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Old 05-20-2016, 01:33 PM   #21
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I haven't had a flat in a long long time (tires truly are so much better than they used to be).

Twice in the last 10+ years the tire pressure monitor system saved us from getting stuck. Both times we had a "nail" in the tire resulting in a slow leak that we could get fixed before it became a problem.

The first time it was on a trip and the system warned us of pressure going down. I pulled over to look and saw a fairly large chunk of metal stuck in the sidewall. We found a tire dealer within an hours drive who had our tire type in stock. We drove there and had it replaced. Killed an afternoon, but saved us from a much worse experience of being stuck out in the boonies in rural Virginia.
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:44 PM   #22
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Class A RV's and even most class C's do not have a spare tire. My class C is unusual in that it has a spare tire. However, no jack is provided and for many good reasons. It's scary jacking up something that heavy and that high off the ground, particularly the rear axle. For a class A, forget about it.

So, the spare tire, if it exists, is there for the technician when the owner calls for road assistance.
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Old 05-20-2016, 02:36 PM   #23
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Even a "space saver" is better than nothing. At least it will get you to a tire shop.
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Old 05-20-2016, 02:45 PM   #24
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We got stuck in the middle of the Adirondacks in New York State. No cell reception from either cell phone. They had emergency call boxes every few miles (but I didn't know about that at the time). A NY state trooper stopped and made conversation while I pried my rusted in spare out of the trunk spare tire well. Almost couldn't get it and would have had to call a tow truck from the nearest town 50 miles away. It being Saturday night, it's likely I wouldn't have been able to get a new tire till Monday morning (unless the town had a walmart with service on Sunday).

Thank goodness for the spare and my $6 tire inflator from Harbor Freight.

We got all new tires at our convenience a couple days later once we were in Montreal. More expensive than what I would have paid at home, but we were able to drop the car off and relax at our rental home while the tires and alignment were completed.
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Old 05-20-2016, 02:56 PM   #25
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Probably 5 of the last 10 vehicles I've own have had run flats and no spare. One of my newest daily drivers has run flats "and has a full size spare". Regardless, run flats or not, spare or not, I carry a "high quality" tire repair kit and a large can of fix-a-flat (to inflate the tire after repair) with all my vehicles, which I've used successfully many times and without ever removing the tire and wheel from the car. I've used them on run flats and non run flats. I don't trust the can of fix-a-flat by itself but I've found it will inflated a repaired tire well enough to get you to a service station with air. (or I guess you could carry a manual or 12v air pump with you.) It's easier and quick than changing the tire and I consider it a permanent fix. (So far, I've never had a repair I've made fail or leak) YMMV.

It cost me about $50 per vehicle for a good tire repair kit, a large can of fix-a-flat and some needle nose pliers (to remove the nail or whatever). Probably not a solution for everyone (or major tire damage) but it has worked well for me and gives me the confidence to drive anywhere with or without a spare.
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:07 PM   #26
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I suggest getting a rim to match the other four and a new tire. Then do five tire rotation. This way you always have a spare that is very similar to the three good tires. Some vehicles (Subaru's) apparently can damage AWD systems if one tire is different than the others.

The matching rim spare is of some value as it should extend the life of the set 25%. A junk yard rim and used tire may just be dead money. A very old spare might be questionable for safe operation.
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:54 PM   #27
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Tires/rims can be damaged far beyond being repaired with a pump/sealant kit. It could be a problem when you bend a rim while driving a remote mountain road in Montana out of cell phone coverage.
Not having a genuine spare is a risk. Some tire failures can be managed with the sealant, but rim or sidewall damage cannot.
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:42 PM   #28
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Not having a genuine spare is a risk. Some tire failures can be managed with the sealant, but rim or sidewall damage cannot.
Agree.

Even having a proper spare doesn't always gaurentee anything but it helps. When I was about 19 borrowed DM's car rainy winter/spring day hit a pothole and flattened two rims on the right side. Well at least it was the 70s and rims were cheap mom and dad were out of town and never knew.
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:39 AM   #29
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For me, it's simple: no spare = no sale. We are shopping for a road-trip SUV and the lack of a genuine spare tire took the Audi Q7 off our list (much to the dealer's chagrin). As a matter of fact, customers and dealers are turning up the heat to provide a spare as an option:

quattroworld.com Forums: AoA now offers a standalone spare wheel/tire for the 2017 Q7 (4M).

I will not buy a vehicle that I plan on using for travel, only to be sidelined in the middle of nowhere, with no cell coverage, with a sidewall tear. And yes, this happens. If I were shopping for a pure suburban grocery-getter, then maybe. But for my intended use, hell no.
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:42 AM   #30
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... Well at least it was the 70s and rims were cheap mom and dad were out of town and never knew.
Dad: "This car now drives weird. It keeps pulling to the right."

Mom: "Nah, it's just your imagination".
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Old 05-21-2016, 05:18 PM   #31
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Just talked to the dealer, spare kit installed $400. Full size tire. A little high, but I'll go with it.
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:04 AM   #32
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I realize that flat tires are a "relatively" common problem, but personally, I've never be "stranded" by a flat tire. (with or without a spare).... I wish I could say that about other car problems.

Cars today are much more reliable (IMO) than cars of 30+ years ago, but when stuff breaks now, I am much more concerned that I won't be able to fix it on the side of the road with my traveling tool kit.
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:07 AM   #33
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Maybe I've been lucky, but I can only recall using the spare tire only 3 times in 50+ years of driving.
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:09 AM   #34
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I realize that flat tires are "relatively" common, but personally, I've never be "stranded" by a flat tire. (with or without a spare) I wish I could say that about other car problems.

Cars today are much more reliable (IMO) than cars of 30+ years ago, but when stuff breaks now, I am much more concerned that I won't be able to fix it on the side of the road with my traveling tool kit.
Yeah, when your in-the-fuel-tank fuel pump quits, roadside fix is not in the cards.

(I'd like to see a poll on how many drivers can actually know how to change a tire on their car and can state they can do it)
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:24 AM   #35
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Maybe I've been lucky, but I can only recall using the spare tire only 3 times in 50+ years of driving.
Where we used to live they were regular as in several yearly. Roads were all gravel and when the county graded twice yearly old nails, screws, and other debris were stirred up, then picked up. I carried a hydraulic and a 4 way lug wrench, seldom was the spare under the truck as I'd just have to pull it out a few weeks later. One that scared me silly was getting out to check the mail, turned around and my truck's RR was completely flat. Huh, I was doing 60 a few seconds ago. A 3" rock, smaller on one end, punctured the tire, immediately flat.

I recall a woman giving the guy at the tire place a major
a$$ chewing. She claimed that he was in cahoots with the grader operator. He was apologetic to her but clearly an innocent beneficiary.

Ah, and my property taxes were 85% less.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:30 AM   #36
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(I'd like to see a poll on how many drivers can actually know how to change a tire on their car and can state they can do it)
And for those who think they can , have they tried it with the factory supplied POS they call a jack? I have seen a few factory supplied jacks that were "ok" but many are an accident waiting to happen.

Reminds me of the old bumper jacks (I still have several of them). They work better for stretching barbed wire and pulling fence posts and poles out of the ground. And that can get dangerous too.
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:44 AM   #37
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A few years back was en route to the Airport to go home after a business trip. Got a flat just a few miles from the airport. Have AAA, but they would not have been able to get there in time for us to catch the flight. Luckily, the rental car had a spare, and in a few minutes we were back on our way to the airport. Without that spare we would have missed our flight.

Another time I had a flat on a busy freeway out of state, with a trunk full of suitcases, I opted to call AAA and have them change it. One does not always have to change their tire themselves, but there are still times it is good to have a spare, and know how to change it.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:06 PM   #38
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Had a flat this past February in our 2001 Acura in Arizona. No problem - pulled over, got out the spare, changed the tire and took off. Spacesaver spare. The problem was that the spare had about 10lbs of air. And it took us about an hour to find a gas station with an air pump. There seems to be a shortage of gas stations with air pumps these days.

Got a flat in my truck a few years ago in Illinois. About 0 out. I was about 5 miles from home - called DW and she brought me gloves and my coveralls and a hat. It was dark and I could only see by having DW pull behind me with her lights on. A cop pulled over and asked if I needed help. I said no. He and DW sat in their warm cars watching while I changed the tire. Now I carry an extra set of clothes with me in case of trouble on the road. I average a flat every year or 2.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:13 PM   #39
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I don't know if I have a spare tire or not. But I have AAA for road insurance.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:17 PM   #40
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I don't know if I have a spare tire or not. But I have AAA for road insurance.
They don't carry spare tires for folks. They will tow you to a garage though, even if it's 200 miles away. In West Texas, that's a possibility.
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