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I wanted to pass along experiences gained from an incident this week.

My daughter borrowed my 2017 Volt for the day and had the unfortunate luck of hitting a large pothole, with the resulting damage being that the right front (Michelin) tire was beyond repair (two large rips) and the outside of the rim damaged, but only cosmetically. This wasn't the kind of incident where the tire could be re-inflated, so it had to be towed.

I can confirm that the Owner's Manual is correct that the tow must be done with a flatbed truck, and two ramps ARE required to ensure clearance of the rubber skirt. However, the Owner's Manual also recommends that in the case of a front flat tire, you can first swap it with a rear tire (to improve clearance). Swapping proved to be sufficiently difficult (for a very competent, experienced, patient, and helpful AAA tow driver) that we ultimately didn't swap. Remember, the Volt has no jack, and the tow truck understandably had only one jack. Two jacks would have been the best for performing the swap, but that's not particularly realistic for most scenarios.

As a consequence, we slowly winched the Volt (via a cable attached to the tow bolt -- which uses left-hand threads, by way) on the ramps and then onto the flatbed. Because of the right front being flat, it was very close, but the upshot was that the rubber skirt at the bottom of the Volt barely contacted the flatbed, and since it was rubber, this turned out to be fine, and we could continue with hauling it up onto the flatbed. So, I can confirm that swapping a front flat prior to winching is not a firm requirement.

Part two of lessons learned is that I decided to go on and have a spare (and jack) on hand. Even if I store it in my garage, it's a lot less hassle to retrieve it and drive out to my disabled Volt and change the tire than having the car towed. The cost, however, wasn't cheap: two new Michelins tires (one to replace the blowout, plus another and a new rim) and minor labor costs set me back $1042.97.

Having a real (or even a temporary) spare is suddenly a feature I value a lot more on a new car. I suspect the Bolt (which I'm eyeing as our second car) will be the same as the Volt in that regard, regrettably.

Bruce
 

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Wow, that ended up being expensive. Sorry that happened. I think another possible lesson learned from that is maybe a Volt is not a great loaner car. The tires are kind of infamous for being fragile. Just a note for others interested in getting a spare: a lot of owners have acquired compact spares, often second hand, for less. And given the limited cargo room, a compact fits better.
 

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Ouch, that sucks. Lesson learned I guess.

This is why I got Bridgestone Driveguard runflats for my '12 once the OEM tires were worn out. It is advertised to be able to drive up to 50 miles even after a tire blows out. Plus I got them from Costco, so I have their 60 month road hazard warranty too.
 

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When my wife had a flat I got there before the flat bed we just drove it on to the flat bed. The tire was shot so we couldn't hurt it further. Then we got Bridgestone DriveGuards. I never want my wife stranded on the side of the road again and they handle better and run quieter than the Goodyears. You pay a 10% mileage penalty but are well worth it.
 

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I bought $10 junkyard donut spare and $10 scissors jack for my Gen1 Volt. They are kept in my garage where I can retrieve them if needed.

There is a spare tire kit for Gen 2 that Chevy sell for about $300 that can be mounted in the cargo area if desired. See our spare tire guide for details and links.
 

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Interesting article about Michelon working with Bolt and Telsa:

https://www.wired.com/2016/05/hidden-battle-make-perfect-tires-electric-car-divas/

For Bolt: "The variation of the Energy Saver All-Season tires going on the Bolt also are self-sealing in the event of a puncture, eliminating the need for a spare or even an inflation kit. That saves weight, which also helps boost range."

What they don't tell you is those tires are heavier, quite possibly heavier than the jack, especially when you consider unsprung (tire) weight is more important than sprung (jack)...But ultimately, if you can avoid a flat it's worth it...

"For Musk, Michelin created a compound that minimizes heat buildup, allowing the tire blocks to retain their rigidity and not bend or flex excessively while driving. That offers the best mix of rigidity and adhesion, minimizing rolling resistance while maximizing handling."
 

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<snip>
Part two of lessons learned is that I decided to go on and have a spare (and jack) on hand. Even if I store it in my garage, it's a lot less hassle to retrieve it and drive out to my disabled Volt and change the tire than having the car towed.
Thanks for the write up.
You can count me among the people who decided that a cheap steel spare and a jack in the garage at home were a pretty good idea especially as my wife or a couple of different friends could run them out to me in the event of a flat during my commute.

This jack works really well for lifting the Volt. [Black Bull 12V Automatic 1-Ton Electric Car Jack]
 

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I bought $10 junkyard donut spare and $10 scissors jack for my Gen1 Volt. They are kept in my garage where I can retrieve them if needed.

There is a spare tire kit for Gen 2 that Chevy sell for about $300 that can be mounted in the cargo area if desired. See our spare tire guide for details and links.
Can you provide the links please? Thank you!
 

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... The cost, however, wasn't cheap: two new Michelins tires (one to replace the blowout, plus another and a new rim) and minor labor costs set me back $1042.97.
What am I missing?

tires 2 x $200 + rim $150 = $550

$500 labor is minor?

I just got two tires mounted and balanced for $18 each
 

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Donut spare FTW, plus the inflator pump, especially on road trips.
A few months ago I came across a 19yo lady in the middle of nowhere in Nebraska (halfway between Alliance and Chadron), with a blowout. She had a spare, but no jack, and the spare was flat, sun going down.
Thankfully I had a jack, and the inflator to inflate her spare. Otherwise she would have been in bad shape. Or if it had been me, I would have been in bad shape.

Spare, plus jack, plus pump when you're going places with no cell coverage, or where the nearest help is a long way away.
 

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2 other options for a spare
1- I have a set of winter tires on their own rims, so there is always a tire in the garage, and I can carry it in the trunk if I'm worked. (yes, I would put the "different" tire on the back and have 2 "same" tires on the front.

2- Call a large tire retailer, they sometimes have 1 off tires or cosmetic damage rims that they can provide a single spare for less. I did this with Tire rack before I had the snow tires.

for a Jack I use the harbor freight scissors, Their P/N not very sturdy, but I have found the plugging nail holes really requires removing the tire anyway. It has worked for just tires, I have a floor jack for use at home. And I carry a 1/2" drive ratchet with a 19mm socket on a 1 inch extension for the lug nuts.
 

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I have a spare wheel and tire in the garage (Gen 1). The wheel was $600 new from the dealer! I scuffed up one wheel on a curb in a parking garage, so that wheel became my spare.

I don't carry the spare in the car unless I go on a long trip. What I do carry in the car is a Cruze jack, the inflator and a plug kit. This got me back on the road the one time I had a flat tire. The tire deflated very quickly, I had to drive a few hundred feet on it after it had lost all air pressure to get to a safe location (it was a rear tire), but then I jacked the car up, removed the tire and pulled out the object that caused the puncture (I also had a leatherman tool with pliers). Then I used the plug kit to plug the hole, inflated the tire and put it back on the car. I liked that I could monitor the pressure while driving to be sure the plug was holding. Once back on the road I drove to the nearest Discount Tire where they did a better repair job, including a patch on the inside of the tire.

My next tires may be the Bridgestone driveguard run flats.
 

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I carry a full size spare [no TPMS] in the trunk nearly all the time because I drive to SF frequently. Besides I'm too lazy to remove it when I only drive locally. The total cost with mounting was about $330, which I consider to be cheap insurance. Fortunately, I don't have to use the Volt for our Costco runs. That's when the LEAF comes in handy, as long as I visit the local Costco.
 

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I wanted to pass along experiences gained from an incident this week.

My daughter borrowed my 2017 Volt for the day and had the unfortunate luck of hitting a large pothole, with the resulting damage being that the right front (Michelin) tire was beyond repair (two large rips) and the outside of the rim damaged, but only cosmetically. This wasn't the kind of incident where the tire could be re-inflated, so it had to be towed.

I can confirm that the Owner's Manual is correct that the tow must be done with a flatbed truck, and two ramps ARE required to ensure clearance of the rubber skirt. However, the Owner's Manual also recommends that in the case of a front flat tire, you can first swap it with a rear tire (to improve clearance). Swapping proved to be sufficiently difficult (for a very competent, experienced, patient, and helpful AAA tow driver) that we ultimately didn't swap. Remember, the Volt has no jack, and the tow truck understandably had only one jack. Two jacks would have been the best for performing the swap, but that's not particularly realistic for most scenarios.

As a consequence, we slowly winched the Volt (via a cable attached to the tow bolt -- which uses left-hand threads, by way) on the ramps and then onto the flatbed. Because of the right front being flat, it was very close, but the upshot was that the rubber skirt at the bottom of the Volt barely contacted the flatbed, and since it was rubber, this turned out to be fine, and we could continue with hauling it up onto the flatbed. So, I can confirm that swapping a front flat prior to winching is not a firm requirement.

Part two of lessons learned is that I decided to go on and have a spare (and jack) on hand. Even if I store it in my garage, it's a lot less hassle to retrieve it and drive out to my disabled Volt and change the tire than having the car towed. The cost, however, wasn't cheap: two new Michelins tires (one to replace the blowout, plus another and a new rim) and minor labor costs set me back $1042.97.

Having a real (or even a temporary) spare is suddenly a feature I value a lot more on a new car. I suspect the Bolt (which I'm eyeing as our second car) will be the same as the Volt in that regard, regrettably.

Bruce
Whoa, $1000.

To digress slightly, I have a Gen 1 compact spare, never used available for pickup in Anaheim.(too heavy to ship)
[email protected]
Will that fit a gen 2?
 

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The list of cars with no spare is pretty long these days. Based on the limited trunk space in the Volt, I can't see packing even a compact spare.

My old BMW diesel had run flat tires, but no spare. Just keep your AAA card handy, and hope you're some where you have cell service.
 

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I wanted to pass along experiences gained from an incident this week.
Sorry about your blowout, I feel your pain! I recommend having a donut spare as well because of the weight/space savings.
See Millivolt's excellent write up, "Millivolt Mod - Spare Tire Redux".

I have both a full size and a donut spare, depends on how far I am traveling. I also keep a Dynaplug tire repair kit with me as well. I just never want to deal with that messy tire sealant stuff in my tires as GM (and many others) would have you do.
 

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The list of cars with no spare is pretty long these days. Based on the limited trunk space in the Volt, I can't see packing even a compact spare.

My old BMW diesel had run flat tires, but no spare. Just keep your AAA card handy, and hope you're some where you have cell service.
Over 1/3 of new cars sold these days don't come with a spare tire. Seems what the manufacturers have decided to go with in order to reduce weight/conserve cargo space in vehicles...especially compact cars.
 
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