Spare Tire

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Martin Hash
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Spare Tire

Post by Martin Hash » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:44 pm

My wife, Gwynne, bought a brand new Prius because it was going to be dependable for the long trip we were going on, which makes it all the more ironic when the car, which had less than 1000 total miles on it, blew a tire somewhere in remote eastern Oregon. We first knew when we felt the car shimmy for a couple seconds; I calmly said “we must have a flat; pull over.”
Gwynne looked in the rearview mirror, exclaiming, “the wheel came off and is rolling down the road. We need to go back and get it,” and she quickly pulled over.
The car was still upright and when I examined the damage; the wheel was still there but the rubber was gone. What Gwynne had seen in the mirror was the almost entire tire rolling along behind us that only occurs in catastrophic failure due to faulty manufacture. At least there was no traffic for it to run into.

No Tire.JPG

I was mildly surprised; I'd never seen anything like it, but I was still relatively relaxed because I'd put on dozens of spare tires over the decades. The hardest part was moving everything off the wheel well; we'd packed for a month, plus we had our camping gear back there. Finally, I took the top off but as hard as I looked, I couldn't find a spare: there was a jack, and some fit-a-flat, and a small air compressor but no spare tire.
“I can't find the spare,” I told Gwynne.
“You're the one who took the manual out of the glove compartment for more room,” she replied pointedly.
Alarmed, Gwynne called the Roadside Service number she'd been assured would take care of her if there were any problems. The woman who answered seemed sympathetic but unhelpful. She didn't know if the car had a spare or not, but she did know that Roadside Assistance only had a 30-mile radius from the dealer.
“It's a brand new car,” Gwynne replied, exasperated.
“I'm sorry,” The Roadside Assistance woman said, and she tried to direct Gwynne on how to use the fit-a-flat but Gwynne cut her off; “There is no tire to fix.”
The Roadside Assistance woman didn't seem to get her meaning, and began explaining how to use the small compressor but Gwynne cut her off again; “There is NO tire to pump up!”
“I'm sorry,” answered the Roadside Unassistance woman said again. “Me too,” Gwynne answered and hung up.
I Googled “No Prius spare,” and found a lot of enraged new Prius customers but none SOL as us, stranded on the side of the road in Eastern Oregon. Right then, a highway patrol SUV pulled up behind us. There was a young officer and his older partner. The young officer asked if they could help.
“Only if you have a spare,” I replied.
“You should always carry a spare,” the old officer said sagely.
“This is a new car,” I explained. “As ridiculous as it seems, there is no spare.”
“That can't be,” said the old officer. He could not believe there was no spare tire and tugged and twisted the plastic facade in the trunk to see if something was underneath it. “Prius is doing some shady things,” he finally said, defeated.

Jack But No Spare.jpg

The young patrolman came over with his phone. “It's Sunday and Les Schwab is closed but this is the number you can call for Emergency Roadside Service if you can pay them beforehand.” Then the patrolmen left us there. Disappointed but not dejected, Gwynne called the number, paid whatever the guy wanted via credit card, and we waited.

If being stranded with an absolutely exploded tire on a desolate road in Eastern Oregon has a good point, it was the Les Schwab kid who showed up in his super-duper-fix-anything truck. Yeah, it was expensive but the kid was handsome, friendly, fast and totally professional. Gwynne was effusive with her thanks. The kid said he'd wait to see us underway. As we drove down the road with a perfect new tire, Gwynne said, “I can't wait to fill out the Les Schwab online Customer Service questionnaire.”
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Speaker to Animals
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Re: Spare Tire

Post by Speaker to Animals » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:58 pm

Toyota should reimburse you for that unless there is some kind of foreign object damage. That thing flat out exploded.

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Re: Spare Tire

Post by Smitty-48 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:42 pm

Prius? Yeesh. If you're going Toyota, I would recommend the Lexus RX
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Martin Hash
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Re: Spare Tire

Post by Martin Hash » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:28 pm

Had a Lexus. Wife buys what she wants; she LOVED her old Prius but she was apprehensive about the tires for a couple days after the incident. Somebody needs to make us whole on this.

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Re: Spare Tire

Post by C-Mag » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:14 pm

Props to you for posting an embarrassing incident :clap:
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Re: Spare Tire

Post by Speaker to Animals » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:14 am

I see a lot of reports of this happening online.

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Re: Spare Tire

Post by Fife » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:51 am

If you're gonna buy an eco-rice-burner, understand they are gonna strip that bitch down to the bone to save weight.

When your rig is too fragile to support a spare tire, be prepared for the economic trade-offs involved.

I don't have anything against a super-duper glorified golf cart. I think it would be a great solution for driving to the corner beer store, the office, and church on Sunday.
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Re: Spare Tire

Post by Speaker to Animals » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:55 am

I am amazed at how many cars don't have a spare tire these days. Here I was shitting on the idea of not having a full spare, and there are people driving around with nothing.

Who's idea was that anyway? If your tire blows out and you don't have a spare, you could be pretty well fucked. Even if you can't change the tire because you are a millennial male or whatever, the AAA guy could change it for you. But AAA guy doesn't carry spares as far as I know.

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Re: Spare Tire

Post by Fife » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:58 am

Modern life is all plug-n-play. Pretty comfortable when everything is running smoothly, but the trade-offs can be a bitch when reality sneaks onstage.

My daughter reports that her college friends are completely astonished when she checks her oil.
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Re: Spare Tire

Post by Speaker to Animals » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:01 am

Changing a tire is plug and play, though. You just place the jack, raise the corner of the vehicle, remove the bad tire and plug in the good tire. Tighten and drive on.

It's a lot more inconvenient to have to tow your vehicle somewhere and hope they have a tire for you to buy. Who's idea was this??