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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hit some debris that fell off a plumbing truck that destroyed my front tire and damaged the wheel. Also damaged the hub cap.
The driver of the truck helped us put the spare on, broke a wheel stud in the process, and suggested we contact his company. 2 or 3 other vehicles were stopped. One was the plumbing box truck. His rear gate, door, hatch or whatever you call it had come unlatched and opened, letting stuff fall out. The stuff was spread out across the lane and I couldn't miss all of it. A Cadillac SUV was stopped. Don't know what damage was there, but it was still sitting there when we limped away on our temporary spare. The spare was low on air, but we got to a close gas station to air it up.

Vehicle is a 2005 Base SWB, T&C. Steel 15" wheels, No ABS or no Traction Control
The tires are Michelin Defender XT, 215/70R15
Tread depth is mostly 3/16", one groove near the edge is 2/16 or 3 to 4 mm. There is a receipt from the previous owner somewhere.
I don't think the exact Michelin tire is available. On trip I thought these tires were noisy at highway speeds (70-80mph) on some pavements.
Do I need to replace both front tires to keep them matched?
Do I need to match the exact same brand, same model tire?

Secondary question, will a full size spare fit under the back of the van where the mini spare goes?
 

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fix it if you can
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You should try to match the front tires, tread pattern and depth. It's not critical in the short term but over longer term will put more strain on differential and can cause problems with vehicle control on slippery surfaces (heavy rain, snow, ice, etc)

Yes, you can put a full size spare on any van with the spare behind rear axle. (won't fit on vans with 'mid ship' mounted spares, those with fold in floor seats)

If you have a salvage yard nearby, check if they might have two steel 15" rims. You might get lucky and find decent tires on them, otherwise just buy two tires and mount them on the front since your old set is nearing end of useful life. Keep the old full size as your spare.

You could also just buy a steel rim with a new or used tire and put that on the rear axle, keeping the compact spare. This way you can elect to deal with mismatch when it comes time to change the set of tires.

If you have the previous owner's receipt, cant hurt to check if (s)he bought "road hazard warranty" and if that is transferable to you.
 

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If you are down to 3/16", I would suggest new tires all around; minimally two tires on the same axle however you will likely be replacing the other two within a year.

I would suggest visiting tirerack.com. They can match your driving style, tire characteristics, and price with reviews.
 

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I don't know if a full size spare will fit under the rear of the van, since it is a short wheelbase. Maybe I'm recalling the 2nd gen short wheel base where the rear seat was pretty much against the liftgate. If the rear end was shortened, a full size spare might not fit under there. Probably me remembering stuff wrong again.

If you get two new tires and have them put on, the shop will put them on the rear. You'll have to put them on the front yourself, or only bring in the rims to have tires put on/balanced and put the wheels on the van yourself.

Go after the plumber for "leaky load". They/their insurance should cover the cost of a replacement wheel and tire, and labor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The T&C doesn't usually see much use. I bought it for road trips. I don't take it out in winter. We've put 9000 miles on it, in 4 years, and 5000 of that was one 28 day road trip. So those worn tires could have lasted me a few more years.

My daily driver car's license is expired and needs some emissions problems fixed so it can pass an emissions test before renewing the license. My garage work space is tied up be another project car.

My usual junk yard has become a You take the parts off, type yard. I guess that's the plan, go there and look around and see if I can find a couple good wheels & tires.

I usually buy tires at
Sams Club.
 

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You need at least two tires.

I'd call the insurance company and get them to pay.

That being said, it only takes one high speed blowout to cause a big, bigger and biggest accident. Remember, the only thing between you and your maker are a good set of tires.
 

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Fair number of used tires/wheels being sold online, privately or publicly, plus there are shops selling used tires, wheels as well, maybe some spare rims left over from winter.

It's amazing how many people buy second hand wheels and scrap the rims, regardless of condition, as they don't have the bolt pattern they need.

As for storage, check the dimensions, although putting extra weight on the system may not be a good thing. Ever notice the number of wheels along the highway, that dropped out of somewhere. If there's rust, then storage inside the vehicle will be best.

Running matched tires side to side, especially the front, is advisable. I actually ran a mismatched tire and rim (steel vs alloy) on the rear a 2007 DGC, without noticing any difference.
 

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I'd call the insurance company and get them to pay.
Depending on the amount of the deductible you have, they may not pay anything. Or, it may not be worth the time and effort to file a claim.

When my rear glass shattered for no apparent reason, my deductible was $250. The glass was ~$280. Same when my windshield cracked.
 

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Why would a deductible matter, when it was their fault 100%? Most you'd have to pay is a difference of new tire vs. used if you got new tires. If you have a dashcam showing what happened, your case is sealed. Their insurance would have to pay everything.

It was 1994. I had a 1982 Plymouth Horizon following a truck and trailer full of fence posts on a highway. The fenceposts started coming off the trailer and onto the road. I tried avoiding them by going into the oncoming lane, but one post took a spin and got my front right wheel - BOOM! Clunkclunkclunkclunk... Rim dented in, tire bead no longer sealed. They pulled over, I pulled over, and I changed my wheel. I had plenty of spare wheels (Chevette wheels fit) and declined taking information - big mistake. Later that night I saw a small bump on the hood, dented from underneath. Opened the hood and found the upper strut tower had popped all of the spotwelds on the round part of the cap, leaving only the side next to the fender holding on. So that's why the car started acting weird on bumps! I couldn't find the truck again and had no information, so I was SOL. I bolted the strut tower back together at votech and had to find a different car, and scrapped that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't have collision or comprehensive coverage on this van.
I think I need to get a documented professional repair estimate before calling the plumbing place.
I probably should look under the van to make sure there's not more damage somewhere. We smelled hot rubber almost immediately after hitting the debris. We drove a couple hundred feet, very slow, to get off the roadway into a subdivision entrance. The van almost rolled off the jack cus I forgot that being in Park doesn't help when you lift a front wheel off the ground with FWD. I've never tried the parking brake to see if it's rusted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A car swerved ahead of me. I couldn't see the debris, or why he swerved, till he passed it. It was too late to miss all of it. After we pulled off the road and sat there looking in the owners manual for jacking & tire change info, the truck diver drove up, admitted the debris fell from his truck, suggested we take the info off the truck signage and call them, and then helped us change the tire. No dashcam. I didn't actually see the stuff fall off the truck.
 

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Why would a deductible matter, when it was their fault 100%? Most you'd have to pay is a difference of new tire vs. used if you got new tires. If you have a dashcam showing what happened, your case is sealed. Their insurance would have to pay everything.
It would depend on whether you have their insurance information or not, and how much of a fight you are willing to put up to actually get them to pay out. Not to mention the waiting around to be paid. Been there, done that.

Most people don't have dash cams, either. ;)
 

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A tire and wheel is nothing, just call the business, they might just pay you without a fight. If they don't, their insurance should cover 100%.

Insurance companies usually and quickly pay claims under $10,000.00 if they know their insured party is at fault. They do so to prevent the claimant from getting smart and also claim personal injuries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Went to 2 junk yards. Got a bare wheel & a wheel cover for $58, from one,
Got a wheel with a worn tire that holds air, another wheel cover and several lug nuts for $26 from the other. Had to go out in the yard and find & remove the tire/wheel. Cars were so densely packed it was hard to look through them. Too difficult to look for a better tire.
Also bought a $20 ball joint separator tool for removing the wheel stud.
Anyway I now have enough wheels to have a full size spare, which will be handy even if it's home in the garage.
I'll approach that plumbing company with the repair estimate from the tire shop tomorrow and see what they are willing to do.
 

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Good luck. Should work out ok. (y)
 

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I'll approach that plumbing company with the repair estimate
Good luck, and hold them to it - maybe they'll secure their load better next time and spare someone else the headache.

brakes stop the tires, tires stop the vehicle.
And you leave the hubs and rims at home to walk on the wild side :) (always thought brakes attached to and stopped the hubs to which rims were bolted)
 

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Good luck, and hold them to it - maybe they'll secure their load better next time and spare someone else the headache.


And you leave the hubs and rims at home to walk on the wild side :) (always thought brakes attached to and stopped the hubs to which rims were bolted)
How about the shoes against the rims? quicker stops. :)
 

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Good to hear,
Check around if you can find a pair of Michelin Defender XT's or similar tires and you'll be all set.
Sometimes places like tires-easy have good deals on 'leftover' tires that are a year old unsold inventory and can ship to your choice of installer.
 
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