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Not having a car with no spare ever

Juddian

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Lucky escape with the Forester, pulled up at a roundabout and all of a sudden its pulling to the left, managed to get it onto a convenient triangle refuge sure enough flat front tyre, changed that for the as yet unused spare, dropped the tyre into the local tyre bay fully expecting it to be beyond saving cos run it flat and most likely buggered the casing, result, they've fixed the puncture and the tyre not damaged....215/55 x 17 not a cheap size, bought the present set its on for a princely £53 each last year (suspect pricing mistake on Tyreleader but they honoured it) currently same tyre £103 and most premium brands even more costly so was expecting a shafting for an emergency purchase.

Anyway, compare with the storeman at one of my regular drops Saturday, nice bloke too.

He's got an Audi, no idea which model, on way home 10pm tyre blow out, no bloody spare and blowout aint going to be fixed by the supplied pot of goo and a toy inflator, rings breakdown 'we're busy so could be up to 2 hours'.
At 4am they phone him and see if he wants them to arrange hotel (as that's on his plan), might have been worth asking at 11 pm doh, 5am they finally get to him and drop him and car off at a tyre bay, 8am tyre bay opens, he walks home via the cashpoint for some dosh, later the £350 quote for 2 tyres plus a weeping shocker has risen to £520 but he refused to pay more than the quoted figure he has in his pocket, and they relented.

His tale is the sort of luck i'd have, my tyre breakdown delayed me by about 15 mins (would have been quicker but couldn't find the winding handle for the scissor jack), his tyre breakdown i can't even add the hours up, but imagine if he had a car full of people or taking the mrs and kids on holiday, nightmare.
 

BobMurphy

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I bought a one-year-old Ford Grand C-MAX (the one with the sliding rear doors . . for the small Grandkids). It came with a pot of glue and an electric pump.

I bought a Ford 'Space-saver' spare wheel, jack, wheel wrench and a proper tyre pump, hollowed-out the foam under the carpet in the wheel well and managed to tuck it away where it belongs. This lot wasn't cheap.

Its a toy wheel and we're limited to 50mph but at least it will keep us moving.

Many years ago (1970s) I had two Dunlop tyres blow out (at different times) while in the outside lane of Motorways. By the time I had got to the hard shoulder they were smoking, bubbling pools of molten rubber with wires poking everywhere. No glue pots for me !

I once used a glue pot when I had a slow puncture - then took the car to my usual Tyre Bay.

They couldn't repair it after it had the glue in it, so a small puncture meant a new tyre instead of the usual plug.

Accountants rule the world !

Bob.
 

StarCruiser

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On my way up to Manchester area for Lynn’s uncles funeral with two octogenarians, Lynn and her sister in the 80 we past the highest point on the M62 around Saddleworth moor. In the outside lane at 70 Lynn got half way through saying ‘what’s that’ when I realised we had a flat on the offside rear. The cruiser would’ve continued poised and without pulling, except for the horrendous noise.
Once on the hard shoulder I got everybody out and over the barrier back from the truck and phoned for Highways to come and give me some protection to change the tyre as the motorway was very busy and quite frightening. ‘Are you in the roadworks area for free recovery’ said the Despatcher. Don’t know, but there’s a few road signs about. ‘I’ll send out free recovery then’. So we stayed put and made ourselves as comfortable as you can in the bleak grey coldness. Half an hour went by with no recovery. Phoned again and was told he should be with you by now. I’ll send another request. Another hour with nobody and it started to rain, and blow harder, I found a roadside phone and called again. ‘Ok we’ll send Highways to give you some protection’. 5 minutes later Highways turned up and I duly changed the tyre with them steering traffic wide. Scary as hell, but I soon got the wheel changed. Brand new spare unused from factory, 22 years old. Hmmm it was about 2/3 flat as well. Oh dear!! So I asked if Highways carried a foot pump. ‘We used to sit but we’re not allowed to help people now’. Great! Tell you what he said, drive it down to the free recovery area and we’ll radio for a truck. So I jumped in and …click click click clatter from the starter!! In the urgency to get the family into a safe place I’d forgotten to turn the lights off and the batteries were flat. D’oh!! So I asked, ‘do you have any jump leads’ to which Highways replied ‘We used to carry them but were not allowed to help people’. So I had to roll it down the 100 yards or so into the free recovery zone and within ten minutes there was a recovery truck there. The driver looked like he wasn’t too happy when I then found out why. ‘You’re the guy who was up th’ hill ‘ turns out he had driven past me twice and refused to help as I wasn’t quite inside the free recovery signs. We finally all got to services where a jump start was given by the recovery driver who had softened up and become slightly apologetic. I inflated the tyre and spent the next day searching the whole Manchester area for someone to put 4 new tyres on as I’d found out that Lynn’s sister was scared so much by the whole incident she was shaking. £400+ later, missed funeral for me and after watching the tyre fitters ramp fail to fully lift the empty cruiser, we travelled back home. Got breakdown cover after that having never had it before.
 

Grimbo

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The other morning we had a brace of LR's broken down outside home.... one was a year old Disco Sport that had some kind of engine failure awaiting recovery ....nice guy... turned out he was a new neighbour (mile or so as the crow fly's)
The other a 2 year old Range Rover had a lovely lady driver with a flat tyre " I thought these were supposed to be tough off road vehicles ...... it's a bit shit I've missed a meeting because it doesn't have a spare wheel " was her reply when I asked her if she's OK.
Both waited for at least an hour before the respective recovery services turned up ....
 

Towpack

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Roadside recovery is one of those things that you think(hope) you will never need and can be a bit of a lottery when it comes to waiting times. I had a tyre blowout on the caravan some years ago on the M74 near Happenden. It was the offside tyre and I'd pulled over onto the hard shoulder as far as I could but the verge was very soft and the offside of the van was barely three feet from the inside lane. After waiting around two hours for assistance and receiving another call delaying even further I risked it and changed it myself. I was just about to pull away with the job done when a recovery driver phoned me "5 mins away" which really pissed me off.

On the 2 wheeled front I got a stone through the rad of the bike in Dumbarton on the way to NI in 2013. The wait was around 2 hours as they'd been trying to source a new rad with a view to changing it road side (virtually impossible IMO) but they couldn't locate one so brought me the 300+ miles back home on the back of a truck. Heaven knows how much that would have cost without a recovery policy.

Going back to the mid 90's I had a rear flat on a Fireblade I owned at the time and the woman I spoke to on the recovery helpdesk asked me 3 times if I was carrying a spare and because I wasn't there could be a charge for recovery! I kidd you not!

I've carried a tubeless repair kit for some years now but I'd never be without roadside recovery.
 
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AdventureWagon

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We have full breakdown and recovery for our Prado which includes caravan recovery but just basic cover for the car as it rarely ventures more than 50km from home.

I'm not sure they are able to do much more than jump start you or change a spare over for you or give you emergency fuel before they just tow you somewhere.

We've used it once on the Prado (ATF overfull) and got towed 180km home and once on the Lancer (coolant loss because of dickhead main dealer). Only a short tow that time as we were only about 6km from home.
 

frank rabbets

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If one uses the pressurised puncture repair cans it fills the tyre with some sort of glue that turns into balls as the glue dries. This can make the wheel unbalanceable.
 

Juddian

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What sort of offroader (RR in Grimbo's post) comes without a spare wheel? the mind boggles at how such a vehicle can wear the RR badge.
 

Grimbo

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What sort of offroader (RR in Grimbo's post) comes without a spare wheel? the mind boggles at how such a vehicle can wear the RR badge.
I think the answer to that is the R Rover is typically not thought of as an off roader but a large luxury car that happens to be 4x4 and also lot's of "celebs" and Wendy Ball players drive them...
When.... and it is "when" they are working there is in all honesty little else to match the latest L405 version as a road car.... but a 4x4 fitted with low profile tyres ?
 

Higgy

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My big end Bearings let go on an old pickup In the south of France. (I was heading to Gibraltar) .... The AA recovered the Truck back to my Home in the UK, Put me in a Hotel for the night.. In the morning got me a Taxi to a Car Hire firm, Organised a new car for me ( To have for as long as i needed, Which turned out to be another 3 weeks) When i finished in Gibraltar, Drove all the way back to my Home in the UK, The next morning someone came From Hertz to fetch the car..... My Euro break down cover was £70.... It must have cost them a lot more to do all that for me......Sorry i forgot what the original post was about. No i didn't get a puncture.. But i did have a spare....
 

Chas

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Many years back I had a puncture on the A3, this was soon after getting all tyres replaced and the fitter must have used a rattle gun putting the wheels back on as when I tried undoing the wheel nuts two studs snapped, hmm? I thought I'll call recovery to change the wheel thinking they may be able to overcome the problem of tight nuts.
Well, the man came and got the wheel off but breaking two more studs in the process.
I managed to drive home, luckily not too far I live close to the A3, with the wheel held on by just two nuts and they were adjacent nuts, so as you can imagine I drove home very slowly. Since then I always use that slime stuff in the tyres, I think that was the last time I had a puncture.
 
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