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Space Saver wheel - a right royal pain in the bum

11239 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Evlkarl
I'm glad I ticked the option for a space saver spare wheel - the can of goo inflation kit is no solution! So leaving the office this morning when the tyre monitor graphic told me I had a flat I thought "that's OK, I'm equipped!"

But what a pain it is to actually use. For those of you without one let me elaborate. Empty the boot and pull back the floor. Remove the tool kit from the well - it's a very snug fit so give it a wiggle. Remove wheel brace from kit. Unscrew the metal nut from the bolt in the floor. Remove the metal panel beneath. Screw the long end of the brace onto the bolt and tighten. Use the spanner sculpted end of the panel you just removed to twist the nut beneath the bolt. This holds the spare wheel tray so has a fair bit of weight behind it. Spanner tool thing not an exact fit, a bugger to turn. Tray then unceremoniously drops to the floor under the car.

Then change the wheel for the space saver - the easy bit. User manual then helpfully tells you to "stow the wheel and tray inside the car". Except that the wheel and the tray won't both fit in the boot. So the tray - which is wet and muddy - needs to go in the back. What do you do if carrying luggage or passengers.

Then manual also helpfully advises that my local mini service centre will refit the space saver and the tray - I hope my local tyre shack can do it as the tyre is repairable.

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Yes the space saver sits under the car in a plastic tray. If you look underneath you can only see the tray not the wheel. So it's a good arrangement until you need to use it - then it's a faff.

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My car was booked into my local main dealer today anyway for a software update, so they have patched the wheel and refitted it for £20. I was loaned an F55 Cooper for the day - it's reinforced my dislike of the 5 door car. And when I picked my car up it had been valeted - clean inside and out so I can't fault them.

I then took 10 minutes to play with a few cars I'm thinking about for the future. First up was a Clubman which I like a lot - when eventually I have to get a sensibly sized car it may well be one of them. Then next door to sit in an i3 as an option to replace our Nissan Leaf. It's got plenty of space up front but high floor and cramped rear makes it feel similar to a Mini!

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Don't get me wrong - I'd rather have the space saver than goo or run flats. Now I've done it once I know how to do it and where the problem is. I need to put a proper spanner in the car for the nut that holds the tray in place - the spanner head tool on the holding plate isn't fit for purpose

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