I have a deflated spare in BOTH OF my 2006 SLK55 AMG and the 2006 SLK280. Both has the air pump to pump it up when needed. I have removed both deflated spares just to see if it can be done and to make sure all parts are there if and when one day I may need to use it.
I think there are several important points to remember:
1. Make sure you know where your "lug bolt lock" is located because you are going to need it to "unlock" and get the flat tire/wheel off the car. Not all SLK's have a "lock". My SLK280 has wheels locks (the prior owner put one on because it had optional original factory 18 inch chrome wheels). My SLK55 AMG DID NOT have the wheel locks which I am getting to secure the wheels.
2. After you or the "rescue guy" manage to get the flat tire off the car. Make sure to use the special "lugs supplied by MB" (these should be in a hard shell clear plastic shrink wrap package next to the spare tire) to secure the spare onto the car. DO NOT USE THE ORIGINAL LUGS THAT WAS JUST TAKEN OFF THE FLAT TIRE BECAUSE THESE ARE OF DIFFERENT SIZE AND IF YOU FORCE IT ONTO THE SPARE TIRE, THEN YOU WILL HAVE DAMAGED THE THREADS AND IT WILL BE A BIG PROBLEM TO GET IT FIXED.
3. Try not to use your "insurance policy" for roadside assistance. Use AAA or MB's roadside assistance. Some years ago I had a breakdown on my brand new RV on the side of the road on I-5. I had called my insurance company for roadside assistance as part of my insurance policy with them. They came to help me and all. But later on when I "switched" car insurance companies............this "roadside" assistance incident showed up on some database shared by all insurance companies and I was questioned by my new insurance company. I am not sure if it had affected my premiums, but the fact that it showed up and I was questioned just makes me wonder.
4. I would try to use the "gel" foam inflation systems first instead of taking the flat tire off the car and put on the spare tire. The "gel" foam inflation systems are available at auto parts stores or at Wal-Mart or Target or major stores.
5. Make sure you carry some kind of "light source"........either battery operated or one of the "self crank/self generating" flashlight by just turning the handle. This is just in case the battery in the flashlight is dead.
6. Make sure you have pulled off the road sufficiently and SAFELY to stop and look and decide what to do about the flat tire. Certainly you do not want to be hit by other cars passing by.
That's all I can think of right now.
I certainly agree. In addition to the roadside assistance plan that is "for life" on our MB cars, we have AAA and roadside assistance under our car insurance policy. I guess we are covered three ways. And, from the looks of these "spares" and the directions for using the supplied jacks, additional lug bolts, and the like, I wish we were covered four ways.