It happened. Flat tire. No spare. In middle of Nowhere.

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Diemaster, Aug 3, 2019.

  1. Diemaster

    Diemaster Active Member

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    So were thinking of moving out of California. My mom wanted to move to Prescott, AZ so we took a trip out there. Not bad mileage wise. ~330 miles & 6 hour drive one way.

    Before I left on sunday, I checked the tire pressure on all fours and it was between 30 and 35. So I top them off to 40 hoping to squeeze as much MPG out of the Prime as possible. I've read enough on this forum about people running higher than normal PSI, I felt confident. Got to Prescott just fine. (got ~68 mpg. I was thrilled!) The Realtor picked us up and took us to the office then back to the hotel, for 2 days. Meanwhile, the prime sat at the hotel during our house hunting/looking. Last day were there, we went out to dinner at a steakhouse about 2 blocks away from the hotel. On the trip, I notice the tire light was on on the dash. So I get out and look at the tires and they seem fine (no road debris or nails/screws i can see), but just to be sure, I stop at a gas station and top off back to 40.

    The next morning on Wednesday, we get up early to avoid driving into the sun on i-10.We pull out of the hotel and once on the main road (3-400ft) the tire light comes on again. WTH? I stop at a gas station and check the tires again. Again no debris I can see. Figure the tires are just over inflated for the altitude and deflate them back to 35. (Prescott is at ~5800ft and we went over a mountain to get there. Max I think was ~6300ft.) We travel back down the mountain and are on route 71 heading to the 60. The road is only 2 lanes, one each way. No shoulder, no call boxes, not even streetlights. 10 miles before we hit the 60, the light comes on AGAIN! I'm in the middle of nowhere; nearest "town" is ~40 miles away. I have my mom pull out the war and peace book of the primes owners manual and try to find what to do. 3 miles later I feel this swaying in my hips. I look behind me, I'm making 2 black lines in the road so I look ahead and there not in front of me I must be making them! (This is at 65mph.) I pull over on the dried brush tumble weeds type as far as I can to not block traffic and turn my hazards on. though now im halfway out of the lane. i get out and the tire is completely flat! I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere with a handicapped mom with a flat tire.

    While waiting on the side of the road hoping the dried brush doesn't ignite from the hot exhaust, I tried to call AAA and the call got dropped. 3 more times (This is verizon). By now im stressing out even panicking a little. I can see us having to spend the night in the car or waiting for a cop to drive by or something. Finally, with half of a bar of signal, I get through to be put on hold for 30 mins. Im praying the call won't get dropped again. I get though and say my position, make model, etc. 2 hours later the tow truck shows up. I explain that my mom is handicapped and im not sure if she can get in the truck. Apparently in AZ, people can ride in the car as it's being towed. We got into the nearest town and were dropped off at a Big O tires (also AAA). The tire was so badly damaged that I had to buy a new tire at ~$105. They put it on, and we got home just fine. (MPG coming home was ~53. but that was also uphill with a headwind. Gotta love the Coachella Valley).


    This is my question. This is the 2nd time that the stock "eco" tires (bridgestone) have just gone flat in 2 years and less than 12,000 miles. Same corner of the car too on the right rear. First time was no warning at all; just deflated in the garage at home. Now to have this on the highway, I dont feel safe with these tires anymore. I'm not sure how to handle this now. My thoughts were either to get toyota to buy 4 new tires of my choosing under warranty or have toyota reimburse me for the tire and I buy 4 new tires.

    After my experience, what would you do?
     
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  2. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    I’d buy a spare and carry it with you;).

    That was te first purchase I made whenwe bought in April: found a salvaged 2015 and bought the spare :).

    Also bought a tire bag that I keep the spare in so that way the bad tire doesn’t soil the interior (y).
     
  3. schja01

    schja01 One of just a few in Chicagoland

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    Like minds. First thing I bought was a spare. Albeit a compact spare.
     
  4. Diemaster

    Diemaster Active Member

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    I should have said in the first post, but Im going to get a spare. Thats a given. Good idea on the bag. I mean what to do about the fact im out 100 bucks and dont feel safe b/c of the cheap tires put on at the factory.
     
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  5. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    If you don’t feel the tires are safe, buy a whole new set;).

    Ours came with Toyo’s and I’m not a big fan of them:cool:.

    I also don’t think they’ll last much past 30-40 k miles:oops:.

    So I’ll be getting Bridgestone Turanza Serenties to replace them as they wear well and are quiet:).

    Is this a rim issue more than a tire issue though:whistle:?

    Good luck and keep us posted (y).
     
    #5 Raytheeagle, Aug 3, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
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  6. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    While I sympathize with you for the trouble you had to endure, it will be an uphill battle persuading Toyota to take any responsibility on those flat tires. If you read the manual carefully, it clearly states that tire warranty comes from the tire manufacture not from Toyota. They may give you some goodwill discount on next service but don't expect them to pay for all 4 tires.

    Screenshot 2019-08-03 at 7.28.38 PM.png
     
    #6 Salamander_King, Aug 3, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i'd start with 4 free. unlikely, but it's worth asking. if they say no, i'd hope for one. if they say no, i'd buy them myself.

    how many miles on the two oldest?
     
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  8. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    You won’t get far with Toyota if you expect them to replace your tires. They don’t warranty them. You won’t get far with the tire company if you cannot show a defect. They won’t replace them just because you don’t like the tires, and flats are not uncommon on Interstates in the southwest.

    Replace the tires with new if that provides you peace of mind, but also buy a spare and carry it with you.

    When your TPMS light was illuminated, what were the actual pressures in the tires? I assume you carry your own gage and don't rely on gas station gages.
     
    #8 jb in NE, Aug 3, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  9. Diemaster

    Diemaster Active Member

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    The other 3 are the tires the came with when I bought new off the lot 2 years ago this October. The old tire was a dealer replacement tire of same brand/size etc.

    Actually I dont have my own gauge. I do at home but it's attached to the big air compressor in the garage. I did have the little pen sized one that spits out a ruler-type showing the pressure, but it's VERY cheap and I would trust the gas station more than that. That said, both said the same for each tire. The left front was ~30 and the right rear was ~20. the other 2 were right at 40. I still consider them cold as we were on the road maybe a minute or 2.

    For as smart and new as the car is, I can't believe I only have a light. You would think with all the information they give you on the 11.6 in and MFD screens there would be a tire page showing PSI and Temps on the tires. Even my 2014 kia soul had that ....Of course they could have used the whole 11.6 in screen as a "above the car looking down" 360 backup camera system too.
     
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  10. schja01

    schja01 One of just a few in Chicagoland

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    Carista tells you the tire pressure monitoring system numbers. I am sure others do too but I’m not familiar with those.
     
  11. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    The way I see this is that the OP got two warnings that his tire was losing air and he ignored them and headed out on the road. Most likely he picked up a nail somewhere. It happened to me once and the Toyota dealer couldn't find it after I mentioned it to them. I took my tire off and planned to dip it in water to find the leak, but I was able to see the nail with the tire off. Took it to Costco for repair and it has been fine for over a year.
     
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  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus, especially the version from Japan, are decent tires. Any tire can pick up a nail.
     
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  13. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    I would say that this is partially self-inflicted pain. When you checked your tires at home, they were all lower than recommended pressure, so it appears you are not attentive to tire pressures on a regular basis. Then you get the tire pressure light on the road, and you don't carry a decent tire gage with you. Since your tires had shown evidence of leakage (two were low and you topped them off), that should be a red flag that the air is going somewhere. You have a decent size leak to lose half the air pressure in a day. You did a quick visual inspection and found nothing - that's when you head to a tire shop to find the leak.

    Then later you let air out of the tires, given that you have evidence of a leak. Probably the last thing you want to do. A tire running at highway speeds with 20 psi will quickly fail - reference the infamous Firestone 500 failure (and your own right rear tire).

    These steps may have avoided this tire failure.

    1. Keep your tires properly inflated at all times. Buy and use a quality tire pressure gage, and keep it in your car so you always use the same gage and the results are consistent.

    2. When you have evidence of a leaky tire, go to a shop and find the leak and get it fixed.

    3. Don't adjust pressures based on assumptions. Only adjust based on data (i.e. your high quality gage that you keep in the car). Don't adjust for temperature or altitude on a trip like this - set the pressure once and keep it there. Tires normally change pressure and when the conditions that cause the pressure change are no longer present, the tires return to the original temperature.

    As you noted, since this trip is partially off the beaten path, carry a spare in the car (and make sure that is properly inflated). Also carry a block of wood to put underneath the jack, since the sand in the desert is not a great base for the tiny jack that comes with the car.

    One of your concerns in your post was that the car isn't telling you the tire pressures, just providing a light. If the car had told you that which tire was low (which you can easily confirm with a gage), what would you have done differently?

    Edit - something else odd. When you checked your tires, the front left was at 30 and the right rear was at 20. The right rear failed, but either the front had a leak as well that fixed itself, or your pressure measurements are not accurate or repeatable.
     
    #13 jb in NE, Aug 4, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
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  14. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I'd say it's 99.999% that Toyota won't help. But until you try for yourself, there's still that 0.001% sliver of uncertainty.

    Once they say "no," then just bite the bullet and get some decent tires. I really like my Yokohama Avid Ascend GTs, especially in the rain. (I know, you live in SoCal, but you've probably heard of the stuff. LOL!) I pitched the Toyos at about 25,000 miles because they were already too close to being worn out to be reliable on a 6,000 mile road trip that included the Colorado Rockies in May.

    And, you're wise to get a spare. The Prime doesn't have tie-down rings, but it does have the holes for them behind the rear seats.
     
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  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how many miles on the old tires?
     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    I'm waiting for when the replacement tires catch a nail. :p
     
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  17. thefranchise713

    thefranchise713 Junior Member

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    I had too many issues with the OEM eco rubber, finally gave in and replaced with Altimax RT43s from General. Haven't really noticed a mileage penalty with them, and it's a very easy tire to find anywhere if I have to replace it. The crappy Toyos... every time, special order.
     
  18. noonm

    noonm Active Member

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    One tire light might be a fluke. Two means you got a problem and (if you don't want to get stranded) need to get the tire looked at asap.
     
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  19. Gumbercules

    Gumbercules New Member

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    It was very likely from a goat head. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goat%27s_head#/media/File:Acanthospermum_hispidum_seeds.jpg

    I went to college in Prescott and have a spent a great deal of time there. Every tire on everything I owned there had the maximum level of durability available in the tires. I had a racing roadbike for a while and I had slime tubes and kevlar tube guards, it added enough weight as to negate the point of having a super light bike, but I didn't get flats. My mountain bikes were similarly equipped. A friend and I co-owned an ATV and a log skidder, the tubes were lined with tire and firehose. I had a 95 nissan altima at the time, there was a cheap all season tire I would get and replace pretty often.

    Goat heads can easily cause a leak and with the temps on AZ/Socal pavement that leak can cause a flat quickly.

    If you plant to spend a good deal of time in Prescott I would encourage you to get different tires and a spare. Spares can be found on Ebay for $60 or so. Eco tires just won't be reliable there, between the cacti, sharp rocks you might find on roads, UV and infrequent winter storms they won't perform like you would like.
     
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  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    wow, those look like bone spurs!:eek:
     
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