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Spare tire RAGE!!!

38632 Views 38 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  glide
My 84 year old grandmother just bought herself a brand new 2011 Chevy Malibu. Last week, she was hit by some guy who came blasting through a red light and totaled out her mint condition Buick. So, she bought the new Malibu. It's a nice car and she's happy with it, but come to find out, it doesn't come with a spare tire or the jack to change it with! The dealer tells me that this is now an option on the Malibu. WTF? Since when is a spare tire an option on a car? I checked the GM website and sure enough, it's a $100 option. They never mentioned this to her when she bought the car and she didn't check to see if it had a spare tire. Honestly, I wouldn't have either. I've never heard of a car that didn't come with a spare tire. I bought a brand new Pontiac G6 in 2008. It came with a spare tire. So did the other 15 or so GM vehicles that I've owned over the years. All of them came from the factory with a spare tire. You didn't have to ask for it. It was just there. Not any more. So, she was going to pay the $100 for the stupid donut tire and the jack, but no. The dealer says that it is $500 to get the spare tire after you've bought the vehicle. You have got to be kidding me. It could not possibly cost this dealer $400 to have a donut tire shipped to Oklahoma and installed in her car. It's not like it's a complicated install. You put it in the freaking trunk! I had four tires and rims shipped to my house in Alaska last year. Alaska. It didn't even cost me $100 for the shipping. But they want $400 to ship a donut to Oklahoma and install it. And people wonder why GM sales suck. My mom and uncle who live in Oklahoma and near my grandma, are talking about going to a junk yard to find a spare tire for a brand new car. A junk yard. That's ridiculous. Any ideas on what we could do to get a better deal or how to deal with this situation? Are we out of luck? I just feel like my grandmother is being taken for a ride. Thanks for any advice!
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The junkyard is actually a good idea. They just need to be sure it's a 5 x 110 bolt pattern. Not too many cars are. There are other threads on here that discuss the other models with the same pattern. Once they find one and determine it fits, they can paint it if it looks old, but something to consider, also, is the age of the rubber itself. Hidden away it'll be less weathered by UV but temps and time still do their jobs.

My 2011 also didn't come standard with a spare except for one reason: my dealership has a standing order on all cars they get from GM to have a spare tire and jack. The only cars they sell without one are dealer trades.
Sounds like standard salesperson-speak: promise or say whatever to get the signature and sale, then conveniently "forget" what isn't written down. Plus, $500 sounds like a flat-out lie to discourage them from ordering it and making the seller actually have to work! Lazy SOB!
I kinda doubt the parts dept is gonna mislead you. They're there to do their jobs, which is getting you the parts you reqest.

The jack is nothing special. You could probably find one in a junkyard that will work perfectly. To get an idea of what you needed without going to the dealer's parts people you could look at a new car that has one. There's a threaded rod sticking up with two different diameters of threads. The lower one has a wing nut that holds the jack in place, then the spare goes over that with a much larger wing nut that goes over the hub hole in the wheel. The jack is a scissor-type with a flat saddle that has a small "valley" or rut in the middle of it that fits into the seam of the body at the jacking points. The handle serves as a means to raise/lower the jack and as a lug wrench.

Total: 6 pieces.
Dual-threaded rod
Small wing nut
Large wing nut
Jack handle/lug wrench
Spare (high-pressure temporary)

Another option is to get a temporary spare elsewhere and your own jack. I tend to favor a hydraulic bottle or floor-type jack. That scissor jack can barely lift the car high enough, but it is lighter than a hydraulic, and somewhat safer since it's mechanical.
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If it's dragging I'd take it back to the dealership and have them correct that. No wheel provided by the manufacturer or dealership should touch any part that isn't rotating.
TPMS is mandated on all new cars sold in the US.

Run-flat tires are specialty tires that aren't found on any but the most optioned cars. They allow a car to be driven after the tire has lost most or all of its pressure, up to a certain speed and distance combination. They are expensive and rarely worth the money. A friend at work has a Honda Odyssey van with their brand of run-flats. They can't get the vibrations balanced out no matter how many parts they replace or how many Road Force balancings they do. So just because it sounds good in principle doesn't mean the version they conceive works.

Instead of installing spare tires as standard equipment Chevy has moved to a can of goo and an electric pump. Doesn't do much good when your sidewall is cut or the tread is shredded. But these days a lot of insurance companies offer auto club membership as part of full-coverage insurance, meaning that you may never have to change your tire anyway. So just get a tow to a tire shop. Hold it - that only works when they're open, huh? Hmmm, someone in Detroit didn't think this all the way through. I guess they never travel when it's not 9:00 to 5:00 so the shops are open. ;)
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Just a little kudo for my dealership: They order ALL of their cars with spare tires. The only ones they sell without are ones that are dealer-traded that come without one.

Sounds like they heard the call before anyone opened their mouth! If one can do it so can many more.
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