Overage Spare refused?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by archae86, Jan 5, 2022.

  1. archae86

    archae86 Member

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    Yesterday our 2006 Prius got a full flat tire during the hour we spent at a medical office. I carry roadside assistance on our car insurance. They assigned a local towing company to the job, and about 45 minutes in we got a phone call from the truck ready to head our direction. His first question was whether the spare on our 2006 was original. On hearing it was, he told me he was cancelling the call as DOT would not allow him to put a tire over 6 years old on our car, and that I needed to ask the insurance company to authorize a tow instead.

    The roadside assistance service then assigned the tire change task to a different local towing company, which must have had other work in queue, as a truck did not head our way for over an additional hour. That driver showed no concern about the age of the spare, which got us home (about eight miles, staying on 50 mph as specified). The tire was a bit warm on arriving home, and may not have full specified pressure. The whole affair had us waiting in a parking lot for three hours. I'd have changed it myself, but aside from being 73 years old I had on a full-length leg brace and am currently using a walker as I recover from a broken kneecap, and my 70 year old wife is a small woman with Parkinson's disease, not in the habit of changing tires.

    Is it common for towing service to refuse flat service on the Prius spare? How many of you have actually ever replaced your original spare without having used it?

    Having actually used it, and not wanting to repeat this episode, and believing that sixteen years old is not so good, I do intend to get our spare replaced.
     
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  2. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Active Member

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    Over on motorcycle forums which I belong to several and on some tire forums you will hear discussion of tires being outside as in on a vehicle for much longer than 4 years the rubber begins to degrade and can literally break down and blow up and blow out so these are numbers that some companies throw out there so that unsuspecting folks get stuck with a two $300 bill for a new spare etc etc and everything that they can upcharge to get you back on the road I'm similar 70 years old no knee braces My wife is an okay shape in the trunk of my Prius is my DeWalt half inch drive 20 volt gun to remove the lug nuts I carry a better jack than the stock one I've used it twice always on other people's cars but I hear you they're just trying to upsell you and get money from you for their free call that they have to do because they signed up for it they're just trying to get you The best thing you can do is make sure that your garage keeps your spare pumped up if it's leaking find out why and replace it it's not that expensive and remember that your spare is always in the shade in the trunk so the rubber shouldn't be breaking down like it's mounted on the outside of the car sitting in the sun in a state like California but it's a good thing you didn't fall for their nonsense You were the smarter
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Yeah that's a good idea. Still, that seems like a real lame-duck outfit, the first bunch that came out.
     
  4. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Sure, I have towing on my insurance policy.

    But, that's the reason I slap my spare on by myself, anyway.

    Also, I would not like to wait at night for a tow truck in a sketchy neighborhood. Changing it myself, it's 15 minutes, and I'm out of there.
     
    #4 Georgina Rudkus, Jan 5, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2022
  5. Another

    Another Senior Member

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    What does a new spare cost?
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    $400., or maybe a hundred for a tire
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i've never heard of it. i have read that tires over 6 years old should be replaced, but that might come from the mfg's who want to sell more tires.
    prius spare is protected from light, and rarely gets used. i would not bother replacing it, and it should be warm after a 8 mile drive.
    do check the psi regularly though, along with all the tires
     
  8. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    The tow truck driver was likely using an excuse to get out a call that doesn't pay much... There's zero issue with using a spare tire older than 6 years if you're only driving a short distance.

    If I were in your situation with a leg brace and using a walker, I'd go back into Doctor's office and tell them the situation and say you called roadside assistance but don't want to wait for hours. I bet they'd find someone in the office to do it. And if they didn't I'd start getting the jack and tire out of the car and wave down a passer by to help you out. I know if I was driving by and saw an elderly man in a walker with a leg brace on pulling out a tire jack I'd pull over and get that spare tire on in 5 minutes. Never under-estimate the willingness of others to offer assistance. We're all in this together!
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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  10. archae86

    archae86 Member

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    I had not checked the spare in years. This morning, I found 18 psi on it, and pumped it up to 58. Yes, the owner's manual specifies 60, as I guess is standard for donut space-saver spare tires.

    I did not attempt to buy a replacement donut when Discount Tire repaired the tire that went flat. They said they saw a hole right in the middle of the tread, and no other damage, so they judged it to be fixable.

    For the future, I think I'll put spare tire pressure check on my annual household maintenance list. I do check the operating tires monthly.
     
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  11. ColoradoBoo

    ColoradoBoo Active Member

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    Yep out of sight/out of mind can cause problems!

    I need to check my spare on my 2014 Tundra...haven't even looked at it since I got the truck in 2015...glad you got the car back on the road!
     
  12. ColoradoBoo

    ColoradoBoo Active Member

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    I bought a spare wheel on-line and the tire at my dealer, $88.90 for the tire (last summer).
     
  13. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Active Member

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    I bought five lug Toyota rims for the Prius and Corolla and others for like $38 on Amazon for the steel wheel and then of course whatever tire of your choice on that makes a spare or another wheel whatever I certainly wouldn't pay 80 or $90 for a mini spare but that's just me
     
  14. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    I would do the same, but cautiously. Unfortunately, there are many people that would see it not as an opportunity to help, but as an opportunity to take advantage of someone. From what we see in the news over the last few years (or more), when you're an older couple, who do you decide to trust? There's no do-over if things go south. The times I've gone on rescue missions, I'm paranoid as all heck and go straight defensive mode if another car (other than law enforcement) pulls over to 'help'. I can't think of a single time that my first thought was "yayyyy, someone is here to help". It's always been much, much more negative.
     
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    a sign of the times...
     
  16. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Active Member

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    Yeah I guess I'm down here in the south so it's just a normal thing to get out and help whether they're parked under a street light or whatever just what you do let me know if that's a risky for me well I guess so be it I generally try to assess the situation as I pull up to it and then go from there if I need to run over somebody before I get out of the car well I guess that's the possibility just depends I mean I'm not looking for trouble
     
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  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    that's my fear, running over somebody...
     
  18. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    There's a certain level of instinct / combined with intuition, as well as being a good judge of body language that is essential in life. The sooner you recognize a potential threat, the more time you have to create distance. I've seen many times people tune out what's going on around them and become totally oblivious to the development of a dangerous situation.

    That being said, life's most rewarding moments are when you help a good person who genuinely needs the help. If you don't look for and act on those opportunities and assume the worst rather than the best, the bad guys have won and everybody loses when they win.
     
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  19. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    I'm grateful you've never run over me Bisco... I mean I have gotten in your way plenty of times...
     
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  20. pasadena_commut

    pasadena_commut Active Member

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    I would guess that spare tires should last considerably longer than the other tires on the car since they are inside and not directly exposed to the elements. Plus with a space saver they are not run at full highway speeds, so even if they are quite old they are not all that likely to blow out. They must go bad eventually, but I cannot recall ever seeing a crack on one in a car I owned.

    That said, a real problem for us with most of the space saving spares is that the valve is too close to the wheel, so the bicycle pump (good exercise, right?) we use to keep the other tires inflated cannot latch on. No problem with any gas station air pumps, so far. My son recently bought an air compressor and the chuck in the Harbor Freight accessories kit looks like it will work too. I should try that tomorrow, since the spares are all overdue for a pressure check.
     
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