It happened. Flat tire. No spare.

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by JMalmsteen, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. litesong

    litesong Member

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    Just go to Craigslist & buy a used tire/wheel combination. I'm lucky. Standard 5x4.5 inch wheels are common. I got spare wheels/tires for two cars.....PLUS used tires & excellent alloy wheels, all around, for the cars too. People are getting rid of excellent tires/wheels they can't use anymore. Half of the tires I got, were two weeks from going to the tire dump. Excellent tires...... Goodyears, Michelin, Cooper tires..... those were the FREE ones. I thought I got a super deal paying $60 for 2 Optimo tires, already mounted on sweet 18" chrome alloy rims, which have been on my Elantra rears for 20,000 miles. But then I paid $50 for 3 Kuhmo tires, already mounted on excellent alloy rims for the front, plus the spare for the trunk. Yeah, your right....$110 for 5 tires mounted on 5 rims that just bolted on to my car. Didn't even need balancing. The cars look better than new with the non-standard big wheels/tires.
    One of my cars was OK, but had too many revs on the engine on the highway. Got some used bigger rims, & wider & larger diameter tires for the car. Dropped the rpms 300 revs & the wider tires give better handling & traction to the car. Oh, yeah. The bigger diameter tires set my all-time highest MPG for the car. Sweet. You'll meet great people on Craigslist.
    Google tire size comparison & wheel fitments for websites that will give you an idea how large you can go for wheel/tire fitments for your car. Maybe, you'll get free tires like me!
     
    #301 litesong, Dec 26, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  2. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Yesterday, I got a TPMS warning on my Prime. I stopped by the side of the road and the tires all looked fine so I drove to my destination. When I got there, I measured pressure in all the tires. 44, 44, 35, 44. I looked at the outlier and found this:

    IMG_8111.JPG

    So I used my small air compressor and pumped it up to 44:

    IMG_8112.JPG

    Then I went inside for a 1 hour meeting, came out, drove to Costco and got the tire patched.

    This is exactly the same experience I've had with every tire problem I've had in my life on properly maintained tires.
     
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  3. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    @Lee Jay, yeah same for me. Almost all of flats I've had are slow leak caused by a nail or screw. The car could have driven to a nearest service station with air topped off. Only a couple of times that was not the case.

    BTW... your TPMS light came on at 35psi? Wow, you keep your tire pressure high. 35 psi would be my normal tire pressure in a cold morning. I set mine at 38psi at 32F in winter, but I often see 34psi in very cold morning.
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    So "properly maintained" tires will never encounter a large bolt, shard of metal, have rapid deflation? Good to know...
     
  5. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Not never, just rarely. As I've stated elsewhere, I've been stranded by the side of the road several times for broken coolant hoses and cracked radiators, but never for a tire. Does that mean every car should come with spare hoses and a radiator in case those fail?
     
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  6. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Or potholes. That's what got the 38 psi rear Michelin LLR tire on my C-Max. The compressor/patch kit was useless on that sidewall gash.:( Up until then, previous flats were slow leak type screw/nail punctures.

    OTOH, my sons' very first experience was a highway blowout in the Gen2. The TPMS light had been blinking for months due to the original batteries going out in the sensors so he had no early warning. Those have since been fixed! :whistle:
     
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  7. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Or large drill bits:
    IMG_7894 copy.jpg
     
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  8. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    If it took unscrewing five identical bolts to change a radiator, I would say, sure, carry a spare. However, in my 40+ year old driving experience I was stranded by a radiator hose exactly once (older GM product that did not belong to me). Tires would have stranded me at least a dozen times if there was no spare in the car. No spare - no sale for me. But that's just me. I can drive around without a spare radiator, especially on a car that does not like to run its engine all that much and doubly so in a BEV ;)
     
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  9. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Well, your experience is the exact opposite of mine, my wife's and my parents'. None of us has ever been stranded by a flat but we've each been stranded by ECUs, radiators, coolant hoses, alternators, alternator belts, fuel pumps, batteries, and other parts.
     
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  10. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    My last flat was a piece of 1/4” stainless tubing in the sidewall. Rapid deflation since tubing is hollow. Since it damaged the sidewall it was not repairable.
     
    #310 schja01, Jan 9, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
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  11. Prius Maximus

    Prius Maximus Senior Member

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    No, but a roll of duct tape works wonders for a coolant hose. and it doesn't take much space to carry around.
     
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  12. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    I had one literally explode and blow open the hood. There was nothing left of the hose that wasn't under the hose clamps.
     
  13. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    It may have to do with the brand of cars we each used. I've owned Volvos from 1998-2017. Before that was a list of other European makes of various years and some Japanese. Never owned a piece Detroit iron. Never ever a radiator or any other problem other than an occasional flat tire. I also lost a clutch on a 1987 Acura Integra with 130K miles.
     
  14. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    I had an intake air hose come off and kill the engine in my Mazda, and that one also had a radiator hose failure and a radiator crack cause forced repairs before operating. That same car also had an alternator failure cause battery depletion on the highway resulting in a stranding and an ECU failure resulting in limp-mode operation.

    The others were all in US-made vehicles - 1972 Buick Skylark, 1990 Ford Ranger, 1991 Ford Explorer, and a Dodge and a GMC van from the late 80s. All Nissan, Mazda and Toyota vehicles since then, and never a flat on a properly-maintained tire on any of the above.
     
  15. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    WOW, you've had really bad luck....


    Rob43
     
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  16. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Really? Others seem to think I've been incredibly lucky to have a nearly a million miles of driving without a sudden flat.
     
  17. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    Having all the things that have happened to you including "I had one literally explode and blow open the hood" is bad luck.


    Rob43

     
  18. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    I repaired a car out in BFE with tape and an aluminum can - along with a gallon of water I had handy.
    It wasn't pretty, but it got me home.
    No car that I know of comes with a spare roll of JIC tape and a .....ah......."beverage" can, but people generally make their own luck.
    My car did not come with a set of jumper cables, but on two occasions in my work Prius, those got me out of the barn on cold mornings immediately preceding an aux battery change.
    As I related in another thread - somebody tried (and briefly succeeded) in getting into my car while wielding a knife.
    FORTUNATELY - I had possessed yet another piece of safety equipment that cars do not commonly come equipped with, and MORE fortunately we both went home and slept that night only having had the crap scared out of us.

    As I said.
    People generally make their own luck.
    I've had AAA for decades. I carry a reasonable assortment of items in case I break down (or...somebody else does.)

    I DO NOT consider it to be very wise to travel in a car without a spare tire....but I do not believe that anyone should be castigated (in public) for being comfortable with a bag of goo and a marginal compressor.....because.....I also ride motorcycles.


    ...no spares on those, usually! ;)
     
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  19. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    I'm not sure it's bad luck.

    The one that exploded did so after a 600 mile towing session, at a car wash. I'd bet the thermal shock of the cold car wash water caused it. Scared the heck out of me, though. I was in the car when it exploded.

    Having an alternator fail isn't that unusual. It just happened to fail when we got on the highway and the battery gave out just before (like 100 yards before) we got to the service shop. We were still stranded there after pushing the car the extra 100 yards.

    I had a radiator crack on the way to work. I was stranded on the side of the road until the car cooled down and I cracked the cap open to keep the system from pressurizing and then drove the rest of the way to work. I dealt with that issue from there.

    I had a radiator hose break on a trip but luckily it happened in a big town only a mile from a service shop, who replaced it.

    The ECU I had fail failed right after a big service (paining from a wind storm that removed most of the paint from the car). It happened at my house and was caused by the painting company creating a short that destroyed it. It had to be towed.

    The three fuel pump failures I had were all on my 91 Ford Explorer, which was a major POS.

    I had five differential failures that didn't cause stranding, just a wrecked diff. All of them were on the 90 Ford Ranger which was even worse than the Explorer.

    I had a hub fracture on a trailer in the middle of nowhere in Utah. We were going to change the resulting flat but then realized the problem wasn't going to get fixed if the hub was no longer attached to the trailer. We had to get a tow truck to tow the trailer on a dolly and we had to stay overnight in town while a welder welded the hub back together.

    I did have a fast-flat on the Explorer, but that was because the thing was such a major POS that it become un-alignable. It thus wore the inside of the tire (where I couldn't easily see it) through the belt and it deflated while I was at home. That was after three alignments at the dealer and one at a specialty shop that said they couldn't fix it without bending the frame. Ford wouldn't pay for that (it was under warranty). I got rid of the car.

    But I've never had a tire puncture that caused a fast-flat. I've had many screws, nails and bolts in tires, but they are all like this one - slow leaks that can wait until you drive to a shop for a repair. Some were near the edge of the tire and the tire was not salvageable, but I was still at the shop under the car's own power - unlike the ECU, alternator and hub fracture. The radiator hoses never caused an immediate stranding, just a temporary one where you could drive it a short distance (like a mile) and then repair it at home or at a shop. If those had happened in the middle of nowhere, they'd have required a tow. The radiator I was able to handle without a tow, but only because of luck.
     
  20. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    What I've done to mitigate the lack of a spare on my Prius is:
    1. Replace tires at 4/32 instead of 2/32.
    2. Test tire pressure regularly.
    3. Carry a tire gauge in the car.
    4. Carry an air compressor in the car.
    5. Carry a plug kit in the car.
    6. Keep a cell phone charged in the car.
    7. Keep several cell phone chargers in the car.
    8. Have my insurance's roadside assistance number in the car.
    9. Have Toyota's roadside assistance number in the car.
    10. Carry the goo kit the car came with (the very, very last option).
     
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