Can you spare a spare?

Spanner was moaning about his lot down in the pub last night.

There is nothing new in this as the day Spanner is happy with his lot will probably herald the End of Time.

He was bitching about cars not having spare wheels, and that already he had been called out to fix a couple of simple punctures.  I told him that if the drivers hadn’t bothered to inflate their spare tyres then he should leave them there, but he claimed that cars don’t have any spare wheels these days.  I didn’t believe him so when I got home I checked to see if there was any mention on the Interweb.

The bugger was right!  Cars are now being sold with no spare wheels!

This is utter lunacy.  As a motorist of over forty years, I couldn’t tell you how often I have been saved by the old spare in the boot.  I always carry a few spare yokes in the car such as spare bulbs [never needed], fuses [never needed] and a spare wheel [essential life-saver].  Of all the problems most likely to leave a motorist stranded ten miles from civilisation, the flat tyre ranks number one.

In all my years of motoring I have had a few roadside problems.  I once had a radiator hose blow in the wilds of Connemara [had to drive about forty miles to the nearest dealer, stopping every few minutes to let the engine cool], a cylinder head gasket blow [happened to have a spare in the boot at I knew the old one was flaky], a battery or two that went dead on me and probably dozens of flat tyres.

The one other thing that would have saved me a lot of grief is a starting handle.  Why the fuck did they ever dump those?  They were brilliant if ever the old battery was feeling sleepy.

It’s the old story of course.

They reckon that their new-fangled methods such as electric windows and electric starter motors are infallible and when the fucking things don’t work you find they have removed the old reliable method.

Wankers.

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Comments

Can you spare a spare? — 22 Comments

  1. I must say that I agree with you on this one.

     

    From that article you linked to:

    "According to tyre firm Continental, spare wheels are only effective in about 70 per cent of punctures because they’re either unroadworthy or drivers don’t have the right tools, strength or knowledge to change a wheel."

    What a load of utter bollix. And 70% is definitely an argument for keeping them.

    And:

    "There could be a safety issue, too, as anyone who has changed a wheel on the hard shoulder will testify."

    Here we go again with the 'elf and safety shit.

     

    • If the 30% have dud spares then that's their fucking tough luck.  If they can't manage the task themselves, invariably there is a Good Samaritan in the area who will help out.

      As you say, if 70% have no problems, then why penalise them for the failures of the other 30%?

      And if they are worried about repairs at the side of a motorway, then which is safer – a ten minute switch of wheels or hanging around there for an hour or two waiting for a tow-truck?  A really fucking stupid and pathetic excuse

  2. This is by no means a new phenomenon. When I got back to UK in 1979 after eight years in Australia, I got a job driving articulated trucks, which is what I'd been doing for several years in Oz.

    When I was in Oz, I was driving interstate, running out of Melbourne to Sydney and Adelaide mostly. I always had two spare wheels slung under the trailer, as punctures were fairly common. (No interstate freeways back then, just narrow roads with a dirt hard shoulder). Changing a wheel was no big deal, fifteen minutes and you were on your way again. Imagine my surprise when I got a job in UK on discovering that there was no spare. When I asked the boss what one was supposed to do if one got a puncture, I was told that I'd have to find a phone and call a tyre service. WTF? And this was before mobile phones.

     

    Sure enough, a couple of weeks into the job, I got a double blow-out on one of the trailer axles while driving up the M1. Schlep to the nearest emergency phone, order a tyre service, wait four or five hours for the guy to come and take the wheels off, repair them there on the hard shoulder and put them back again. What a fucking performance.

     

    I only lasted a couple of months. Couldn't get to grips with motorway driving (boring as fuck), tachographs (didn't like the spy in the cab) and a rig governed down to a snail's pace (my truck in Oz used to fly, even when fully loaded).

     

    Haven't driven an articulated truck since. Not officially, anyway.

    • That is all just symptomatic of a world where overregulation is the norm.  All it leads to is extra expense and a lot of time wasting. 

  3. Your "Spam Free WordPress" app just deleted my comment and told me it was spam. Fortunately I have an app of my own which saves text, so I was able to copy and paste and submit it again. This time it went through. WTF? There were no links…

    • I have my doubts about that Spam thing.  It got rave reviews and I went to a lot of trouble to even get it working.  I am still getting some spam though so I may have to bin it.

  4. Oh, and another thing, I understand new cars don't have ashtrays fitted anymore, either. So you have no choice but to throw your fag-ends out the window, which could land you with a fine for littering. Good thinking, eh?

  5. "The one other thing that would have saved me a lot of grief is a starting handle.  Why the fuck did they ever dump those?  They were brilliant if ever the old battery was feeling sleepy."

    Agreed. But starting handles were dropped because if the engine kicked back (frequently) the handle whipped around in reverse and broke your wrist. Same deal with kickstarts on motorcycles. Anyone who didn't know the proper way to use one would be thrown head first over the handlebars, especially with the big British singles.

    • The only rule when using a starting handle was not to grasp the handle with your thumb underneath. Wrap the thumb with the fingers and if there is a kickback the worst you'd suffer is maybe the loss of a load of skin!

  6. Fuckin' stupid cunts. Unfuckin'believable dickheads.  The last car I bought was in 2003. I bought a new Honda CRV. One of the reasons I chose it was because they have a regular spare alloy wheel and tire, exactly the same as the other four. I hate those donut wheels. Still, I went nine years without a flat. Then when I changed the wheel the tire that was never on the road before was fucked through age. But that's by the bye I was lucky.

    As we are doing advertising now; I have an '89 Camaro for sale. One owner (me) 80K miles.  Good runner; as they say. $3000

     

  7. You had a spare  cylinder head gasket blow in the boot GD?  Seriously?

    And did you change that at the side of the road too?

    I know it's a major job is all.

      I can't even change a tire, I'm ashamed to say. One of the days I'll get someone to show me.. got the neighbour do it recently for me.. he did well out of it though.  (get your mind out of the gutter again.. got him some beers as a thank you) 

    • It was my first car – an Austin Mini, which was ancient when I got it.  It was almost literally held together with string and chewing-gum.  I knew the gasket was dickey and had bought a new one.  Before I could replace it though, I was on my way from Dublin to Limerick when the old one blew.  And yes – I stripped town the top of the engine block at the side of the road and replaced it.  Took me about half an hour.  It was rare to travel anywhere in that car without a major breakdown.  It added to the fun of the journey.

    • Anne,  My first car was an ancient Fiat 600.  I also changed a head gasket on the side of the road.  Like Grandad said it took about a half hour.  That old Fiat took me all over the east coast and I could change a valve cover gasket in under ten minutes on the side of the road.  That little car got 60mpg on the highway and did 65mph downhill with a tail wind.

      • Ah damn it, I had a reply done up to ye.. and it went into the spam filter.

        To summarise, it  was to basically say I think yous are both wonderful :)

        Such handy men..

  8. My Mini had no handbrake so I learned early to park on hills with the front wheel jammed against the footpath. My Renault 4 gear lever disengaged from the engine one day, so using a coil of wire, I re-engaged it and it worked for two years after that. Also, I always had a pair of woman's tights in the small toolbox in case the fan belt went. The lump hammer was for a slow starter in the mornings.

    • The most essential part of any toolkit was the lump hammer.  Great for jammed starter motors!  What I loved about the mini was its simplicity – the engine consisted of the bare essentials, and everything was easily accessible.  Running repairs were no bother at all.  Nowadays you'd need a master's degree in astrophysics to even look at an engine!

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