space saver wheel and tire - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

Tires, Wheels, Brakes & Suspension Discussion and information regarding tires, wheels, brakes and suspension.

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#1 Old 04-20-2015
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space saver wheel and tire

Any thoughts on this for my 2003 SLK32?
Tire rack dont sell the tire, MB want over $500 for the rim.....used with 10 year old tire 300-400


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#2 Old 04-21-2015
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Use a tow service. My "spare" is at home in the garage where it belongs. If you really want a spare try the local wreckers.


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#3 Old 04-21-2015
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space saver......

[QUOTE=gdb069;2019697]Use a tow service. My "spare" is at home in the garage where it belongs. If you really want a spare try the local wreckers.

so, Im crossing Florida on a dark,moonless night, 90 miles or so on Alligator Alley and get a blowout.Going to be tough to get a tow to either end, and I have Kumho tires from Tire Rack,NOT Sears or Tire Kingdom so thats why I want a space saver spare.However, yards have one with old,rotted tires and Tire Rack dont have new ones......
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#4 Old 07-26-2015
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Collapsible Spare Tire - Issues

Greetings,

You’ll see I have a 98 SLK230, and as I look into the boot (trunk) I see the collapsible spare
tyre and ask myself…”How old is that? and is it safe to use if I really need it?”

So I have pursued some research on this topic, having found not much on the forum, and have come up with the following.

The collapsible spare “SpaceMaster" is made by Vredestein and comes pre-fitted to the rim.
The Vredestein national importer advised that they do not stock or import any of the collapsible tyres.
I checked tyre retails, yep, they couldn’t get them. Same with M-B
Vredestein suggested that there is a special technique for installing the tyre on the rim (presumably, without inflating it). This makes sense.
This is the reason that no tyre retailers will supply the tyre, and also why M-B only supply the complete tyre-rim assembly. No one can fit them.

Prices, well,,,,
UK M-B dealer was 226 pounds plus [email protected]% so about $400USD. Aussie M-B was $1200 +GST=$1320 AUD, so about $1000 USD.
I think the Aussie ones must be very very special to be 2.5 times the price of the UK ones. Airfreight doesn’t cost that much.

These collapsible tyres were used way back in the 1980s on 944/ 928 etc and are still used on many Porsches,
VW, Maserati, Ferrari, Holden, Audi, & M-B, however most of those ones today are not 15” SLK size, but 17” / 18”/ 19" / 20" sizes.
http://www.vredestein.com.au/Sitefil...aster_2012.pdf
From eBay advertisements of ones for 944s, they looks like they were the same as SLK ones.
All the used ones I saw on eBay are much more than ten years old. You can often see the date stamp in the picture.

What size do I need ?
Just give your Vin number to the M-B dealer and let them work it out.

How Old Is Too Old ? More than 10 years !
General wisdom from all tyre retailers and the tyre industry seems to settle on this number.
Vredestein website specifically says 10 years for these.
Vredestein Tech Brochure 2015 ENG
See Page 66 “Tyre must be replaced ten years after purchase in all cases….."

Why? well the tyres age with time, even if they are never used or exposed to UV light, or heat.
As they age, their hardness increases. They loose their flexibility.
This is the classic problem seen with old trailers and camper vans.
They sit for years and years (decades?) and when someone goes to tow them interstate
to their new location you can bet that (often multiple) tyre blowouts are a high probability.

With normal road tyre use, we wear them out before they get to 10 years.
For Toy cars that live mostly in the garage, they will often get to 10 years before they are fully worn. It is good policy to replace them.
But if you don’t, and one fails, well you have a spare.
Unless your spare is also quite much too old.

Early R170 spare tyres are now all 11 to 18 years old. Mine is 17.

How can you tell the age?
Every tyre is date stamped,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire#Markings see under 11 Markings, DOT Code, for details
You will find the date stamp usually only on one side. Look after the DOT bit. "DOT WVAD 3908” -This example is week 39, 2008. So October.
Date stamp…...
Post 2000, it is 4 digits WWYY WW = week of the year YY = year
In 1990s date stamp was 3 digits, with a triangle < WWY<
in 1980s date stamp was 3 digits no triangle WWY
My tyre was 258< so June 1998 !


For the R170 tyre, the date code was on the outer rim side, yes the hidden side, so you have to pull the whole lot out to look.
It’ll be in an embossed ring, where they have to change an insert in the tyre mold every week.
There may be other letters. the first four after DOT are manufacturer code.
Whilst you are doing that, look at the age of your road tyres too.

Make sure you buy a fresh tyre !
If you are buying a new collapsible tyre & rim you really do want a NEW one.
So I am going to buy one from UK which should be fresh from Vredestein in EU. I would accept anything less than 6 months old.
Careful that your dealer doesn’t sell you one that has been sitting on the shelf for a few years.

How much is a used one from eBay worth ? about $10
It would make a nice hose reel for your garden hose. How good would two of them look on your wheel barrow ?,
or get four and make a neat billy cart, but useless for your SLK.

So why do I care?
I use the SLK as my main car. I don’t want to get stuck 100 miles from home, late on a Sunday night.
- First off I have the Tire Fix, The can of magic spray.
- If that doesn’t work I want to be sure that the spare tyre will do the job, and not blow out along the way.
Yes the old one might work and it might not. A new tyre WILL work.

Can I reuse my collapsible spare tyre ?
This is not clear. Various users on the forum have complained that the tyre does not easily contract back to a size that fits in the trunk floor.
This says to me that the M-B Design Engineers expected it to be a single use only (maybe).
The owners manual gives instructions how to collapse it replace it in the trunk. So it is not clear.
I expect most owners will not replace the spare after only one, usually short, trip home with it.
The tread has to expand about 20% in length when inflated, which is a pretty impressive trick for a car tyre.
It needs to be very elastic, so durability is likely to be something that suffers to achieve that.
How much age-related tyre hardening is acceptable for a tyre that has to stretch 20% or more to get to full inflation ?

Tyre Pressure when using the spare tyre
Since the tread has to expand so much and it is the air pressure that is making the tyre “grow”,
You need to carefully follow the handbook instructions for tyre pressure when inflating these collapsible tyres.
Otherwise the rolling radius of that wheel could be very different to the other 3, and this will upset ESP and also braking and handling.

Why do I want to replace my spare now?
They are still available. But the dealers I spoke to could not remember every ordering them.
Increasingly many car manufacturers are moving away from having any spare tyre. Customers now accept this. Lower weight gives better Fuel test figures.
Well, they may be very hard to find new in another 10 years if no manufacturers are using them and no customers are buying replacements.
An existing tyre that is 10+ years old might work ok, but do you really want to use it in 10-15 years when it is 25+ years old?
A blow out at speed in heavy traffic could spoil everyone’s day.


Key Points
  • Check your tyre date stamps
  • 10 years is recommended maximum age.
  • Check date stamp on a new replacement tyre/rim before accepting it.
  • If using spare, Inflate accurately to manufacturers advised pressure.
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#5 Old 07-28-2015
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I'd just carry a can of green slime like all the newer cars.

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#6 Old 07-28-2015
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Originally Posted by tcrankwa View Post
I'd just carry a can of green slime like all the newer cars.
The trouble is with the green slime can is once you use it your tyre is fu ..ed !!
So it can be a brand new tyre that can be repairable as in a little punture etc .
But once the green gue is used thats it throw tyre in bin .

You cant beat a spare
As one of my clients found out !
A bosch wiper went through his tyre .

And not matter how thick that goo is it cant repair a hole size of a wiper .

He had to buy a new tyre and wheel in the end .
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#7 Old 07-29-2015
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well you've scared the contents of my wallet out of me

reading the small print in my breakdown cover, reveals the killer line:

"You are responsible for any costs where wheels or tyres need to be supplied because your vehicle is not carrying a legal or serviceable spare wheel or tyre."

So if it all goes pear-shaped, and the mrs calls out the breakdown service to put the wheel on for her, or I do for me, and the chappie says this tyre is garbage, because it's 15 years old, I'm doubly up the swanny.

I've just ordered a new one from MB. Ł226 +VAT. Cheaper than a new tyre AND the cost of recovery, which the provider would no doubt bill me for, as I 'prevented' roadside repair.

When I've swapped them over, I'll inflate the 'old' one and give it the once-over. I'm pretty sure it hasn't ever come out of the boot in 14 years.

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#8 Old 07-29-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrose View Post
Any thoughts on this for my 2003 SLK32?
Tire rack dont sell the tire, MB want over $500 for the rim.....used with 10 year old tire 300-400


Adrian
Make sure that the space saver is a 17 inch rim. if its smaller the brake calipers will hit the rim.
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#9 Old 07-30-2015
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Don't forget the special lug bolts.

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#10 Old 07-31-2015
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Thanks to everyone on this thread.. very informative..

I think we shall be buying a new space-saver too... as ours is now 10 years old..

Better to be safe than sorry....

but, will also keep the oldie for spare, if it is reasonable....
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#11 Old 07-31-2015
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A Formal vote of thanks

from me to Pictor and Adrose. I'm just back from my local dealers, having collected my new compact spare ( just over 6 months old, I'm not making a fuss).
While I had it in the box, I was showing it to the wife and kids, and when explaining how it folded in on itself, and stretched out when inflating, I could feel how soft and pliable the rubber compound was. I could almost pull it into the inflated shape, it was that soft. Skip to 20 mins later, when swapping them over. The original, manufactured in 2000, had never been out of the boot. Not as much as a fingerprint on the rim.While lifting it out, I could feel the rubber was much harder. I tried to 'lever' it out as I had been doing with the new one, and no chance. It was as stiff as a frozen cod.


While chatting with the parts man, he said he'd never ordered one before, but the day after I called, a garage called and ordered one for a customer. They were trying to inflate his original, and had it up to 60psi with NO expansion, at which point they sensibly gave up. especially as the manual says 36 psi,and so does the tyre/wheel itself.


So a well earned " Well done " to the two main protagonists on this thread, and a hearty thanks to everyone else. I'm just off to buy some shares in Vredestein....

Last edited by Elmer Fudd; 07-31-2015 at 01:21 PM. Reason: typing
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#12 Old 07-31-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmer Fudd View Post
I was showing it to the wife and kids, and when explaining how it folded in on itself, and stretched out when inflating, I could feel how soft and pliable the rubber compound was. I could almost pull it into the inflated shape, it was that soft.

So a well earned " Well done " to the two main protagonists on this thread, and a hearty thanks to everyone else. I'm just off to buy some shares in Vredestein....
Just had a look at ours..and using your description as guide.. ours is definately naff.. solid as a rock... made in wk 17 2005.

So Clive is hot on the trail of a new Vredestein....

thanks to everyone.. much better to avoid a disaster if we can...
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#13 Old 08-01-2015
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Well, the deed is done...

Called into the MB dealership today and got a new space-saver on order...
should be received within 3 days.. cost 301 euro incl VAT.... so on a par with UK

In a very polite way.. I asked what age the new space-saver would have... and was assured it would be NEW.. but we shall wait and see the manufacture date when it arrives. .

The MB guy has given us something else to think about.. it seems that some cars have what he called the "bomb" to inflate the tyre.. and these "bombs" do have an expiry date.. (Clive reckons we have the plug-in electric inflator) - I am going to check anyway.....once again, better to be safe than sorry.

Seems these "bombs" are held in stock and only cost around 5 euro...
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#14 Old 08-02-2015
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I had them check the date before

I went along. We have an excellent relationship ( we ought to, the amount I've spent there) and I said I wouldn't be taking any 'new old stock'. They looked it up for me, and I didn't make a fuss at late 2014 date.


If you check on ebay, you will see several 'original' spares for sale. none mention the manufacture date, or even show it clearly in the photos. most from 'professional' car breakers, whom you would hope were aware of tyre issues.
So either they are disingenuous, or genuinely ignorant. Either way accidents or aggro waiting to happen.


BUYER BEWARE if considering a used spare.
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#15 Old 08-02-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmer Fudd View Post
BUYER BEWARE if considering a used spare.
Hi Elmer...
What about an UNUSED spare for sale... when our new one arrives, we will have an unused spare...going spare.....

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#16 Old 08-07-2015
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Well.. what a result... a really brand new Space Saver straight from the Factory.. manufacture date: August 2015 ... so now we have 10 years of unworried motoring ahead of us.

Not sure what we will do with the 10 year old unused Space Saver... in immaculate condition, just a bit solid instead of squishy...

Perhaps Clive will use it for practice, so that he knows what to do in case of emergency on the highway, in the dark, in the wet... (we never have problems in daylight hours )
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#17 Old 08-07-2015
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To Elmer Fudd & Cliveandstella, thankyou so much for the feedback.
It is great that you have been able to confirm that the price is as they quoted me, that dealers are supplying very recently dated parts and new tyres are so clearly more flexible than very old ones.

As for what to do with your old one, that could be a whole new thread,
- Put a thick piece of glass on top for a low coffee table?
- Take tire off and put the garden hose on it, or you air hose in the garage.
- if a standard higher profile tyre can be fitted, and you had two, then maybe those could be used as spare wheels for use with snow chains, as I note M-B advise that most of the R170 rims are not suitable for use with snow chains, not sure if this is a clearance issue or risk of scratching rim.
- ...........
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#18 Old 08-08-2015
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on the contrary, i thank you

This is my first compact spare. I know what to do about old 'standard' tyres, but your and Adrose's thead responses made me realise this is not a 'standard' tyre.


The alloy itself looks and feels like the one I had on my S class. lighter than the standard version, and although that was fitted with a standard full-size tyre, the intended use of it was not meant to be permanent, unlike a steel or 'regular' alloy spare. .It wasn't restricted speed though.


If you could amass enough of these, you could probably use them for winter tyre use ( assuming the beading is standard). However, as Mytyres will supply four top flight winter tyres fitted to suitable aftermarket alloys for under Ł600, and the compact spares are going for varying amounts around the Ł100 on ebay, it might be an expensive, but interesting, idea.
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#19 Old 08-21-2015
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After filling my tank yesterday, I checked my tyres pressures,,,,,..

Now I am guilty of stuffing too much around my spare tyre in all my cars, which is always a pain when checking my spare.
Empty the boot,
empty around the spare ,
take it out ,
check it ,
and reverse the process,
15 minutes later,,,,,,, all done.

But with an inflatable spare I never have to do all that ever again!
How good is that?

After loosing a tyre some time ago in the Outback on a V8 SS Holden ute, I could not get it replaced at any of the towns out there , as it was a special size, like ours, so I had a long drive home with no spare.

My SLK, with a can of goo, an air pump, and a collapsible spare in the boot, effectively, has two spares,
How good is that?
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#20 Old 02-05-2017
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15" or 16" spare ! There is a big difference

Sorry for the long gap reporting back, but I did buy the new Spare wheel in 2015,,,,, and was only mildly annoyed that it was already a year old.

Early Cars (pre facelift and before SLK320/SLK32)
For my SLK230 1998, my old spare was a 15" rim and needed the special shorter wheel studs from the spare tyre kit for installation.
So I was surprised to see the replacement for my car's VIN was now a 16" rim with a different shaped hub and spoke design !
Also it no longer needs to use the "other studs in the toolkit", but uses the standard studs that are on the road wheels.

Later Cars
When I bought my SLK320 2001, just recently, it becomes clear. The SLK320 has larger front Discs needing the larger rim size for the spare.
This newer bigger design is revised to use the standard studs. The 16" rim itself actually has a "170 400 ..." part number embossed on it showing that this is a dedicated R170 rim,
whereas the older 15" rim did not, meaning it was possibly a generic Vredestein rim thus needing the special studs to work.

Spares communised to one size
Mercedes clearly have decided to only supply the 16" spare for all, it would seem.
When I checked the boot of my SLK320, sure enough it had the 16" spare, no studs in the toolkit, and no decal on the boot lid to tell me to be careful to use certain studs.
The rolling radius of the two types will have to be the same, and also the fitment into the spare wheel well is also the same, snug !

This explains the confusion of some of the earlier threads and posts about some people forgetting to use the correct short studs for early cars and others not knowing what everyone else was talking about.

Now for some pictures
The first two are the 15" rim. Note it has 5 skinny spokes and a label showing clearly not to use the long studs. This is also on the trunk lid.

Photos 3,4,5 show the bigger 16" rim with the 10 short spoke design. The "170 400 ..." rim part number, and the warning sticker, advising against using the short studs


Where does the difference in stud length come from?
Both rims seem to have the same offset,
but the 16" rim has a thicker hub and the material thickness at the stud hole is greater.
The 15" rim looks more dished at the hub.
With both rims in front of me , this is clearly seen.


Summary,
1) Looks like stock of spare wheels now supplied is the bigger 16" 10 spoke rim, which should fit all R170s and uses same studs as the road wheels. Easy !

2) Don't let your Spare get older than 10 years (Vredestein recommendation) or it may not work when you need it !

3) Carry a spray can of tyre repair goop too ! Then you've got two spares ! It may get you home &, save you wearing out the expensive spare.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 15inch rim a.JPG (117.8 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 15inch rim b.JPG (105.2 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 16inch rim a.JPG (122.1 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 16 inch rim d.JPG (91.3 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 16inch rim c.JPG (33.2 KB, 69 views)
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