Thursday 29 June 2017

Going spare: why puncture repair kits are driving you mad

Just as I expected, there was a huge reaction to last week's piece on people's experiences with puncture repair kits.

People are confused and feel let down.

There are several instances of people promising to get a skinny spare or to make sure there is one with the next car they buy. Here's what you had to say.

Eddie, That article frightened me. Imagine being stranded off down the country. I checked my car this morning. No, there is no spare. I'm off to my dealer on Saturday. I just hope nothing happens in the meantime.

-Josie

Eddie, Why haven't we heard more about this? We should have it pointed out to us when we buy. And we should be shown how to work that puncture repair kit. I wouldn't know where to start.

-Maeve.

Eddie, Lot of people over-reacting if you ask me. Call the roadside assistance service that we all pay for.

-Liam

Eddie, I do a 24-hour breakdown service. I would say 95pc of my after-hours breakdowns have to do with punctures. The tyre solutions that come with the cars are for small punctures.

So here we are in 2017 with ultra-modern technology and low emissions and when a customer has a puncture we have to tow the car away.

Picture a bank holiday Friday night, a family heading off for the weekend and they hit a pothole. It's happened many times.

There are 24-hour tyre companies but it's costly; they want payment up front and they may not have the size. They will charge an average €75 for fitting and the price of a tyre. All because the car has no spare wheel.

(Many cars) have no space in the boot wells these days because they have put control units and Adblue tanks in there. If you buy a spare wheel it takes up your boot. And it needs to be properly strapped down in case of a rear-end collision.

Surely they can find somewhere else to save on the emissions and give these people back their precious spare wheels. And by the way the retro-fit wheel is costly - €400. Not cheap. It's all so frustrating for us and the customers.

The worst thing is that most people don't realise they have no spare wheel/tools etc until they have a puncture.

- (Name supplied)

Eddie, Just change some of the details (of last week's story) and it would cover our situation.

On November 30 at 5pm, around 3km from Carlow, we got a puncture: a cut in the side of the tyre about 25mm long.

Clearly there was no point in trying to use the repair kit. We made 10 calls without response. We phoned the selling agent and he said he would try. No luck there either. He also admitted he had a similar problem trying to contact the breakdown service.

After about an hour and a half we phoned a local repair man. A car transport guy arrived to take us home around 7.30pm.

The selling agent phoned at about 9.30pm to say he had no luck in contacting any breakdown guy.

We are awaiting a space saver wheel. It was ordered on December 16. This wheel will take up boot space; it is oversized for the spare-wheel pocket.

It was our first time to buy a car with no spare wheel and most definitely never again will we do so.

-Pat

Irish Independent

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