Emergency spare wheel

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LouB
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Emergency spare wheel

Post by LouB » Fri, 10 Aug 2018, 14:40

The Renault Zoe, in common with many other 'modern' vehicles, does not come equipped with a spare wheel & tyre.

I must admit, when I looked under the boot floor covering I was taken aback, to say the least. There it was: a little compressor gadget and a spray can. No wonder the boot capacity is so surprisingly large. Even my 2016 Subaru XV at least has a skinny, steel rimmed tyre that's good for hundreds of kms, in a pinch. After some research I discovered that the compressor with sealant could, maybe, sometimes seal a puncture of less than 4mm dia. That the tyre would then have to be discarded and the alloy rim carefully cleaned of gunk, paying particular attention to the tyre pressure sensor. If you have a blow out, tough luck! Call the tow truck and pray. In a long driving life I have had to deal with many instances of slow leaks that could be nursed along with a bit of pumping. More seriously, I have also had to change wheels at least a dozen times. With practice and the right gear it takes less than 10 minutes.

The lack of a spare in the Zoe would not prevent my buying the car, but I would try to find a spare to fit it. Reading comments on overseas forums, there are others who also agree. The problem appears to be with finding a wheel (not exorbitantly priced) that fits. Some say that the Clio wheels are OK while others state that there are differences in the shape of the mating flange. There is some agreement that a spare wheel would not fit in the boot recess. As far as I am concerned, I would be happy even if it could be squeezed upright behind the passenger seat. I note that space-saver wheels for the Zoe are a popular item on UK eBay.

How do you feel about the lack of a spare? Do you have any comments and/or suggestions, or am I just displaying my insecurity?

Cheers
Lou

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Re: Emergency spare wheel

Post by T1 Terry » Fri, 10 Aug 2018, 15:23

I wonder if Renault will have a roadside assistance service like many other makers are starting to offer. Then if the compressor or a combination or sealant and compressor can't get you out of trouble, will they either bring a spare or tow/tilt-tray you to the workshop to get another tyre fitted.
On another angle, would the green stuff they run in kids push bike tyres and ride on mowers that work in 3 corner jack infested areas affect the tyre pressure sensor if it was installed from new?

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Re: Emergency spare wheel

Post by mikedufty » Fri, 10 Aug 2018, 17:22

The i-MiEV has no spare, and it seems quite reasonable, since the range is so limited. I think if you are only driving in the city not having a spare is a reasonable risk. Modern tyres seem to be pretty good, most punctures seem to be from a screw or nail making a slow leak. I have added a plug type repair kit to the i-miev so a semi-permanent repair on the spot is an option.

The Zoe has enough range to potentially get you somewhere that a spare would be worthwhile, but probably not very often with the current state of charging for them. With near universal mobile coverage these days it is not as big an issue as it used to be if you do get stuck somewhere. I suspect if you get a spare you'll end up with it sitting in the garage.

I did have my first proper destroyed tyre in many years recently, but that was off road on a sharp rock in a 4WD with a space saver spare. Made it home 100km fine on the space saver, though I was happy I only had to go down the mountain on it, not up.

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Re: Emergency spare wheel

Post by LouB » Sat, 11 Aug 2018, 10:37

Hi T1 Terry,
I don't know if the new stuff is better, but in my old Cox ride-on mower the tyres came pretreated with something called Sheeld. In the blurb that came with the mower there was much hype about protection from punctures. Sure enough, the first time I had a puncture, the stuff fizzed out for a while then froze into a blob on the surface and the tyre was effectively sealed. The second time the same tyre was punctured there was no fizz and I had to remove the tyre. Inside, both the tyre and the wheel rim were covered in a fibrous substance that seemed to be welded on. I ended up taking off all 4 tyres, laboriously scraping off all the gunk and reassembling the wheels with inner tubes. Problem over.

Specialized Renault roadside assistance would be great, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I cannot see them setting up such a service in Oz just to cater for the couple of dozen EVs they might sell. Not in the short term anyhow. I emailed the NRMA and asked them how well set up they are to render roadside assistance to EVs. It would be nice to have, in writing, their strategy for dealing with things like flat traction batteries and lack of emergency spare wheels. I await their reply.

Cheers
Lou

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Re: Emergency spare wheel

Post by LouB » Sat, 11 Aug 2018, 14:04

Hi Mike,
I think you've nailed it :lol: I forgot to add in my initial post that for a <4mm hole there's no way I would even consider using the supplied sealant. I too carry a plugging kit. It is fairly basic comprising of: a reamer, a threader , a couple of plugs and a tiny jar of vaseline. Together with a sharp knife and hand pump it has saved the day a couple of times.
Compare plugging a small hole for total cost of a few cents, and keeping a tyre that could be good for another 20,000k, with destroying the same tyre and possibly also the pressure valve, not to speak of the wait for and expense for new tyre and Renault sealant. All part of the Growth Economy and the drive to consume I suppose.

Having said all that, I would not, could not, expect my wife to change or plug a tyre. She would be the first to admit that she does not know a nut from a bolt. Nor should she need to. However, there has to be some procedure she can follow in case of a breakdown. With our ICE cars, she either calls me or, if I am not available, the NRMA road service. If the problem is a flat tyre the NRMA guy just swaps it for the spare and she can be on her way.

Cheers
Lou

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Re: Emergency spare wheel

Post by mikedufty » Sat, 11 Aug 2018, 20:09

Forgot to mention the i-MiEV also has a little compressor, which is probably the most useful bit. For the typical slow leak that will allow you to pump it up and get home or to a tyre shop. Not a bad little unit, I've actually borrowed it for beach driving in the Delica and was surprised how quickly it pumped up 4 225x18s

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Re: Emergency spare wheel

Post by doggy » Mon, 13 Aug 2018, 18:48

Hi Lou,
I am impressed by your self repair kit. Did you put it together yourself by buying the bits and pieces or were you able to buy in one go? I would like to invest in the same capability.
Cheers,
Dave

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Re: Emergency spare wheel

Post by LouB » Tue, 14 Aug 2018, 08:02

Hi David,
my tyre repair kit is made up of bits and pieces gathered over several decades. I originally bought a small tyre repair kit in the 70s. I still have the wrapper cum instructions that came with it and can tell you that it was branded Victor and cost $13. It consisted of 1 rasp tool (reamer) 1 inserting needle 3 repair plugs and a tube of rubber cement. The hand pump is an even more ancient Rega Ded-Eze. I've tried foot pumps and 12V compressors but none of them are as fast and reliable as the Rega. In fact, I regularly top up all my car tyres at home with that pump.
Eventually, after some years, and having used one of the original plugs to patch a tyre during a skiing trip to the Snowy (in a 1970 VW1600 sedan) both the remaining plugs and rubber cement had perished. Someone then told me that with the new sticky plugs the cement was no longer necessary and that petroleum jelly worked well to make working the reamer and inserting the plug easier. Since then I have purchased new plugs a couple of times, as the old ones age and harden.

Good kits, with better designed reamers and inserters than mine, are readily available from places like Autobarn and Supercheap Auto for less then $30.
In my earliest tyre plugging attempt I worked on the punctured tyre after taking it off the axle, but it is just as easy [and much faster and safer] to do it without removing the wheel. Just google 'tyre repair kit' to view numerous youtube videos on howto.

Cheers
Lou

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Re: Emergency spare wheel

Post by doggy » Tue, 14 Aug 2018, 10:50

Hi Lou,
Thanks for the great advice.
In an earlier life I often repaired truck tyres in the desert but had not thought of fixing tubeless tyres on our Zoe in order to avoid the "gunk" solution.
Best Regards,
Dave

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Re: Emergency spare wheel

Post by T1 Terry » Tue, 14 Aug 2018, 13:52

The quick plug repair is ok to get you to a tyre repair place but they don't really meet the legal requirements for a tyre repair. The tyre mobs take the tyre off the rim and fit a large area patch with the teat in the centre that sticks through from the inside of the tyre plugging the hole and sealing the hole from the inside. If the hole is too big they condemn the tyre so ...... The issue with the cord piece that pushes in from the outside is the steel belting that is part of the tyre can chew through the plug and cause it to come out resulting in a rapid tyre deflation, well that's the official line anyway :roll:

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Re: Emergency spare wheel

Post by doggy » Tue, 14 Aug 2018, 15:33

Thanks Terry,
Understood.
Cheers,
Dave

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Re: Emergency spare wheel

Post by mikedufty » Tue, 14 Aug 2018, 16:22

I think the advice that quick plugs are temporary is overly cautious disclaimers to try to ward off lawyers. I have used the cord type plugs several times and they have always lasted the life of the tyre, including on motorcyles putting 100hp+ through one 140mm tyre.

Last one was on the i-MiEV, which the tyre shop said they couldn't fix with a mushroom type plug because it was too close to the sidewall. Lasted 20,000km until the tyre was replaced.

Of course I wouldn't recommend anyone else do the same, especially not if they have a lawyer.

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Re: Emergency spare wheel

Post by LouB » Wed, 15 Aug 2018, 07:42

Hi all,

Getting back to my original post, bemoaning the lack of a spare wheel in the Zoe, can anyone confirm if the vehicle actually has recognizable jacking points?
I have been looking through the Zoe Drivers' Handbook, downloadable from:

http://myrenaultzoe.com/index.php/zoe-d ... documents/

and there is no mention of jacking points.There is however something it calls a "lever" that "locks or unlocks the wheel bolts and tow eye". I presume it should only be used to tighten the bolts further. Loosening them, with no jack available, would be recipe for disaster.

Some illustrations in the Handbook appear to show indentations under the sill that could be jacking points.
Note that: If there's no practical way to jack up this vehicle, in the field, then there's no justification to purchase a spare wheel.

I'm aware that Renault actively discourages roadside repairs citing possible damage to the battery, weight of vehicle etc. Although the weigth of unladen Zoe (1468kg) is well within the range of a good jack. For instance: my bottle, screw type, jack (off an old Nissan) is rated at 1500kg. When jacking up one side of a vehicle, the wreight on the jack would be roughly halved. Getting enough clearance under the sill could be another matter.

Cheers
Lou

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Re: Emergency spare wheel

Post by doggy » Wed, 15 Aug 2018, 10:32

Hi Lou, that user manual is a little different from my Aus one.

However, there is a lot of discussion of the matter on the EU/UK SpeakEV forum. For instance:

https://www.speakev.com/threads/zoe-jac ... ts.102609/

More info if you also search there for "Jacking".

You will see that people have swapped wheels around without problem.

One thing that is unclear is whether the E.V Services in the UK and Europe apply here in Aus (where the free roadside assistance- 3yrs- does the work for you). It is provided by Allianz in Australia. It probably does apply because there is no jack supplied.

I did enquire and was told they (the roadside assist people) do understand the towing rules (can tow with a flat battery otherwise must go on a flat bed). But I did not enquire about flat tires. If I get one I think I will try to fix if small enough (as described in this thread, but not with the gunk) else get a tow truck.

Cheers,
Dave

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Re: Emergency spare wheel

Post by LouB » Wed, 15 Aug 2018, 12:25

Hi Dave,
Thanks for the link. The discussion in that forum is quite interesting. It allays any concerns re: swapping wheels on the Zoe; and I can now tick that one off as 'problem solved'.

Just for interest, I looked up the specs for the Renault Kangoo Z.E van. It has a kerb weight of 1585kg and the specs list a full size spare wheel. It follows that it must therefore also come with a jack and the facility to fit said spare at the roadside.

Your comments about EV Services and roadside assistance beg a more in-depth discussion. Please consider starting a new thread on these issues.

Cheers
Lou

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