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Thread: Mini-spare mini-rant

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Mini-spare mini-rant

    I'm not sure if it's just my car (newish Honda Accord), but the guy who designed the spare really did not Think It Through.

    When I went to check the pressure in the spare for an upcoming trip, I went through the usual annoying deal of (1) taking everything out of the trunk, (2) removing the WeatherTech liner that the dealer had thrown in "for free", and (3) pulling up the chunk of carpet that covers the spare well...and there's no valve stem in sight. Yup, it's on the bottom of the spare when it's in the trunk. So I now have to (4) unscrew about 3" of 20+ turn-per-inch hold-down bolt (by hand) to get it out. Yup, it's way low, so I roll it over to the compressor only to discover that the valve stem is too close to the rim for my locking filler chuck to get a grip. So I have to hold my old filler (which never seals worth a damn) on the stem the whole time. And then go through the whole kabuki dance in reverse to get everything put back together. (The idea of possibly needing to do this by the side of the road with a trunk full of luggage doesn't exactly fill my heart with joy either.)

    Murphy's Law pretty much guarantees that I'll never need the spare unless I had blown off checking it, so maybe I'm ahead of the game, karma-wise, at this point. Or not.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  2. #2
    I feel your pain. Mine is no better. You have to wonder what they were thinking. Maybe trying to protect the valve stem, or maybe putting the valve stem downward improved their packaging. Or something. Beats me.
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    bloomington il
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    102
    a lot of cars do not even have spare tires now or even a place to put one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    259
    The spare on my '05 Prius fit that description. I went years without checking it, but finally did before a 600-mile trip. 2 days later, late at night and far from home, I hit a concrete median at 40 mph and destroyed a tire. I can't say that's made it any easier to check the spare - now that I think about it, I've never seen the spare on our current car but maybe it's time I did.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    FL
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    234
    Be thankful you have a spare. My 300 doesn't have a spare. The SRT8 model I have has such large brakes you can't fit a spare over them.
    I keep a plug kit in the trunk but if I happen to have anything more than a puncture I'm screwed.
    Jeff Body
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Cincinnati Ohio
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    My moms 2010 Chevy Malibu did not come with a spare. Went to find one at a junk yard with no luck. Everyone buying them up.
    Asked to buy a used jack (Junk yards use to give them away) They wanted $45.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Anaheim, California
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    I went through a couple years of the "no spare" deal with my previous car, 2004 Corvette. The problem with that one is that it has a staggered setup, with larger diameter rear wheels, so a mini-spare of either diameter would be useless half the time. The base models came with run-flat tires (a crime against humanity, IMHO)...I went with "plan B": a plug-kit, a bottle of Slime, and a 12V inflator.

    Car before that was a 2000 Boxster. It had a mini-spare, as the front and rear tires were the same diameter but radically different widths. As I recall, the valve was accessible on that one and the spare itself was a lot easier to get at anyway. (In later years, Porsche dropped the spare, not because it wouldn't work, but because the rear tires were so wide the flat tire wouldn't fit in the trunk after you put the spare on.)
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Las Cruces, NM
    Posts
    1,667
    Have mini-spares been improved? - or are they still rated for a max speed of 25 mph? What happens if you have a flat on the interstate?

    I bought my van as a used vehicle. It didn't come with a spare or a jack. If I had a spare and a jack, I'm not sure I could change a tire on it - given how tight the lug nuts probably are.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
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    4,343
    02 Corvette, 13 and 14 Ford C-max's here. Not a spare in the bunch. The Ford's did come with a can of fix-a-flat though.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    NW Indiana
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    2,354
    My Jeep Cherokee has a full sized spare but is a beast to get down and change a tire. I carry a breaker bar and cheater.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    204
    Agree with you that the spare should have been turned over and the retainer that holds it in place could have been a quick release for little or any additional cost. People responsible for design should be more experienced and conscientious.

    I got stuck in the no spare no jack group and am uncomfortable with it. Maybe could have had a spare if I had better understood what I was doing when ordering the car. Sure hope I can figure out who to call when I get a flat. I have always just changed to the spare my self.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    49,622
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Tashiro View Post
    Have mini-spares been improved? - or are they still rated for a max speed of 25 mph? What happens if you have a flat on the interstate?
    Compact spares often have a recommended 50 mph maximum, but that's very often ignored by drivers. One is not supposed to drive on them for a long period of time, either. The idea is to get you out of trouble and to someplace where you can get the damaged tire fixed or replaced. There is not a whole lot of tread on them...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Anaheim, California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Compact spares often have a recommended 50 mph maximum, but that's very often ignored by drivers. One is not supposed to drive on them for a long period of time, either.
    Honda owner's manual "recommends" 50MPH max for 50 miles, same as I recall from the first mini-spare I had in 1981. Coincidentally, that's the same as the set of run-flats that came on the 'Vette.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Livonia, Michigan
    Posts
    677
    Here in Southeast Michigan the roads are in just wonderful shape. Flats from these roads often leave the tire unusable. Sometimes the rim can't be saved. A guy I work with lost two tires and rims to a water filled hole.

    My In-laws went looking for a vehicle. The Chrysler dealer said that cars don't need spares because they don't get flats anymore. The day after I heard that malarkey I saw not one but TWO- Chrysler minivans on the side of the freeway with flat tires.

    They bought a new Subaru. It has a spare.

    -Tom

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    27,037
    My Pilot came with a mini-spare and it stores underneath the car. The jack and tools store in the sidewall of the rear interior. Living where we do, I check the spares in our 2 cars, at least, once a year as it can be a long ways between gas stations where you might get a flat repaired. I can't believe the auto manufacturers eliminated spares and jacks as a method of lowering cost and weight to increase gas mileage.
    Ken

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