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Discussion Starter #1
Would you believe that as a young auto mechanic I had the audacity to posit that spare tires carried in automobiles might be relics of a bygone era? Well, I did; and now stand humbly corrected thanks to my Insight.

In the 35k miles I've driven my 2000 Insight, I've had two blowouts and several punctures - all in the back. I am now to the point of joking that this is the first car on which I'll wear out the spare and perhaps also the jack.

I'm sure Murphy's Law could explain that by adding complexity to the process of changing a tire (fender skirts), the likelihood of flat tires occurring there are exponentially increased.

Though It's funny to joke about Murphy's law and how it applies to fender skirts I do believe there is a reasonable explanation for the seemingly increased propensity to get flat tires on the rear of my Insight. I assure you that the thought of my wife having an increased risk of having to deal with a flat tire out on the road is NOT FUNNY.

I have two thoughts about why my Insight seems to be statistically about ten-times more likely to get a flat tire than the other cars I have driven. (No bull. I figure I've seen six flats on the Insight in 35k miles and about the same number in all the other miles I have ever driven.)

1. The tires suck. They roll well but seem to be easily damaged by road debris etc. I don't think that point can really be argued. It's a near fact as far as I am concerned. I'm looking for alternatives. They are, perhaps, substantially more likely to puncture as well.

2. The narrower track of the rear wheels may be more likely to catch road debris kicked up by the front tires. A friend and I hypothesized that the rear tires may be as much as four-times more likely to run over something kicked up by the front tires than if they rolled directly behind the front tires. This may be all BS, but there may be some truth to be found there as well.

So, what's your experience? Do you believe that you get more flat tires in your Insight than in other vehicles you have driven? If so, Have you thought about why?
 

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In ~35k driving, I never had a flat tire, or even had one start to slowly leak. All 4 were always within ~1 psi of each other, and I have no idea if the car even had a jack/spare under the storage compartment.

I did wear my way through a pair of RE92's on the front though.

Sam
 

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I have had 3 different times that I've had to put my spare on:

1) The tire didn't blow but the tread completely separated from the body of the tire and was flapping pretty hard against the body. I suspect it was due to an unusually rough pothole/expansion joint on I-270 south of Cincinnati; it happened at home just two days later. It was on the right rear.

2) I had an extremely low tire one morning on the way to my job. It was flat by the time I got out of work. It was on the right front.

3) Just a couple of months ago, I was headed to the grocery store with my wife and in 3 miles, the mpg on the trip went from 105 down to about 78 and the car seemed to have no power at all. I never really had any indication from the handling that anything was wrong with the tires. I finally realized what was going on when I crested a relatively sharp rise in the road when I heard something that sounded like the car bottoming out. That was on the right rear as well.

So I guess in my case the OP's theory seems to be right on track.
 

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Not knowing where the OP is, I would assume it is due to the road conditions or under inflation of the tires.
315,000 miles no flats, but I did have a leaking valve stem at one time.

Pressure got down to 19 psi, and didn't know the difference when driving.
Fill the tire back up let it sit and it would hold air. Go for a high speed drive and the pressure would lessen. (Passenger rear)


Found the leak by gently pushing the stem sideways.
Probably the G force on the stem would activate the leak.

HTH
Willie
 

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It's interesting that you mention stems. I've had two stem failures that lead me to ride on my spare on difference occasions with my second Insight. The stems dry rotted from being parked in the sun from the previous owner. After two blowouts on the same set of tires, one of them that had a failed stem and one that didn't have a failed stem, I replaced all four. Interesting how the second 'blowout' was when I saw the tread separating(dime sized gap with steel thread exposed) on my pre-inspection for a trip to Detroit on the drivers side rear. I removed the tire from the car and replaced it with one from my other car and continued on with the trip. I got back from the trip and the tire tread completely split open but still had the tires max rated PSI in it. Glad I noticed that before embarking.
 

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Good rule of thumb:
Always check the Mfg. date of the tire. Chuking the tread can be caused by new tires sitting in the warehouse for a very long time.

HTH
Willie
 

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I've seen this on many other cars - the front tires kick up nails and stuff, and like BAM! It goes right into the rear tires. Can't remember the last front flat that happened. New cars come with a little flap that hangs down in front of the tires to deflect scrud of this nature, and if you were clever, one could be made to do the trick - it's some kind of stiff rubber or plastic that will bend if you hit a parking bumpstop or something. Last time was on a BMW M3 and the replacement tire was near $600.00...... run flats and all that. Dumped that car pronto.


Thor
 

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Interesting. Total of four Insights, 1.5 years, with three drivers. Only one flat, picked up a screw on left rear on the one my son drives. I just added up all the miles so far, and it made me smile to realize we have driven a total of about 35,000 miles on all of them.

My 0.02 worth,
Tim Glover
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm in the high desert of Arizona for those interested in the ambient conditions.

My other cars see the same driving conditions and do not seem to suffer the same fate.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Forgot to include that our local roads are spectacularly crappy. I think that may be part of the cause.
 

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How about adding your location to your profile. We have a lot of G1 Insighters in Arizona.

Willie
 

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Forgot to include that our local roads are spectacularly crappy. I think that may be part of the cause.
Yes , probably part of the problem, I had one flat so far ~ 72k - 3.2 years,
it was some nail on the left rear one. We have two more cars and the tire failure is higher on those.
I run the OEM tires at ~45 psi on the insight. the old ones were near the end of their life and the flat one was ruined so I replaced the whole set at once... My first 4 tire at once change ever.... very happy , was with new tires through the winter....

Our roads are good, not perfect, but not too bad- central NJ...
 
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