Discussion in 'Team Fiat Meets' started by Dieselhead, Jun 23, 2011.
Tfi members orissa,please do drop in your details.
this is for information sake
Linea 1.3 MJD E
Fiat’s exceptional car and service (RSA) – A tire blowout at 2.30am on a Sunday and back on the road in less than an hour, a clean survival without any major incident.
Note to Mods – Feel free to put this thread at the right location if this is not the best place. Also you may entirely delete the thread if it seems to promote over speeding. The purpose in all honesty is to write an experience which may help others make an informed decision in case they face a similar incident rather than panic and get into serious trouble.
This is going to be like a little story so spare some time to go through it. Thanks in advance! An apology for any mistakes since this is my first write up. I have to start an ownership thread yet.
Here is the background. This is just the next weekend that we had the amazing Fiat Factory meet. I have weekends off (thanks to a job in the IT industry) and hence was relaxing the whole day with a Mumbai trip at the back of my mind. Being from Pune, Mumbai visits are a regular feature in my life, whether its friends, relatives, work (some time back) etc. A wedding reception in Navi Mumbai was the reason for this particular trip. Like all of us, I love my cars and keep them in good shape so whether its a city run or a highway run, they are ready.
Evening and I was all ready (a little late than I should have been) and left home. My mother was really unhappy with a lonely drive to Mumbai and especially the late night return trip. Checked the tire pressures as it was going to be a highway run (cold tire pressures since the place is less than 500mts from my home and the car was in the parking all day). 32psi everywhere was filled whereas usually its 2 to 4psi pressure less than recommended for highway runs. Being a very heavy footed driver lower than recommended cold pressures are a habit; faster speeds generate enough heat to compensate the lower pressure is my thought behind it all. This time being in a hurry and on the phone, I forgot to tell the tire shop guy to keep lower than recommended pressures. I was at peace since the tires never had a puncture and around 20 to 25k life left.
So less than a couple of hours after checking tire pressures I am at the reception. There is catching up with my buddy, his wife and their families. Oh, I don’t want to miss mentioning the great food and deserts. Some really quality time is spent and I am leaving. My friend and his family want me to stay back, but I insist on leaving as I have to take my parents to another wedding on Sunday morning. The thought is of getting home quickly and catching some sleep before the next trip. I take leave from Airoli and the expressway starts off in around 15 mins (past 1am huge concrete roads were empty and the car was going fast). Less than an hour later, the slow traffic before the Amrutanjan Bridge was appalling, sad design mistake by the extremely intelligent people who designed the expressway makes me curse them every single time I pass from there (sometimes its irritating even on a bike). After clearing that patch, I decide to make a run for home since its quite late and I would have really loved to have some decent sleep before the next journey due early morning. Most vehicles seemed stationary at the extreme speed the car was doing and I turned off the music system to focus completely on the driving.
There was a muffled noise similar to a silenced side arm which we get to hear on TV. Before I could comprehend, there was a noise similar to that of a bad retreaded tire slapping itself; just that it was slapping way faster and making a whirring sound. I realized that something was wrong and held the steering tight with no panicky changes in acceleration and / or braking, clutch was left alone. In this one second or so, the car suddenly tried to swerve to the left and got a lightning quick steering correction before it moved even a single foot laterally. Once stable, I let go off the accelerator and hit the hazards button on the center of the dash on a completely empty road. Holding it in the third lane, the vibrations from the rear left were increasing as if only one wheel was having a cobble stoned road to pass over and taking a mad abuse due to the very high speed. Once close to 100kmph I moved into the center lane since now the car was going straight but with vibrations at their maximum. Further reduction of speed and the vibrations started to die down. Once below 60 kmph I moved to the left lane and the car was behaving much better, almost normal. Very gently it was further slowed down and halted on the road shoulder.
Time – 2.30am Temperature outside was 16 degrees. Thankfully I had worn a completely formal suit. I got down to see the damage and was taken aback with the sight. The tire was completely cut off and was just hanging on the rim. There was smoke coming out from the wheel well due to the extremely hot rubber and / or rim. I did not dare to touch either with bare hands. Opened the boot and the first thing was to take the reflective triangle to set it around 50feet on the shoulder behind my vehicle. This was probably the smartest thing to do since I saw many cars swerving into the left lane from the shoulder and coming very close to the triangle. After getting the tool kit, the nuts just were not budging, so I decided to call RSA. I have driven quite a lot till date, this being our third car, I am very much used to the basic things to be done when we want to try and change a tire. Oh! Staying calm in situations that are out of control is another lesson I have learnt over time.
Time – 2.37am First call made to Fiat RSA. Probably tire blow outs (and owners + drivers facing them calling the RSA) are rare and hence the person thought I was talking about a puncture. After trying to explain it to him, I had to ask him to stop talking (or rather counter questioning) and in simple words told him the state. Now he grasped the situation and said he will send someone. The second problem was the address. I could only tell that the location was between Lonavla and Pune which is a 50 km stretch on the Mumbai Pune expressway. So the closest word on Google maps (after checking ”My Location”) on my Android Phone was given as the basis to search for my car. Then I just got in the car, rolled up the windows, made a call back home to inform that “I will be late”, put on music, reclined the seat and relaxed since there was nothing that I could really do.
Time – 3.11am Tried calling RSA to check if there was any update. What was surprising was that the toll free line was busy 4 times in a row; it was past 3am on a Sunday, I wondered who was calling them so much. At 3.15am I received a call from a Mumbai landline claiming that they have already dispatched a person and this gentleman also gave me details like the name and the cell no of the person coming to help me. I thought of taking another nap, since if it took almost 40mins to confirm that they had dispatched someone, he was probably going to take 2 hours to come to me and I would be back on the road by 6am. I had not even closed my eyes and gotten cozy when a recovery vehicle turned up. This guy was damn professional and quick. Things were already in place for him anyways.
The car was jacked up, the spare tire was out and so was the tool kit (yes, I was resting in a jacked up car). I could not believe my lost presence of mind. The nuts did not budge for him too. He simply got the car down, killed the engine, put it in gear, pulled the hand brake real hard and danced on the lug wrench with an uncomfortable 2mm smile. All lug nuts gave away as he danced to glory on the lug wrench. In the meanwhile, the IRB rescue vehicle joined us. I recovered the reflective triangle since this vehicle had a red signal look alike multiple led light on its rear which was turned on. I barely spoke to them for a minute by when we were almost good to go. They had just attended an i20 blowout where the car toppled and had to be picked up with a crane and put on a flat bed. All the occupants went in ambulances (they din’t mention dead or alive). The IRB guys were highly surprised nothing untoward happened to me. Took a snap and posted it on FB. By this time the recovery guy had put everything in place including the tool kit and mumbled to me about rear tire blow outs having a better survival rate. He requested my consent of “All OK” and simply left.
This is the snap I posted on Facebook.
This is what was left on the alloy, got new Yokos the next day, surprisingly the alloy was saved and I am very much using it on the car currently.
I got in the car, noticed the time on hitting the road which was just 3.30am. It was unbelievable that I was on the road so fast, when my address given was a 50 km stretch of road. A barrage of calls started by now, right from those people having a late night Saturday party to those who were concerned in other geographic zones.
This is written so that people may realize a blow out if they ever encounter one. Note that braking is the prime reason most cars lose control, spin and have an accident. Checking out videos on the internet will let you know that accelerating is your best friend in case of a blow out. This entire post should help you to at the least avoid panic braking by realizing a blow out (if it ever happens to any one) and improve the possibility of surviving an accident. Here is a nice video from youtube - How to Handle a Tire Blowout in Your RV - YouTube
Take aways from this experience – Fiat makes great cars and RSA does work pretty well. Lonely late night rides should have some food and water supplies. A flashlight will also be helpful. Let people know of arrival time and if there is any change of plan. Always keep family and close people in the loop of information. I had a backup friend who was ready with a car to come down the moment I felt the situation was just too bad to sort at that hour.
Requesting readers not to ask the speeds while travelling or when the tire blowout happened, as I would not like to promote over speeding. Regards.
P.S. – This is very important, how could I forget to mention this? All this service was absolutely free, including the call made to RSA which is a toll free number. Not even 1 paisa was spent. I was absolutely not pestered with any unwanted questions or documentations, probably they checked the warranty and other records just from the vehicle no (no idea about this, but that’s the only detail that the RSA asked me for and hence their only source).
Glad you made it safe with a blow out at the speed you were doing and kudos to FIAT RSA :clap
Couldn't help noticing one small error though. Always loosen the lug nuts a quarter turn, before jacking the car up. Never ever try to loosen the fully tight lug nut, after jacking the car up.
Thanks for sharing and happy to hear that all is well.
thank god u r saved.unbelievable,tyre's blown in to two pieces.narrow escape man
Looks like shoulder or edge of the tires were more worn out than other places, can this be due to having less than recommended cold air pressure?
Gud to hear that you have a safe landing and all things went well
Now start off with the Ownership thread......
Good that you are safe and well. Sorry about the blow out.
Kudos to RSA and FIAT for their service :clap
So filling up more AIR was the reason to blow out? I didnt see any reference towards bald tyre in your post :confused
Man, had never seen tyre rip off to such an extent :shocked Glad that nothing fatal happened. Good work Fiat RSA. Hope you have checked the alloy thoroughly for any bends / damages.
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