1 EAGLETON NOTES: Cars, Punctures and Spare Wheels

.

.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Cars, Punctures and Spare Wheels

In a recent post Thank You, Firestone Pauline mentioned the number of punctures that she has travelling on metaled (gravel) roads in New Zealand.  I have travelled over metaled roads and been remarkably fortunate but I was also with Pauline when she was about to take me to the airport and we discovered that one of her tyres had been completely flattened by a puncture.  Pauline's car carries a space-saving wheel which limits your speed but is quick and easy to use. 

When I arrived back in Scotland and Pauline wrote that post it made me think.  My car here doesn't have a spare wheel.  Strictly, therefore, I understand that it is not road legal in France where I travel.  I imagine that there are a great many UK cars similarly breaking French law.  I've had the Nighthawk for about - no, actually I've just looked it up - I bought it on the 28 May 2004 - and I've had it for 7 years.  Odd really because I still think of it as a new car.    I must get an MOT this week too.

Anyway as I was saying, the Nighthawk has a kit which injects stuff into the tyre in the event of a puncture.  I've never had to use it.  I've never had a puncture in those 7 years.  But Pauline made me think and I bought a space-saver wheel.  Not ideal but as the 'proper' wheel is hugely wide it would be a very tight fit in the allocated space.  There are limitations on the speed but it was only when I removed the supplied kit that I discovered that it has even more severe limitations.  It can be used at a max speed of 80kph/50mph.  If, however, I read the instructions correctly the car can only be driven for 10 minutes once the kit has been used.  Really?  Anyway reading various blogs on the subject it seems that even if you manage to get the tyre inflated with the gunge it is unlikely to be repairable once so filled. 

I think I've done the correct thing!  No more kits for me when I buy another car.  They can give me a proper wheel or lose the sale.  If I ever buy another car that is.




7 comments:

  1. Isn't it illegal to drive without a spare tyre/wheel here....? Or have I got that wrong...?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I believe that it's illegal to have no means of dealing with a puncture. However in this country but not in France it is lawful to carry a kit such as that fitted in my Honda.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So you're driving your own car to France this summer? Got enough of public transport last year??

    ReplyDelete
  4. I usually use my own car. I rarely fly to France. My option is time consuming (which is not a problem because I call the travelling part of my holiday) and more expensive than flying. But I do like having my shell around me and the independence.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We recently replaced all six tires on the motorhome because they were 7 years old (especially since those tires lived in the Arizona heat for those 7 years). Tires are dated on the sidewall. It cost a bunch of money, but I sure would not want to have a flat in this thing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I give thanks that there is no 10 km limit on my space saver although I believe you should change them as soon as possible. I know I always do but that's because I feel so unsafe drving with one fitted. I can't think of many places to have a flat tyre where I could reach a repair shop within 10 minutes. Somehow your repair kit reminds me of the days when we carried a patch for a flat tyre and the memory of two flats and being unable to repair the second and subsequently spending many long hours beside a road in Nth West Queensland. Could be a post in that story!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I will never buy another car without an old fashioned spare tire & masda will get a strongly worded letter. Supplying a kit for a car whose tires are not made to mend with the gunge & subcontracting recovery to a company who do not have recovery trucks or spare tires!!! 4 hours in a service station with a 6 week old baby waiting for a sub-sub contract recovery truck to take us all the way home!! Great start to the holiday!!

    ReplyDelete