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I've had my IS300H for nearly 2 years and am happy with pretty much everything except the lack of a spare.

Last week, I stupidly crunched the NS rear wheel against a kerb when parking. It sounded expensive and when I got out to have a look, it was: along with a nice scrape on the rim, I also had a slash on the sidewall and the tyre deflated in less than a minute. The tyre gunk would not have been safe to use - if it would have even worked.

I rang my breakdown number and was told that my situation wasn't covered because for some reason they classified it as a Road Traffic Accident (RTA) and this was an exemption in the policy. Except it wasn't. Cutting a long story short, they gave up on inventing exemptions and sent a nice man out with a generic space saver. My other tyres were close to needing replacement so I drove to a tyre shop and got 4 Dunlop Sport MAXX rt2 - 225 / 45ZR17 94Y.

Determined not to be caught out again, I then looked into the options for a spare. From reading various forums, I understood that a space saver from a Mark II Lexus IS would fit and a quick search on Ebay revealed this which cost €92 delivered. Using a tyre size calculator, there is a difference in the diameter between the spacesaver and the standard wheel: 23.9" Vs 25" respectively or 4.5% in the rolling diameter (I used Tiresize.com to do the calculation). I'm assuming this slight discrepancy is ok, especially considering there is a 12.8 mm difference in diameter between a wheel with a new tyre (8mm tyre depth) and a barely legal one (1.6mm). So although I wouldn't recommend mixing new and worn tyres on the one axle,  these small differences should be tolerated and are ok on a temporary basis when using a space saver. 

The first job was to see if it would fit. The IS300H comes with a wheel brace and car jack so I was good to go. The spacesaver takes 60PSI and was delivered with 40 so I inflated it to the correct pressure, fitted it to the rear and then took it for a quick drive to make sure it fitted - all good:

rear.thumb.jpg.e253eecfb80aa3c25ddffd7345636b31.jpg

And then, the front:

front.thumb.jpg.4cf8ed200234d916ded7e7d55939449f.jpg

The car felt a bit different with the space saver on the front - more so on lock. But my old tyres skipped on full-lock low-speed maneuvers, so I'm guessing the narrow, smaller diameter, highly inflated spacesaver was never going to feel 100%. I'm happy to use it for its intended purpose - an emergency, low speed, short-distance option.

But where to put the spare? I removed the top boot lining and rigged up a strap through a loop behind this at the top of the boot and underneath this at the base of the NS folding rear seat. I then replaced the boot lining and "installed" the wheel, outer face towards rear:

boot.thumb.jpg.c3272c7df6619b3250cfe969dd598b16.jpg

The IS 300H boot isn't exactly massive, and the wheel does take up a bit of room. I already had a soft case in there (full of the usual junk) and the remaining space was marginal to say the least. But what about using the concave area of the wheel to store the case - result!

fromcabin.thumb.jpg.2d390aeb692c43529295080c2d69cbe3.jpg

Murphy's law dictates I will never use the space saver but it is reassuring to have the option of using it when  necessary and I can live with the reduced boot space. Being old-school, I would rank the availability of a spare highly when I replace the IS - albeit, this won't be any time soon ...

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8 hours ago, route66 said:

I rang my breakdown

so can you please warn us against which Breakdown Coy NOT to use for the future ??

Thanks

Malc

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22 minutes ago, Malc said:

so can you please warn us against which Breakdown Coy NOT to use for the future ??

Thanks

Malc

I'd prefer not to as they did admit they were wrong when they rang me back to apologise and offer help. The internet can be an angry place and I don't want to thrash a company (an international one, not just local to Ireland) because of one person's mistake.

The advice I'd offer to anyone in a similar situation is to remain polite but firm and have access to your policy documentation; stand your ground and let it be known you're not going to take no for an answer.

Oh, and to develop your parking skills 😉

 

 

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52 minutes ago, route66 said:

I'd prefer not to as they did admit they were wrong

I had a situation a couple of years ago when my car slid into a hidden by undergrowth small ditch, one front wheel only, on a country road.

I couldn't move the car at all

The Nationwide FlexPlus breakdown cover people refused to help, to send out assistance, telling me, even after protestations, to contact my car insurers who would have to assist

I didn't call my other breakdown people, the RAC with whom I now have free lifetime Breakdown recovery assistance whatever ( been a member since about 1972 I think )

BUT I had to do something quickly, it was dangerous so I called the police as I was a hazard, they came, put up road signs, got a local farmer passing by to go get a two rope and within 30 mins I was out and on my way ................ Excellent positive result 

My first and last time using the Nationwide FlexPlus assistance for sure

Once before I had to use the RAC who were impeccably helpful, car slipped on bus shedding diesel fuel, off the main highway and over the grass and stuck, on the main exit from the A2 going to Bexleyheath. The RAC guy just dealt with it, the police had to come to close the sliproad ( apologies to all those affected at the time ) and the police advised it was a common issue with the bus company over- filling their tanks and they would have yet another word with them about the hazard caused.

RAC   BRILLIANT

Nationwide FlexPlus   non - assistance  not so

Malc

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I wonder how Lexus breakdown would have dealt with this?

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I've had to use Lexus/AA breakdown 3 times since I got it with my IS in August 2017. They've always been brilliant.

I should also add the breakdowns were 

  1. A Saab
  2. A Hyundai
  3. Err, another Saab

:biggrin:

  • Haha 1

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I had breakdown cover through my car insurance. Looking at some of the comments above, it does - or should - take away the warm glow of comfort you get with breakdown cover.

I'm sure I'm not alone in being happy to pay a bit more for full "car immobilised" cover; "breakdown" is too narrow a definition.

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The Lexus/AA definition of a "breakdown" (my highlighting)

"Breakdown - An unforeseen event when an Eligible Vehicle or an Other Vehicle is immobilised as a result of the failure of a mechanical or electronic part or system or combination thereof (including any manufacturer’s accessory); a puncture; a lock out; theft; attempted theft; vandalism or a lack of fuel, oil or consumable item. The failure of any part or system component may be customer induced provided that it was accidental."

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" Breakdown and Recovery "   concept ...............  then the failure of a wheel to grip, being customer induced ( it dropped into a ditch ) should be covered / recovered  ?

Malc

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I was of the impression that space savers shouldn’t be used in the front, if you have a puncture on the front you move a rear to the front, and put the space saver on the rear


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5 minutes ago, Jayw13702 said:

I was of the impression that space savers shouldn’t be used in the front, if you have a puncture on the front you move a rear to the front, and put the space saver on the rear


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As I said, my car felt a little unusual with it on the front; I hadn't thought of your idea - thanks!

Do you know why it's not recommended to use them on the front?

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It might be for the inconsistently if heavy braking were to be called for. ie one side has a large surface area in contact with the ground and the other ( space saver tyre) does not, which could make the vehicle veer to one side! ??

standing by to be corrected.

paul m.

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26 minutes ago, Jayw13702 said:

I was of the impression that space savers shouldn’t be used in the front, if you have a puncture on the front you move a rear to the front, and put the space saver on the rear


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Which wouldn't help if one has a car with staggered set-up. Rear wheel/tyres combo wouldn't fit on the front.

One of the main reasons for having a space-saver (i.e. narrow) wheel?

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Reading my handbook it says nothing about not using the space saver wheel on the front of the car. It does give you a maximum speed when it is fitted "80 kmh", and I beleave this is a legal limit also. 
It would be rather long winded to swap wheels round if you have a puncture on the front with only one jack. You would have to change a rear wheel for the space saver first "difficult with a flat front tyre" then fit what was the rear wheel on the front.

One item to check is that the wheel nuts for your alloy wheels are suitable for the steel space saver requiring tapered nut seats.

John. 

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I recall it from my days in the trade when space savers first appeared, and the reason for it is because of the difference of rolling radius and the effects it can have on the handling/steering of the vehicle. if the space saver is smaller RR then it will cause a pull to whatever side the wheel is fitted to.

 

Having looked on the AA website there is some info on it

Quote

Space-saver wheels are designed for temporary use, to get you to a place of repair.

There’s no maximum distance but the speed restriction, limited tread (only 3mm from new) and softer rubber compound mean that the distance covered before repair shouldn’t be excessive.

  • Check your handbook and any labels on the spare itself
  • Maximum speed is usually restricted to 50mph for safety reasons.
  • Use of the temporary spare may be restricted to ‘front only’ or ‘back only’ for safety reasons
    • to avoid interference with braking components, or
    • to avoid transmission damage
  • Handling will be different with a skinny spare fitted and you’ll need to allow for this when driving.
  • Aim to get the original car tyre repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

 

So there is no right and wrong answer, personally I would have it on the rear of car so as not to affect the handling adversely 

 

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if one is really worried about this isn't a rather simple and effective solution to actually ignore manufacturers suggestions about no spare  or skinny emergency spare wheels and to actually buy a real proper size spare

Malc

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1 hour ago, Malc said:

if one is really worried about this isn't a rather simple and effective solution to actually ignore manufacturers suggestions about no spare  or skinny emergency spare wheels and to actually buy a real proper size spare

Malc

Of course, as long as the front and rear wheels are the same size, which mine aren't...

So what size does one buy? That's how space savers came about, they fit either axle.

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Could I see some more pics of how you have it mounted in the boot?  I have a space saver but not yet found a carrying solution

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Of course, as long as the front and rear wheels are the same size, which mine aren't...
So what size does one buy? That's how space savers came about, they fit either axle.



I don’t think the differing wheel size was the key reason for space savers,

Certain vehicles are provided with a "limited use" spare tire, also known as a "space-saver," "donut", or "compact" spare tire — in an attempt to reduce cost, lower the vehicle's weight, and/or to save on the space that would be needed for a full-size spare tire. These supposed benefits are highly debatable; a space-saver is typically only 7 kg lighter than a full-sized wheel and in some cars the so-called 'space-saver' may actually save little to no space. There is also the difficulty of transporting the full-sized wheel and tire once the space-saver has been fitted. The spare is usually mounted on a plain steel rim. They are typically smaller than the normal tires on the vehicle and can only be used for limited distances because of their short life expectancy and low speed rating. As well, due to the different size of a donut compared to regular wheel, electronic stability control and traction control systems will not operate properly and should be disabled until the original wheel is restored.
[/Quote]


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I hadn't realised some cars have differing size wheels on the axles ........  no space saver, no spare wheel, no room to even put one

even Lexus seems to have stooped to this stupidity ( in my mind )  in design it seems .........  why on earth are people buying into these ridiculous design quirks I wonder :no2:

Malc

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Signs of the times as they call it these days,personally I would rather have a proper spare wheel instead of some of the so called fancy stuff e.g reversing camera,adaptive cruise control,self closing tail gates,boots etc etc that we all seem too willing to want and buy into that we seem less worried about having a proper spare wheel 🙁

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Even better, from the Lexus-tech EU doc for my car..

"If the 2-piece disc rotor is used together with a steel wheel, the disc hat may deform, causing the
wheel nut to loosen. Only use aluminium wheels."

So, I couldn't use a 'space-saver' type wheel anyway ...

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14 minutes ago, scudney said:

I would rather have a proper spare wheel

but on the Is300h you actually seem to need TWO different spare wheels sizes .............  just how ludicrous has design concept now reached :zorro:

Malc

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23 hours ago, route66 said:

I'm sure I'm not alone in being happy to pay a bit more for full "car immobilised" cover; "breakdown" is too narrow a definition.

Mr A ......  wouldn't Breakdown and Recovery cover all these aspects do you think ?

I'm sure my RAC all embracing cover is Breakdown and Recovery termed .....  and Recovery being the pertinent point where breakdown isn't applicable .............. surely :whistling:

Malc

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