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Finally used the spare tire

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Old 03-06-2014, 01:07 PM   #1
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Default Finally used the spare tire

While out on the town this past weekend I returned to my Q5 to find a rear tire completely flat. I'd run over a screw at some point. Anyway, pouring rain and all, I decided it was time to check out the 'spare' tire which I'd completely ignored for the first few years of ownership.

First look at the collapsable spare and I wondered how that could possible form into a tire capable of holding the weight of a Q5. I then tried to figure out why the tire had an electrical connector. It was attached to the plastic cover that appeared to be some kind of used oil collector. I thought maybe the tools were hidden in that cover but as I dug around I discovered it was the subwoofer so I put it aside out of the rain. Finally found the necessary lug wrench, jack and wheel pin. The tire took about 18 minutes to pump up to 50 psi (with a rest at 12 minutes to cool the tiny compressor). It got me home and the tire was repaired the next day.

So it does work but I would suggest people get familiar with the available equipment before they actually need it in an emergency. The biggest effort is still to come though - trying to fit all the bits and pieces back into their proper storage compartments, including the spare itself which apparently may not always collapse enough after use.

Do the US cars may have run flat tires and sealant?
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:22 PM   #2
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And the car didn't have the Tire Pressure Monitor? I know it's standard in most cars in N. America.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:46 PM   #3
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Do the US cars may have run flat tires and sealant?
nope, we have a collapsible spare with the electric pump as well.

and just to add to your post, pump up the spare BEFORE you mount it. i thought it'd be clever for me to put the spare on and then pump, but that doesn't work because of the way the spare inflates (to one side first, and then to the other side).

also, the US cars do have tpms that's based off the ABS system, if i'm not mistaken. in other words, there's nothing installed in the tire for the reading. the reading is simply based on the rotation speeds of the tires.
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:34 PM   #4
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AFAIK a traditional TPMS system, US or overseas, will be a pressure sensor in the wheel. Which requires the tire to be unmounted about every 5 years for a battery change, and also prevents the use of tire sealant.

And costs money. And can cause air leaks because the tire sensor is o-ring mounted on the stem, and the O-rings can easily leak. In which case, again, you need to have the tires remounted to fix it.

So the newer and smarter solution, with ABS and traction control systems becoming so widespread, is to be clever and use the ABS wheel-rotation-counting software to determine if one tire is rotating at a different speed, indicating it has a different diameter, caused by a pressure difference. Really clever.

Also way cheaper to implement, so any company still using wheel mounted sensors is wasting a lot of money. And since there's no sensor, you can use tire sealant without worrying again. (Yeah!)

Games with run-flats, or no spares, or donuts or inflateables...you can justify anything but if you're out in the boonies, out of cell phone and tow call range, more than 50 miles from the next tire dealer, don't want to wait overnight or two nights for new tires to get shipped in from the nearest big city...a full size spare still makes sense for some drivers. Fifteen minutes to change to the spare versus an hour or two for a truck? Or a night or two?

I decided that since Audi thinks a can of sealant is good enough for the A8, an extra can of Slime and an injector pump (big can of slime, and the air pump will inject it into the tire and fill the tire completely, which a 'can' won't do) are my first line of defense. Unless I blow a sidewall, that should get me going again in less than 15 minutes, without needing to unload the rear compartment, or jack the car, or call for help.

The bit in the manual about "carry the spare tire around with you for a couple of hours, hold it dear till it deflates enough to fit it back in the well" pretty much nailed that coffin for me. Really? A couple of HOURS to change the spare back?
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:42 PM   #5
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FYI when inflating the spare remove the tire valve, use the cap the other way around it has two prongs. You will be able to inflate your tire in less then 5 minutes. Just remember to screw the valve back.
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:49 AM   #6
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As suspected, this spare tire set up sounds like a real PITA. If at all possible I would just wait for roadside assistance. I had a full size spare on matching wheels in my last two cars. Never had to use either, but it was nice to know they were there.
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Old 03-08-2014, 05:27 AM   #7
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I blew out a tire and didn't know about the valve on the hose that needed to be closed. the pump was running and nothing was happening. I let this go on for way too long. I ended damaging the paint on the rocker panel because the jack is so poorly designed and has to be placed precisely. I got everything done up to removing the tire from the hub. The rim was fused to the hub because of salt. I couldn't get it off. I called Audi Roadside finally. It also didn't occur to me that there was an outlet in the cargo area. I ran the wire up into the car to the console area.

If you live in a salty area, go to Harbor Freight or somewhere with cheap tools and get a rubberized mallet. You may need to smack the wheel a bit to get it off.

That experience was truly a huge P.I.T.A. BTW, Audi sent some guy in a beat up old mini van who would have had no clue how to inflate the tire or where it was even located. READ UP
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:11 AM   #8
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"remove the tire valve,"
FWIW, I wouldn't suggest that. If you remove the valve core, there's a good risk of losing it. And if not losing it, dropping it or getting dirt, pocket lint, whatever on it, and then the o-ring won't seat properly. Or, it may simply tear from being unseated and reseated.
Simpler to just KISS, inflate the tire with the valve core in place, the way it is designed to be inflated. If the tiny factory pump is inadequate for that...there are plenty of bigger faster stronger pumps on sale all the time.
And if you live someplace where there is winter...do you really want to screw around with valve cores at night on the side of the road in slush and snow? Nah. KISS.

One day I'm going to pull out the trim and see whether a full wheel can be coaxed in there.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:14 AM   #9
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Default I don't understand why no donut spare?

there is plenty of room to have one. Cost isn't a factor as the collapsable spare and compressor cost X times more. Weight also isn't a factor. I just don't understand this with Audi at all.

Do you know that 30% of GM cars come without a spare.

When you have no spare, badly cut tire that can't be fixed and not near a large city, you call a tow truck, he tows you to a tire dealer if he is open (if not you stay overnight somewhere), next day you go to the local tire store, now you just bought a set of premium brand tires a month ago and they don't carry them so they sell you something you don't want for $200 and you will need to change it to the premium brand tire fairly quick for another $200-300. Just because you have no spare???
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:23 AM   #10
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Bob, I'm not sure there is room. Someone said they took out the "liner" and the body pan intrudes too far to allow a full sized spare, which is why I want to get my own eyes in there.

Putting a spare in a car can add 40# to the gross vehicle weight, which impacts the EPA fleet rating for mpg, and adds costs to many things including the suspension, which is built to carry that weight. So I can understand the cheap SOBs omitting something the mass market has no use for.

I mean, most folks can't or won't change their own flat. Although I have a friend who got her license in France many years ago, who said "Do you know they make you show that you know how to change the spare, or you can't get a license?!"

When it is engineers versus cost accountants, you know who will win every time, unless the marketing boys can prove them wrong.
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Old 03-08-2014, 01:13 PM   #11
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Default I'm not talking about a full size spare....

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Bob, I'm not sure there is room. Someone said they took out the "liner" and the body pan intrudes too far to allow a full sized spare, which is why I want to get my own eyes in there.

Putting a spare in a car can add 40# to the gross vehicle weight, which impacts the EPA fleet rating for mpg, and adds costs to many things including the suspension, which is built to carry that weight. So I can understand the cheap SOBs omitting something the mass market has no use for.

I mean, most folks can't or won't change their own flat. Although I have a friend who got her license in France many years ago, who said "Do you know they make you show that you know how to change the spare, or you can't get a license?!"

When it is engineers versus cost accountants, you know who will win every time, unless the marketing boys can prove them wrong.
a thin space saver donut that can handle the vehicle load. It's only to get you to a good tire dealer, not to continue on your vacation. I'm sure the thin donut would weight just as much as the collapsable spare. Well for the people that won't change thier own flats and are out of cell phone range....good luck to them.
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Old 03-08-2014, 02:11 PM   #12
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As predicted the kit wouldn't all go back into the correct places. Even the jack is difficult. I managed to pop off and lose a plastic trim rivet. The tool bag? Not a chance. Not that it really matters as the bag can just sit up against the tire.
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:06 PM   #13
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Bob-
In my understanding, you could not use a donut with AWD. You can't use one with a conventional LSD or Posi rear, and AWD is basically the same thing twice. Which is part of the reason we get something that comes back to the original diameter, to make the differential happy.
Last time I needed a tow I was only ~25-30 miles from the nearest dispatch station. Except, things were busy and they said it would take an hour to arrive. Except, things got busier and it took them two hours to arrive. On an interstate.

But most folks will never complain. The last six or eight flats I've had to deal with were all found in the parking lot. The tows I've really needed...much less convenient.

My friend with runflats who discovered a nice fat bubble in the tire sidewall, was "only" 100 miles from home. But got stuck overnight where she was, because who'd going to risk a blowout driving with one of those? And of course, the two new tires (for the axle pair) had to be shipped in.

How inconvenient this stuff is, depends on how you feel about wasting a couple of days and dollars, versus having the spare changed in 15 minutes.
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:28 PM   #14
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Default The donut spare whould be same diameter

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Bob-
In my understanding, you could not use a donut with AWD. You can't use one with a conventional LSD or Posi rear, and AWD is basically the same thing twice. Which is part of the reason we get something that comes back to the original diameter, to make the differential happy.
Last time I needed a tow I was only ~25-30 miles from the nearest dispatch station. Except, things were busy and they said it would take an hour to arrive. Except, things got busier and it took them two hours to arrive. On an interstate.

But most folks will never complain. The last six or eight flats I've had to deal with were all found in the parking lot. The tows I've really needed...much less convenient.

My friend with runflats who discovered a nice fat bubble in the tire sidewall, was "only" 100 miles from home. But got stuck overnight where she was, because who'd going to risk a blowout driving with one of those? And of course, the two new tires (for the axle pair) had to be shipped in.

How inconvenient this stuff is, depends on how you feel about wasting a couple of days and dollars, versus having the spare changed in 15 minutes.
as the tires that come on the car, the spare would just have a narrow width. No issue at all with AWD. A lot of people around mu area take their Q5's hunting/fishing/hiking down dirt roads where even the tow guy can't find you let alone have proper cell service. I'm glad this topic showed up that I will now buy a cheap Q5 wheel and put a cheap tire on it. Then when I'm going up in the mountains or take a long trip I'll just toss it in the back ahd have zero problems if I damage a tire. I'll be on my way in a few minutes.

I need to look at that spare tire well cutout tomorrow, I thought it had a much larger diameter than the collapsable spare.

Last edited by Bob Petruska; 03-08-2014 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:37 PM   #15
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Default I feel your pain relocating those items....

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As predicted the kit wouldn't all go back into the correct places. Even the jack is difficult. I managed to pop off and lose a plastic trim rivet. The tool bag? Not a chance. Not that it really matters as the bag can just sit up against the tire.
I had the same problem qith my 1997 A4, I need to go to the delaer and look at a new one to see how the jack folded up correctly. My next Audi I took a lot of photos where everything was and did it on my 2014 Q5 also. Now it's simple to relocate the proper place/way.
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:45 PM   #16
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Default Coat the wheel hub with anti-seize compund

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I blew out a tire and didn't know about the valve on the hose that needed to be closed. the pump was running and nothing was happening. I let this go on for way too long. I ended damaging the paint on the rocker panel because the jack is so poorly designed and has to be placed precisely. I got everything done up to removing the tire from the hub. The rim was fused to the hub because of salt. I couldn't get it off. I called Audi Roadside finally. It also didn't occur to me that there was an outlet in the cargo area. I ran the wire up into the car to the console area.

If you live in a salty area, go to Harbor Freight or somewhere with cheap tools and get a rubberized mallet. You may need to smack the wheel a bit to get it off.

That experience was truly a huge P.I.T.A. BTW, Audi sent some guy in a beat up old mini van who would have had no clue how to inflate the tire or where it was even located. READ UP
the first week you get the car. The wheels will always fall off in your hand after that. Audi/VW's are well known to have the aluminum wheel fuse to the steel hubs. I have seen wheels on a car 2 years old that need to have a 2x4 and sludge hamer to remove them. Road side service don't use the wood the just use the hamer and beat up the aluminum wheel. I also learned if you do have a stuck wheel to loosen all the wheel bolts 2 turns and drive the car forward/backward hitting the brake hard a few times and it may break that bond.
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:48 PM   #17
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Default Good comment, tomorrow extra valve stems in Q5

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"remove the tire valve,"
FWIW, I wouldn't suggest that. If you remove the valve core, there's a good risk of losing it. And if not losing it, dropping it or getting dirt, pocket lint, whatever on it, and then the o-ring won't seat properly. Or, it may simply tear from being unseated and reseated.
Simpler to just KISS, inflate the tire with the valve core in place, the way it is designed to be inflated. If the tiny factory pump is inadequate for that...there are plenty of bigger faster stronger pumps on sale all the time.
And if you live someplace where there is winter...do you really want to screw around with valve cores at night on the side of the road in slush and snow? Nah. KISS.

One day I'm going to pull out the trim and see whether a full wheel can be coaxed in there.
I rather own wait 5 minutes to pump up the spare without the valve stem than 20 minutes with it in.
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:53 PM   #18
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Default Recollpsing the spare has its problems...

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As predicted the kit wouldn't all go back into the correct places. Even the jack is difficult. I managed to pop off and lose a plastic trim rivet. The tool bag? Not a chance. Not that it really matters as the bag can just sit up against the tire.
It is known that once the spare is inflated and deflated the tire "may" not seat to the rim properly and not reinflate next time. A lot of owners like to try out the spare/compressor to get familar with the operation and test inflate the spare. They then deflate it and try again and have found the tire will not seal to the rim and thus no inflation
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:09 PM   #19
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You'll see as the tire ages, the fold is harder to "pop" thats why removing the tire valve helps to inflate it up to a point then putting the valve back to finish the job. Worst case the valve core is inexpensive to replace if it leaks.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:35 PM   #20
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Speaking of spares and all...

Is the standard 18" five double-spoke wheel, that's on the 2014 Q5, exactly the same wheel used in...what previous years?
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