I've driven over a significant frost heave on the highway before without issues and damage to the spare. If the spare was at 20-30psi (this was the psi range which the spare tire was at when using it for the first time) while going over that same bump, my spare wheel would have definitely have been damaged.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Ok, just figured out: this is not your opinion, you're quoting someone else from the Plug-in thread. Anyway:

    I don't buy that. "Very soft metal"..., yeah right. "bent by a small bump in the road"..., same reaction. My 2 cents: their spare was not inflated properly (they're supposed to be at 60 psi), and they must have dropped into a serious pothole, to completely compress the tire and bend the rim.
     
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  11. Former Member 68813

    Former Member 68813 Senior Member

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    LOL, I had AWD Subaru and used the temporary spare without problems. The manual clearly states to put the temporary in the rear and disable AWD in the fuse box. The manual also mentions about the 55MPH speed limit. The thing is people don't read car manuals, brake cars due to their stupidity and blame others. So typical.
     
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  12. Roland1555

    Roland1555 Senior Member

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    I've had to use my temporary spare twice in my three years with this Prius.

    In both cases, my flat was on the front, once each side.

    In both cases I placed the smaller spare on the front without taking the time and effort to remove a good rear wheel, place the temporary on the back, remove the flat front and put a good rear tire up front. This may be better practice in terms of handling etc., but that flimsy and awkward little jack gives me pause.

    I found the spare to be very loud when going at any speed at all, compared to stock tires. I do check the pressure myself at intervals, and do ask my dealer to check it when they do the regular tires at service time.

    Don't ever recall hitting a large pothole or something like that with the spare on, but then again, I never really do that with regular tires in any case. I do tend to agree with other posters though; if a tire is not inflated sufficiently and a sharp impact was to occur, it would be more likely to suffer rim damage, as is the case with lower profile tires as opposed to the higher aspect of the standard Prius rubber sidewalls.

    FYI my flats were the result of road debris; nail and a screw the next time in the tread area. Both times the tires had an inside patch applied and I was on my way. Toyota and or my dealer picked up the entire tab each time, including rebalancing, which was greatly appreciated.

    Roland
     
  13. Klokow

    Klokow Junior Member

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    I had a blow out on the Illinois Tollway last summer. The spare itself is fine. The problem is with the lug wrench/jack handle. The handle is short and it is very difficult to raise the car on the screw jack with it. A petite woman or a senior citizen likely would not have the strength to jack the car up with the supplied wrench/handle.
     
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  14. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Re: that, irrespective of AWD from a Motorweek ep long ago, I learned of what's stated at Spare Me | MotorWeek. Better to have the spare not be on an axle that's driven.
     
  15. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    Agreed...Used one time after forgetting to put floor jack and real tools back in after another project. Won't do that again. The factory jack/equipment is not only cheap, but unsafe, and has since been permanently removed from the vehicle.
     
  16. teamsc10190

    teamsc10190 Stereo Prii (2011 and 2006)

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    More than likely that you are correct concerning the low pressure. Don't know why, but the temporary spare loses air pressure more rapidly than the regular service tires, and dealers never check it because it's a PITA. I bought my 2011 used and checked the spare to find it had 18psi of pressure versus the 60psi it should have had. 90 days after topping the spare to 60psi; the tire had lost 10psi. Best to check your spare before you need it.
     
  17. Maroon

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    Is there enough room in the spare tire well for a full size tire and wheel? My prius is still new to me and other than making sure I had a spare and jack, I haven't really looked under there again. I commute 100mi each way three days a week and would much rather have a full size in there.
     
  18. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    Nope. Already checked.
     
  19. Maroon

    Maroon Member

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    Ah, well. :( Ty for info!
     
  20. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    I came out of work to a totally flat tire (right rear). After replacing it with the spare I drove home on it.
    It worked fine, as it was approximately at the correct pressure. I check it occasionally, and this is why.
    Onc homre, I found a sheet metal screw in the original tire, removed the screw, plugged the hole and put the tire back on the car.

    No problem.
     
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