Posted by: ppernick | October 26, 2006

Car fun with family

My parents and brother came in town over the weekend.  The trip started off…interesting.  My parents met Ari, Simeon and me at Crossroads and after lunch, we split up – Ari, my dad and my brother in one car, my mom, Simeon and me in the other.

The excitement started when my mom, Simeon and I were headed home.  I had just gotten onto I-90 and was merging into the HOV lane when we heard a pop and the car began to wobble.  The smell of rubber and the sight of smoke screamed for me to pull over.  After calling AAA to come help me change the flat, we waited – my mom keeping Simeon occupied and happy, me calling the nearby dealership in search of a tire and Ari with a status.

I kept thinking I should have been able to change the flat without calling AAA, but as it turns out I needed a tow truck.  When the AAA guy arrived, we went to the trunk, removed Ari’s bike and found…tire sealant.  Rather than providing any type of spare with the 2005 Honda Accord V6 Hybrid, Honda thought that tire sealant would be just fine and this way they can reduce the weight of the car.  Reality check!  Tire sealant doesn’t fix all problems.  After adding the sealant, I went to get Ari’s bike back in the car only to discover a pool of sealant forming.  Turns out the sidewall had burst and sealant doesn’t stay in a tire that has a hole in the side.  Apparently Honda realized their stupidity with the 2006 model and added an inflatable tire kit[1].

The flat wound up taking the rest of the day and quite a bit of time on Tuesday as well.  See, I had towed the car to the Honda dealership no more than 5-10 miles away thinking they would have a tire for me. HAH!  We had to call them the next day to find out that they were calling around looking for a tire.  We called them the day after that to find out one could not be found and they would get a tire around the end of the week.  48 hours after leaving the car at the dealer, the 15k maintenance had been complete and a spare had been installed.  By Tuesday late afternoon I was driving away from Costco with 2 new rear tires and at least $60 richer than I would have been had the dealer replaced the tires (that’s not counting labor cost).

So as not to have one huuuuge entry, I’ll continue in a new post.

[1] I should say the American Honda team realized their stupidity.  According to the owner’s manual , the Canadian Honda team had already figured this out and included an inflatable tire kit with their 2005 model.

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Responses

  1. Wow, wuite an adventure! How did you get the car to Costco – more towing?
    It amazes me that the dealer took so long to get a tire – there are only a million tire shops around here!? Also amazing that Honda don’t provide a spare – it;s one thing selling a car with a "biscuit" instead of a full-size spare, quite another to just provide a can of fix-a-flat.
    PS: Subaru’s always come with a full-size spare, AFAIK. 🙂 (If only they made a hybrid too)

  2. I had them replace the flat with a spare and drove to Costco.

    The dealer only called other dealerships in search of a tire. My understanding is that a tire happened to be enroute and would arrive Thursday or Friday. Otherwise they would have had to special order one, which could take 10-14 days unless overnighted.

    If I’d realized there was no doughnut and thought of this scenario when Ari bought the car, I would have suggested he add the inflatable tire kit within his price negotiations.


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