Tyre Tales 2: Saved by spare tyres… or not!
The part of your car most likely to fail is the tyre because of a puncture. That’s when you’re glad you’ve got a spare tyre.
What to do?
- Firstly find car manual;
- Secondly give kids food for peace and quiet whilst I read said car manual;
- Thirdly dislodge space saving tire from space saving compartment, which is to small for the full size wheel/tyre;
- Fourthly stare at this weedy yellow disc called a space saving tyre and wonder how that is going to work;
- Fifthly jack up car (yes I’m very proud of that skill);
- Sixthly undo wheel nuts with tyre iron… not easy, in fact impossible;
- Seventhly ring the RACQ and plead damsel in distress; and
- Problem solved with attractive… yellow space saving tyre eventually installed. Grandis then driven (slowly as is the practice with a yellow space saving tyre) straight to my mechanics. Much laughter at the yellow wheel on the Grandis followed by shaking of heads at how on earth I managed to embed a piece of garden stake into the tyre… answer: Pure skill.
On an innocuous section of downhill track the F250 moved a rock on the edge of the trail which rolled forward with the rear tyre, until coming to rest against another rock in the trail, creating a fist-sized hole in the side wall of a brand new mud terrain.
Changing the tyre was an experience, as with no flat terrain to roll to, we needed to change out the rear on about a 20 degree downslope. The front right wheel was rolled onto a trail washoff to create full articulation at the rear for a bush tyre change and wheel removal commenced. After the tyre was removed it was thrown into the back of the tray with gusto, which created a shift in weight and caused the F250 to roll forward about 6 inches down the far side of the washout and rest the rear hub firmly on the ground.
The bottle jack was unable to produce the lift required, and the shovel was added to the mix to dig out the rocks from underneath the exposed right rear.
My friend did not now how old his tyre was, which was a great opportunity for educating on tyre dating marks, something I’ve taken to checking recently while looking for my next tyre replacement. 30 minutes after we stopped, we were back in motion on a very old spare (tyre date 4003) and we limped out of the trails, and home to a couple of cool drinks under the verandah on a 40degree day.
In conclusion we learned/reminded ourselves on some tyre changing pearls of wisdom- try to find flat ground to change a tyre, always chock the wheels not involved in the change where possible, don’t throw the tyre into the back of the ute while on a hill, check the date of the spare, and where possible, run Goodyear tyres (my Jeep is on Goodyear Silent Armours!) so you don’t get a flat to begin with.
Looking closer at the tyre a normal size 13 spanner was sticking out of the tyre and was bent at right angles after hitting the body of the car.
Top spare Tyre tips
- Check the spare isn’t too old;
- Check it is inflated, preferably a little above normal pressure. Every tyre loses pressure over time;
- Check you actually have the jack and wheel brace to undo the nuts;
- If you can take a full-sized spare, do so. Check secondhand places like eBay for a bargain. Once you’re outside of the cities or on weekends good luck repairing or replacing those run-flat tyres and space-saver spares; and
- Practice changing the spare before you go.