Chevy Volt Flat Tire, No Spare Tire Woes
Well luck finally caught up to me. I made it 2 years and 3 months without a flat, but I knicked the curb on the way to the airport last week and BAM! Blowout flat tire. Not a good way to start a trip to Vegas. The tire had a nice 1 inch tear in the sidewall from rubbed against a curb on a right hand turn. No amount of tire repair goo was going to help this one.
Alas that is one of the issues not only with the Volt, but with many electric cars which frankly just have no room for a spare tire. Even other cars today are forgoing the spare for weight and efficiency reasons. I know my case is not the first, but I actually feel quite fortunate for the situation I was in. I called AAA (a very good idea to have especially if you don’t have a spare) They sent a tow truck out and flatbedded the Volt to a local tire shop. (Fortunately one was still open). The local Wheel Works didn’t have the Goodyear Fuel Max Tire in stock, but had it on order for next day delivery. No matter, I was on my way out of town anyways.
The tow truck showed up 45 minutes later and gave me a 4 mile tow (out of my 5 mile allotment on AAA) and after doing some paperwork to get the new tires on the car, I caught a ride to the airport and used Southwest’s “Flat Tire Rule” Who knew people actually needed to use it? To catch the next flight out at no additional charge. I missed dinner in Vegas, but in the grand scheme of things it really wasn’t that bad.
I suspect that others have had their tires burst in less convenient locations. (I was able to pull into a local parking lot before all the air was out.) So it leads me to think about a couple words of wisdom if you have a car like the Volt with no spare.
1.) AAA is your friend. The tow probably would have cost $160 rack rate. Instead, it cost me all of a $60 / year membership. Obviously you don’t get a flat all the time, but it really was convenient!
2.) No spare means you can’t take the flat tire to shop and have them take their time, your car is out of service. Also the Goodyear Fuel Max’s aren’t that readily stocked yet. I’ve heard of a few folks buying spare wheels to keep around at home, but not sure how often this happens and whether that’s really worth the effort.
3.) Long road trip? The I-5 probably isn’t the best place for a flat and needing a very very long tow. Make sure you’ve got the towing coverage or better yet a spare option.
Anybody else out there with a flat experience?