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SPARE TYRE and WHEEL WHICH SYSTEM DOES YOUR CAR HAVE?

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WHICH SPARE TYRE SYSTEM DOES YOUR CAR HAVE?

As a tyre retailer for 40 years, this is an increasing problem for the modern motorist. When the car manufacturers had to make their cars lighter. So that they could hit their emission targets. Considering many ways to lighten the weight of their cars to make them more emissions friendly. Including other different ways of doing without a SPARE TYRE and  wheel.

Today’s problem has been that the car makers did not come up with any universal and unified method of doing this. So different cars have differing systems for the replacement of your spare tyre. Consequently, the problem is that when you buy a car it is the last thing on your mind. Off course, to check out the spare wheel system for that particular model of car.

Space saver; flat tyre systems.

This was one of the first ideas to come from the car manufacturers. In theory the idea is not too bad. If you look into your boot you will see a very thin looking wheel.

With a thin looking car tyre that actually resembles a motor bike tyre. The wheels are usually painted a bright colour, bright red or bright blue, to distinguish the spare wheel from the wheels on the car. The space saver car SPARE TYRE is a different size to the rest of the tyres on the car, but is the same overall diameter (height) so that when it is fitted to the car then it keeps a balanced driver experience, when the wheel is being driven on. The space saver spare tyre is regulated to 50 MPH when used because the tyre is much thinner and can only carry the cars weight at a slower speed. Once the tyre is fitted it is important to get your original puncture fixed and return it to the car, this will not then restrict your speed.

Run Flat tyre system

The cars that are fitted with Bridgestone Run Flat Tyres  do not have a spare tyre at all. The technology is in the actual tyres. When you get a puncture in a run flat  the increased strength in the tyres structure. Consequently and supports the weight of the cars weight without having any air in. This is only a temporary fix. Thus, once again the car must not exceed 50 MPH. The other downside of the run flat tyres. Of course, is that because the tyre has been run on. Unfortunately, they are usually damaged beyond repair and a new one is required. The main advantage is.Subsequently, if you do get a puncture then you can just drive the car at 50 MPH. Importantly, in relative safety without the car deviating and the driver having to get out of the car and changing a wheel.

Emergency tyre repair kit spare tyre system

This is simply a can of tyre repair solution that you screw onto the tyres valve and it release a solution into the tyre a hopefully seals the hole that has caused the puncture. In my opinion this is the most unsatisfactory system. In the perfect scenario when you just have small nail or screw in the centre of your tyre, then the repair kit would probably work, but this is not the usual case.

Side wall damage

So in all my experience, most tyres succumb to side wall damage. Including, larger repairs that the emergency repair kit will not be able to cope with. The last car that I had with this system was a Nisan Juke. Because we travel to France a couple of times a year, we needed a spare tyre so we found an alloy wheel that fitted the studs and fitted a new spare tyre, you will also need a small jack and a wheel brace, because these are not supplied by the car manufacturers. This is an easy thing to do if you have a friendly tyre retailer and well worth the effort to cover yourself in case you have a dreaded puncture in the middle of nowhere.  

The main gist of this though is to make sure you know which spare tyre system that is provided with your car and familiarize with it. Some car owners are lucky enough to have the old fashioned spare wheel fitted complete with a jack and a wheel brace.

 

tpms for run flat tyres

Flat Tyres on the Motorway-Joining the Breakdown Service is now Imperative !

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Flat Tyres on the Motorway

Flat Tyres on the Motorway

So, in the past years. Then I have written many times. Of course, about how to change your punctured wheel. Although not all punctures occur on the motorway system. Importantly, this is what I am going to write about ! British motorways as we all know are always extremely busy. So, as many of my readers know. Hence, then I delivery some of our battery sales to all over the UK. Inclusively, from Devon to Aberdeen. Covering all of the UK . When delivering very large truck batteries or even leisure batteries.

Many times I will set of at 4.30. Of course, depending where I am going to. So, for a short while in mid-summer then it will be light at this time. Happily, and a pleasure to drive, with wonderful sunrises that only the early risers would see. However the particular morning that caused me to write this article was dark. Raining heavily, and extremely windy. In fact a terrible morning to be driving on the motorways !

Two miles on and a loud bang !

So, this particular day then I was heading for the Bristol area with about ten deliveries of different batteries. My usual motorway entry junction is the Barnsley entry/exit just south of the “Woolley Edge” service area on the M1 motorway. As I have said it was a stinking morning with a gale blowing and raining heavily ! No problem I thought it can only get better , However I could not have been more wrong ! So, about two miles on I remember running over something in the dark . Frighteningly, this was followed by a kind of juddering sound .

This was to be my first punctured tyre  at any time in my life ! Probably, one of the reasons for this. Is because as the owner of a Tyre Centre then I have always had new tyres on any of my vehicles. Thus protecting me against any imminent tyre problem. My van started to drift about ! So at first I thought it could be the strong winds that were blowing. Even at that time of the morning then the M1 motorway is very busy with trucks and other vehicles alike.

Realizing that I had a flat tyre then I pulled over onto the hard shoulder of the motorway. The wind was howling ! Rain pouring down and I was totally miffed to say the least. Adrenaline was beginning to kick in ! Frightened at the prospect of changing the wheel with trucks whizzing by only four foot away. So, the first thing that came to my mind was “where is the spare wheel” and jack and “wheel brace”. Disappointingly, then I did not practice what I had been preaching for all these years.

Finally found all the tools and spare wheel

Scrambling about in the dark, then I shifted the batteries and finally found the wheel brace and tool kit. Jacking points were no problem and luckily I managed to lower the spare wheel without any problems. So, this is where my 40 years experience came in. As the trucks were hurtling by I managed the job pretty quickly. My only snag was that I had put the spare back into the carrier the wrong way round.

So, it was sort of dangling about a bit. However I was able to limp along to the next services and fit the spare correctly and in safety. As daylight approached then I began to think about my bad experience. Proudly I had applied myself and did the wheel change safely and speedily. So I was back on my way down the M1 just an hour later.

However my experience had made me think what could have been ! Including what if the driver had been a lady driver !  Or even an elderly driver. So much in fact that I have now completely changed my stance. Specially over changing a wheel on the motorway or any other busy road. My new advice from now on would be that drivers should join one of the breakdown services. Recently, I have noticed that the breakdown services have been changing their customers wheels. Admittedly, I  did snigger a little ! Of course but not now !

Having ! experienced this with all the elements against me ! So I do now know that many people would not have been able to cope with this bad experience. Also if you are capable physically of changing your own wheel, So, you should check out all the tools that you will require.

Also there are now different spare wheel systems.

  1. Many vehicles still carry a standard type of spare wheel. Just the same as the ones that will be on the vehicle. This was the case in the van that I was driving on that torturous rainy night.
  2. Vehicles will also have a spare wheel. However it will be “temporary spare” wheel. The wheel is the same overall diameter as your vehicles tyres. However it will be much thinner and usually a steel wheel. Most vehicles have alloy wheel and this spare will look much thinner that the ones on the vehicle. Subsequently, these wheels do do the job and enable you to carry on with your journey. Importantly, though there is a limit of driving at 50 mph for a distance of 70 Miles with one of these spares fitted.
  3. Many cars are fitted with run-flat tyres. At first I did not agree with these run flat tyres ! Primarily because they were more expensive to replace than a standard tubeless tyre. However I have changed my mind ? Because of the tyres safety aspects. So if I had runflats fitted to my then then I would have been able to limp on. Albeit, at 50 mph. So the cars fitted with the run-flat system will not have a spare wheel, but the system will get most drivers out of trouble.
  4. In my opinion this is the worst system ! car makers lower the weight of their vehicles by not fitting a spare wheel at all. The spare is replaced by a can of repair sealant. This sealant only works if the tyre has a small nail or screw impaled. So, anything larger such as a small cut or large hole can not be sealed. So, leaving you no better off and still stuck at the side of the road. The “no spare system” was to lower the cars overall weight to cut back on the cars emissions ! In my opinion then membership f one of the breakdown services is a must. Incidentally, when this repair sealant is used then the tyre has to be replaced as the cant be repaired.
  5. Flat Tyres on the Motorway

I hope that this article informs drivers enough to check and see what spare wheel system is used on their car. Importantly, because of the high volume of traffic on our roads then we should perhaps join one of the breakdown companies. Ensuring that you wheel will be changed in safety whatever your cars spare wheel system.