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Thread: Flat tire

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Augusta, GA
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    Default Flat tire

    Some of you may already know this.. I got a flat going to CMP just before the event. I learned a few things as a result, here's my thoughts.

    I had previously always carried a can of 'Fix a flat' in my car with a few other odds and ends to include a tire plug kit. I have plugged many punctures on the road and thought I would have no issues if it occurred on the Rossion.

    While driving to CMP it was raining heavily. The car was acting a little funny, but I thought it was the rain/hydroplaning, etc. Turns out it was a deflating rear. By the time I pulled over, the inner sidewall was messed up bad enough that the fix a flat wouldn't keep it inflated. I am not clear why the tire deflated, I had literally set pressures an hour or so before when leaving and I suspect something punctured tire. It wasn't worth looking for puncture in the rain on side of I-20 so I don't know what the cause was.

    Fortunately, I had most of my track stuff in car to include my low profile jack (see pic). It is the low profile aluminum one sold by Harbor Freight with the single front roller. Amazingly, it just barely fit under car even with a deflated tire. My car is NOT lowered so this might not be doable if you have lowered your car. My wife picked me up and we took the tire to a tire shop that had the correct size tire. Just to see if our SUV spare might fit, I tried. The calipers are so big that it is pretty unlikely any standard spare would fit even if bolt pattern is correct. It would have to be something that fit an 18" wheel. Our tires are pretty short sidewall 275 35-18 and I doubt a larger wheel with a taller tire would fit in wheel well.

    It was *really hard* to find a rear tire short notice. I called every single tire store that would answer the phone in the area. Literally only one store in approx a 100 mi radius had a tire immediately in stock (granted, this I-20 in SC..). All other places had to get the tire from a warehouse. So you have two choices for a non roadside repairable tire leak: take the existing tire/wheel to a tire store and return (you need a low profile jack to pull this off) or flat bed the car somewhere. I don't know how difficult it is to get a car without tow points up on a flatbed (yes, you can remove clams easily if needed), but for me it was a lot easier, faster and cheaper to leave the car on a jack for a couple hours.

    Another critical point: if I'd had a real time tire sensor system, this could have been much easier. I would have realized pressure dropping and probably wouldn't have stopped literally on I-20 in the rain with trucks blasting by in the dark. I rode in Dave Salama's car at CMP and it turns out he has a remote tire pressure monitoring system which is pretty slick. I have already ordered one. I highly recommend anyone who drives any significant distance from home consider installing on too. I will do a write up shortly when it arrives.
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