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No spare tyres in new cars or hire cars

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I recently came across a woman with a punctured tyre. She was trying to inject it with a slime or foam and then trying to re-inflate it. This was being done on a slope. Without the car being jacked up first.

I am not an expert on this recent innovation, but the car came with no spare wheel. No jack, and all the wheels had a lock on them so that you cannot remove the wheels anyway and she did not have the key.

I have never had the need to use one of these foam tyre inflators, and when I was handed the instructions after she had spilled all the foam on the drive, it was clear that most people have never come accross this issue either.

https://www.thecarexpert.co.uk/wheres-my-spare-wheel/

My understanding of these foam inflators (of which I have owned one in case I got two flat tyres), is that you jack the wheel up so that the tyre is off the ground and inject the foam. Then wait for the foam to seal, maybe 30 minutes. Then inflate the tyre. However, I only briefly read my instructions and never have used one.

Anyone actually successfully used one of these foam inflators? Or anyone have any unsuccessful attempts?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The foam can will partially inflate the tyre but it will need topping up with a compressor. The idea is that this lets you drive to somewhere that can repair or replace the tyre.

Ideally remove the nail or whatever caused the puncture and set the wheel with the hole against the road. Then use the foam can and inflate to a safe pressure. You should drive on the re-inflated wheel as soon as possible as this distributes the foam onto the inside of the tread area... from where it will seal the hole. Don't drive fast or far.

Both our cars have full size spares.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Bigtipper, very easy to use at the roadside, but rather messy for whoever subsequently repairs or replaces the tyre. Fairly normal now since spare wheels are seldom used, and omitting them saves space and weight.
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As above, you want to get moving as quickly as possible to get the goop moving around the tyre and coating the inside. Also it generates heat, which helps with the goop going off.

Similar to the current trend of mountain bikes running tubeless tyres. In that instance you fill the tyre with a substance a bit like watered down PVA glue when you fit it. The idea being that any holes will get sealed as the liquid passes by and contacts the air through the tiny hole.

As queenie says the problem comes when you need to change the tyre and both it and the rim are covered in slime. Also if you get a tear/cut rather than just a hole. This is the main reason I’d rather run tubes and deal with the occasional hassle of changing a tube on a ride.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
We had a blow out driving to France at night and the tyre shredded. Not sure foam would have helped much trying to fix that but may be the tyres are built not to shred?
I was glad we had opted for the full spare when we bought the car.
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I haven't had a flat tyre in my car this century. Bike tyres... cycling past construction sites is a good way to get flats.

With fancy cars you're supposed to call out the manufacturer to rescue you.

My car has a compressor and foam, but no old-school jacking points or a jack, so the advice just given regarding foam sounds right.
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One of my criteria when buying my current car was spare wheel. Full size would have been a bit of a luxury but managed to get at least a space saver. Used it when nail caused a rapid deflation on the motorway about 20 miles into a long journey. Although AA guy assured me the space saver would do the distance I wasn't overly happy about driving a long way at night at restricted speed so turned around and bought a new tyre the next day.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
jedster wrote:
We had a blow out driving to France at night and the tyre shredded. Not sure foam would have helped much trying to fix that but may be the tyres are built not to shred?
I was glad we had opted for the full spare when we bought the car.


If you don't stop in time, the friction in the tyre will destroy the sidewalls and no amount of foam will get you going again.

Many cars (incl ours) now have tyre pressure monitors, so this doesn't happen.
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I have a full size spare in my car. Reused some foam padding from an older model of the same brand of car to keep the boot floor flat.
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bar shaker wrote:


If you don't stop in time, the friction in the tyre will destroy the sidewalls and no amount of foam will get you going again.

Many cars (incl ours) now have tyre pressure monitors, so this doesn't happen.


I don't have the fancy valve mounted pressure monitors but have the rotation/algorithm sensing and it did absolutely no good when I had a blow out in the fast lane at M way speeds, By the time I'd got safely over to the hard shoulder the tyre was beyond repair. Accept that pressure sensing probably helps in slow punctures.
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Roadside Assist. Even if I had a spare (and I don't know if I do - I'll have a look) there's no way I am capable of changing a tyre. I had a puncture in 1985.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I think the problem was that the tyre wall was split, and so the foam or gunge could not seal it. Anyway, I am glad the advice I gave to drive to a level suface (a short distance at a slow speed), would have been advisable anyway. (if the tyre was repairable with the foam)

I have had a re-tread come off on a dual carriageway with no place to pull over. I got some super glue out and stuck it back on.

I have had flat tyres, but never in problem areas or situations like climbing up to Tignes in a snowstorm. Always carry a spare tyre, and some foam in case the tyre was repairable. (will look out for new cars that decide to avoid spare tyres)

Generally, I try to have roadside assistance as well. However, I have called out the local garage in Serre Chevalier once as the van would not start.

The link above says some cars have tyres which you can drive on after a puncture (BMW have these apparantly) and so do not carry spare tyres. Confused

Always worth checking hire cars, as sometimes they do not have spare tyres and you are expected to call a roadside assistance if you get a flat. Not all hire cars have this, and some have spares. So you could ask for one with a spare.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Tyre pressure sensors have been mandatory on all cars sold in the EU since 2014. The rotational type will tell you that a tyre (maybe not which one) has lost pressure, and may go from orange to red on a major change. The valve sensors will give you an exact reading for each tyre, so you can spot slow punctures very quickly if you are watching the readout, or it will alert you when the pressure goes out of range.

The sensor type is inside the tyre, so on swapping to winter tyres you need a second set of sensors and a reprogram of the car to use them. The rotational type just needs a reset on the car menu.

Repair cans are pretty useless in my experience - 1 out of 4 punctures (over 250000 miles) was repaired successfully, the others needed a new tyre as the damage was on the side wall or was too large to repair. Also, if you use the repair kit, most tyre fitters will recommend you scrap the tyre as they can't easily remove the foam/resin so a £10 repair becomes an £80+ tyre.

Run flat tyres are available for all cars. If they get a puncture, there is enough strength in the side walls to allow you to keep driving at less than 30mph (sometimes 50mph) to get to somewhere which will replace it. However they will adversely affect your fuel consumption (maybe up to 5%), can affect the ride comfort, and if punctured will likely need to be replaced entirely.

For a hire car, what are the chances of a puncture? I've been hiring cars for ski trips and holidays for the last 20 years, and never had a puncture. My rate is about 1 every 60000 miles, which for hire cars is more than my lifetime. That said, it will probably happen on my next trip...
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
plus about 85% of the driving population are incapable of changing a wheel now, even if they have the locking wheel nut key, jack and wheel brace to hand. Getting it wrong on a hire car could cost you a lot of money.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I had a small puncture once - small enough to repair.
It was the 1st time I had come across the slime stuff. After some googling, I decided to take the wheel off & get the tyre fixed for £4 & not use the slime.
Otherwise I would have to had replaced the Tyre!
Since then I have had made sure any new car has a spare tyre or at least one I can source via the the various sites. The slime stuff is only worth it if you have 2 or more punctures at the same time... In which case you probably did something quite dumb anyway.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

jedster wrote:
We had a blow out driving to France at night and the tyre shredded. Not sure foam would have helped much trying to fix that but may be the tyres are built not to shred?
I was glad we had opted for the full spare when we bought the car.


If you don't stop in time, the friction in the tyre will destroy the sidewalls and no amount of foam will get you going again.

Many cars (incl ours) now have tyre pressure monitors, so this doesn't happen.


We have TPMS but the tyre went down very quick at 80mph so it didn't really help. the road noise was a lot more obvious than the TPMS alert!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@ousekjarr,
Quote:

plus about 85% of the driving population are incapable of changing a wheel now, even if they have the locking wheel nut key, jack and wheel brace to hand. Getting it wrong on a hire car could cost you a lot of money.



really?
Mind I change all four twice a year to put winter wheels on so I'm pretty well practiced
ski holidays     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I have one of those “bicycle tires” as a space saver spare. Next to useless on the highway - limited to 80kph and 80km range. I had a flat out in the country and had to drive a lengthy distance on 110kph highway. Not much fun watching traffic closing on you at 30kph+, especially a B-Double.
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@ulmerhutte, I think the problem is with the country rather than to wheel NehNeh NehNeh Twisted Evil

@ousekjarr, plenty can’t but not sure it’s be as high as 85%. Reckon at least a third could give it a crack.
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My brand new car has a spare wheel, a jack, a tire wrench and no locking nuts. I wouldn't want to be hanging around for some garage to maybe come and rescue me on a Sunday.
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Michelin is getting closer with a non-pneumatic tire-wheel combo. May they succeed before I go to the great beyond.....and I hope they can apply the tech to bike tires, too. Its way past time for that!
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Quote:

My brand new car has a spare wheel, a jack, a tire wrench and no locking nuts. I wouldn't want to be hanging around for some garage to maybe come and rescue me on a Sunday.

My no-longer-new car has all that too, and was a key criterion when I bought it. I had a puncture in a hire car on the quiet side of Lake Geneva in the dark, driving to the airport to pick up a friend - who had to wait hours whilst a rescue service arrived. Also had puncture on car driven by daughter in law, with kids in the back, at the end of the ski day, on a narrow mountain road as dusk was falling. And I've changed wheels on my own cars twice in the last ten years.

I wouldn't buy a car incapable of carrying a full size spare. Mine has a cage underneath, which I paid extra for.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Run flat tyres - no need to change wheels in the dark. My last two cars had them originally - would never look back. My wife’s Japanese car does not have them and it is stressful when I borrow her car
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I have run flats on my Mini. Our big car- a Discovery sport, doesn’t have a spare and I don’t think you can get run flat winter tyres. Mr P had a puncture on the A31 3 weeks ago (winter tyres still on), and had to be brought home by a recovery lorry. He’d been transporting his aged parents back home from the West Country. After over 1.5 hours waiting on the roadside for the recovery lorry, he booked a taxi for them to get them home to Surrey, while he waited for collection. A spare would have made all the difference. He had a very long day....
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@Perty, my winter tyres are also runflats. No difference between summers and winters for the runflat technology. And the latest generation runflats are the same as non-rft in terms of comfort
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@Perty, to be fair, when I was researching options for my wife’s car, you either had (a) non-runflats and a repair kit, (b) non runflats and a doughnut or (c) runflats.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I would happily go with a 75% plus people not being able to replace a wheel. I know that none of my neighbours would attempt it. For a long time now, for the majority of people, cars have become domestic appliances rather than something to be looked after. I’m sure I read that the majority of people never wash their car themselves during the entire ownership.

Anyway, back to punctures. I always carry puncture repair kits which are capable of sealing nail/screw type punctures, by inserting a plug from the outside. I’ve used them on a couple of car tyres and also tubeless mountain bike tyres. If the damage if serious no patch or plug kit will work, but a car tyre I repaired went on for another 5000 miles without losing any air.

http://www.dynaplug-uk.com/dynaplug-repair-tools-c-29
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I never clean my car but I can change a wheel, though I have to stand on the tyre lever extension ( bit of something which fits) to get the wheel nuts loosened
Only done it once in last five years. Saved me a lot of time and money and repair was 25 euros. Got me filthy though. If the East European lads who clean my car for a few bob had been there I'd happily have paid them to do it for me.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

I’m sure I read that the majority of people never wash their car themselves during the entire ownership.

Not in our area anyway. every saturday or sunday morning my neighbours are out washing their cars while I'm still in bed. It is a ritual. Like @pam w, I never see the point in washing a car - it just gets dirty again.

But back to punctures. In recent years I have had one. In a hire car while driving from Bourg st Maurice to Tignes. The tyre pressure warning light came on. I nipped out and saw a nail in a tyre. If the nail is still there it partially seals the puncture so it is advisable to leave it there. Using the car's electric pump I inflated it, reset the warning light and continued on my way. At the end of the day a small top up was necessary before returning. Then into a tyre place in Bourg to get it repaired. IIRC it was less than 15 euros and no hassle whatsoever.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Like everything these days a puncture is someone else's problem, I'm with Davidof and would rather have a spare.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

My brand new car has a spare wheel, a jack, a tire wrench and no locking nuts. I wouldn't want to be hanging around for some garage to maybe come and rescue me on a Sunday.


Exactly.

Quote:

@Perty, my winter tyres are also runflats. No difference between summers and winters for the runflat technology. And the latest generation runflats are the same as non-rft in terms of comfort



We had run flats on a bimmer. Seem like a good idea but
a) the cost! we changed to normal tyres and got a spare. Halved the cost of the tyres. Was a 535 M Sport so fairly pricey tyres anyway.
b) run flats only allow you to limp to a tyre dealer much like space savers

I just don't think changing a wheel in the dark is very difficult.
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@jedster, i dont have the grip or the manual dexterity to do it. The job is simple enough but if you can't do it you can't do it.

I can't open a bottle of champagne, which is a far bigger issue (I have a cork popper gadget)
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
pam w wrote:

I wouldn't buy a car incapable of carrying a full size spare. Mine has a cage underneath, which I paid extra for.


You (and chocksaway) are very sensible.
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Quote:


@jedster, i dont have the grip or the manual dexterity to do it. The job is simple enough but if you can't do it you can't do it.

I can't open a bottle of champagne, which is a far bigger issue (I have a cork popper gadget)



Ah, OK.
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BTW - not sure that anyone has quite made this observation but given the penalties for missing fleet CO2 efficiency targets, car OEMs are highly incentivised to get test fuel efficiency figures down. IMO the move to avoid spare tyres etc is part of that. Getting rid of the spare is a good way to cut a few kg of the weight of the vehicle at low cost. Every bit of weight saving helps. As do their other more sneaky tricks like overinflating the tyres etc.
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ulmerhutte wrote:
I have one of those “bicycle tires” as a space saver spare. Next to useless on the highway - limited to 80kph and 80km range.


The French round here drive round on those tires for weeks on end ! Shocked
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
No one mentioned contiSeal yet and they are pretty good - anything up to 5 mm gets self-sealed. No need to stop or even slow down. They do recommend to visit a specialist "when puncture is discovered", which you won't unless whatever caused the puncture gets stuck or it's serious enough for TPMS to pick it up.

Available for winter tyres too.
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