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BrianC

My little mishap on a Flat Tire

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My story:On June 12, 2008, I realised a deflate (not completely flat, but you know something had punched it) on my left rear while I was taking a smoke break beside my car in the afternoon at work. (I work in Kitchener-Waterloo, and I live in Toronto, which is about 120km apart). So I figure, let's put the car to the tire repair place and have them fix it and pump it back up before heading home! So I thought.3pm in the afternoon, I pulled up the driveway of the tire repair shop (Dettmer) in K-W. There was a line up of a few people and finally at 3:45pm, they took my car in. They even pumped my tire back up so they can roll the car in without further damaging the tire (S-covering I know, but I took it as a very thoughtful act when the tech carried out his 50-pounder-portable nitrogen tank).They took the wheel down, and took the tire out.Apparently, there's a piece of metal that was stuck in my tire.However, I discovered teh damage too late and my side wall was scratched so bad that the tire must be replaced. For safety reason, Dettmer refused to put the damaged tire back on for me.Of course, with our weird dimensions, there is no where in town that a shop would stock it.The guys @ Dettmer were so kind that they call up everyone they know to find me a tire. No luck though :(Had to finally resolve to the closest MB-dealership (Victoria Star Motors) and it's 4:30pm, Parts Department closes at 5pm.MB-dealership had it in stock but their delivery vehicle was already out for their last run for the day.With only 3 wheels, I can't go home and I had no plans to stay in K-W for the night let alone I hadn't any means of getting from Dettmer to a hotel/motel.Dettmer called up a cab company for me who in turn went to the MB-dealership and picked up the tire for me (I paid for the tire with my visa card over the phone).Dettmer also closes at 5pm but they were so nice that they stayed behind to help me out!By about 5:15pm, the cabbie arrived with the tire and its receipt ($132.21) and charged me $22 for the cab ride my new tire had enjoyed :P I tipped they guy to $25 because it's rush hour traffic and given it's $22, for the distance, i think he didn't charge me on his way getting to MB-dealership.Dettmer worked like a race track pit-stop and I'm out of there before 5:30pm!With all these hard work and staying after hours, Dettmer only charged me $21.47 for the tire replacement and old tire disposal.I can only say, these guys put service way ahead of profit! A+++++ for them!Lesson learned.- Check your tires as often as you can, maybe a few times a day! (I would start doing it everytime I think of Jessica Alba)- There is no use of keeping a set of spare tires at home IF your tire failure happens at a distance further from your home than an MB-Dealership. When you are out in the waahzooo, a spanking new tire in your garage is not gonna save you.I'm $178.68 poorer now but figured it could have been worst if the Dettmer guys didn't help me out!

Edited by BrianC

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Good story and a good ending. Some good ideas too. I'll remember that cab idea if I'm ever in a tight spot like that.

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Seems like those guys did go out of their way for you. Good One.I carry a tubless tire repair kit in my car and we already have the compressor as part of the car, so...Retired RCAF

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Nice story and just confirms the experiences I've had with Dettmer. I live in Belmont Village, just a few minutes walk from their shop and have taken previous vehicles to them for tires and repairs, always with excellent service. When the time comes, I'll get my replacement tires for the smart from them too...I'll have to order ahead though.Nice to have businesses like that around.cheersgarthBTW, why the reverse commute to KW...Pricier housing in TO and lower wages in KW??

Edited by garthD

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Seems like those guys did go out of their way for you. Good One.

I sure am very impressed with them! One of the main reasons of this post is to compliment their excellent service!

I carry a tubless tire repair kit in my car and we already have the compressor as part of the car, so...Retired RCAF

I have one of those too! However, I was under the impression that the Tire repair kit would create a mess to the rim and therefore I tried not to use it unless I'm absolutely stranded in the middle of nowhere and my life is in jeopardy staying any minute longer. In this particular case, because my tire is not entirely flat and I am relatively close to a tire repair shop (about 3km away from it), if I were asked to choose again, I still probably won't use it.And in this case, I didn't realise the tire is non-repairable until it's been taken off the rim. At that time, the tire people won't put the tire back on because of safety concerns thereby nullifying my shiny can of Tire Repair Kit again :( Edited by BrianC

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I'll get my replacement tires for the smart from them too...I'll have to order ahead though.

The original quote I got from them was closer to $200 for the tire. They were talking with MB-Parts during then. I don't know why it ended up being $132.21. I think $200 might include MB's "service" of delivering the tire from their shop to Dettmer which I DO NOT regret not receiving :P.The guy I spoke with @ Dettmer (Curtis) did mention that he's toying with the idea of stocking some. However, I don't think it makes sense from a business standpoint to do so though.

BTW, why the reverse commute to KW...Pricier housing in TO and lower wages in KW??

I'm a contractor (computer consulting), and my current contract lands me here. I also have another contract that I have to travel to Oshawa :hmmph02: I don't get to pick my jobs but always thankful when there is one.I spent 4 years of my youth (university life) in K-W and I love this place.Then again, travelling from Toronto to K-W takes roughly 1.5hrs which is the same amount of time I would have spent if I were to travel from Downtown Toronto to where I live (near Finch station) during rush hour :P Edited by BrianC

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Wow!Great Story, it's nice to hear of a place that will go out of their way to help somone out!

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Good story and a good ending. Some good ideas too. I'll remember that cab idea if I'm ever in a tight spot like that.

Thanks! I'm glad that someone can benefit from this post :lol:

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Good story, and it reminds me why I always travel with a compact spare.

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The 451's come with a compressor and a can of "slime" for such occassions. I wonder if the M-B slime messes up the wheel or is it different from your run-of-the-mill CTC slime. Have any 451 owners used their factory supplied compressor and slime? If so, give us a report, please.

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When I had my 451 I was told to avoid using it if possible. If you have to use it, you need to have the slime turned hard gunk removed as it can cause problems if left in.

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the "slime" turns that tire into a throw-away.Bil :sun:

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I have one of those too! However, I was under the impression that the Tire repair kit would create a mess to the rim and therefore I tried not to use it unless I'm absolutely stranded in the middle of nowhere and my life is in jeopardy staying any minute longer. In this particular case, because my tire is not entirely flat and I am relatively close to a tire repair shop (about 3km away from it), if I were asked to choose again, I still probably won't use it.BrianC, No No, I said Tubless Tire Repair Kit, not destroy kit. Like Mike T said the goey gunk will destroy the tire.What I have is a kit with various sized sticky strings that you punch into the hole with a "T" handled threader. The kit also comes with cement.Even my flat that put a bulge in my sidewall destroying the tire held air with this repair kit.For my first flat I ever fixed the tire didn't even have to come off the car.These things are permenant, not temperary fixes. I have put over 30K on one of them so far.The compressor in the 450 works but slowly and really gets hot. I replaced that with a more efficient one from CTC.Retired RCAF

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One thing I am hoping we can do is set up a good smartarian network - i.e. folks you can call if you are in a bind - for example I have spare tires and some other parts like belts, bulbs, fuses, few body parts that if you wound up in a bind away from home or when the dealer was shut I might be convinced to help out with.I wound up in a similar tire situation just after the dealership closed for the weekend - fortunately the tire shop was just down the road and my spare in our storage locker - with my snow tires within 10 km.So if any one is interested in the concept let me know and we can see what we can do.Cheers,Cameron

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the "slime" turns that tire into a throw-away.Bil :sun:

Bil - can you enlighten us as to how this "slime" ruins a tire. Also how does it differ from the "slime" that you have promoted and I think sell, to run in your tires at all times. For over 40 years a liquid "slime" has been used in tires as a balance verses a lead weight static tire balance. Do we have "Good slime" and Bad slime"? Thanks.Fred.

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What I have is a kit with various sized sticky strings that you punch into the hole with a "T" handled threader. The kit also comes with cement.Even my flat that put a bulge in my sidewall destroying the tire held air with this repair kit.For my first flat I ever fixed the tire didn't even have to come off the car.These things are permenant, not temperary fixes. I have put over 30K on one of them so far.Retired RCAF

Where'd ya get it? Where can I get it?

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Where'd ya get it? Where can I get it?

CTC has the sticky string kit with T-handle inserter for $5.

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Wally Mart too! Saskabush has a Princess Auto - they sell them there as well.Cheers,Cameron

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There is a product called SLIME that is popularly used in bicycles and motorbikes, etc. That is entirely different than the propellent can of tire repair foam that comes with your smart car. I am not sure if it is approved for highway speeds....The stuff in the oem can that is provided with the car is for use in an emergency to re-inflate the tire using your 12v air pump and get you to safety. This material reacts with the tire carcass and softens the rubber compound. It not highly water soluble (try cleaning it off your hands!) and in reacting with the tire renders the tire unsafe for future use. Throw the tire out now that you are someplace safe, and put on a new tire.The Ride-On material that I use is completely water soluble and actually helps preserve rather than destroy the tire compound. It remains in a gel-like state (with stringy micro-fibres) inside the tire and dynamically balances the wheel. It keeps the running temperature lower than without, and when up to hot running temperature, coats the entire inner wall of the tire plus the alloy or steel wheel with a rustproofing coating. It seals any wee slow leaks like at the tire bead as it is forced under pressure into the holes. Tires keep their set pressure for months. It is fully compatible with all remote Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems. It keeps tires from catastrophic deflation except in the most extreme circumstances.Best protection is in the tread area and doesn't much protect high sidewalls. The small self-repairs (pull out a short nail, for example) are actually permanent, as the leak seal hardens in contact with air.If you need to swap tires on Ride-On treated wheels, tell your tire people you have it and that they should deflate the tire slowly with the valve stem uppermost, and once off the rim, take the tire and rim to the tire sink and rinse the material out with plain water.I have used this stuff for two years in two different sets of tires, with no adverse effects. And no flat tires so far...Cheers,Bil :sun:

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There is a product called SLIME that is popularly used in bicycles and motorbikes, etc. That is entirely different than the propellent can of tire repair foam that comes with your smart car. I am not sure if it is approved for highway speeds....The Ride-On material that I use is completely water soluble and actually helps preserve rather than destroy the tire compound. It remains in a gel-like state (with stringy micro-fibres) inside the tire and dynamically balances the wheel. It keeps the running temperature lower than without, and when up to hot running temperature, coats the entire inner wall of the tire plus the alloy or steel wheel with a rustproofing coating. I have used this stuff for two years in two different sets of tires, with no adverse effects. And no flat tires so far...Cheers,Bil :sun:

It sounds good, is it called SLIME or Ride-on?

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One thing I am hoping we can do is set up a good smartarian network - i.e. folks you can call if you are in a bind - for example I have spare tires and some other parts like belts, bulbs, fuses, few body parts that if you wound up in a bind away from home or when the dealer was shut I might be convinced to help out with.I wound up in a similar tire situation just after the dealership closed for the weekend - fortunately the tire shop was just down the road and my spare in our storage locker - with my snow tires within 10 km.So if any one is interested in the concept let me know and we can see what we can do.Cheers,Cameron

Speedie, this is an excellent idea. Do you see this as a directory with phone #s and general location of people who are willing to assist other smart car drivers? I'm in. Edited by kwaldron

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The good smartarian network idea is a good one. This is similar to the Honda Goldwing Road Riders Assoc.'s "Gold Book" where they list all members that are willing to provide assistance to other members. It includes name, phone number and service available (ie: lodging, mechanical help, parts, tour guide) and are sorted by Province and State. Our CsC "Book" could be on-line in PDF format for members to download instead of printing and distributing a paper version.

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Like Mike T I also carry a spare front tire and I'm 5' 7" so I can put mine behind the drivers seat.

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Can I buy a spare for the smart anywhere or do I have to go through MB?Any ideas would be helpful as I plan a trip to California and don't want to bestranded along some highway!Geraldine

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