Just thought I'd share some recent experience with my first flat tire and the Ford TripleCare extended service plan. If you'd like a short read: skip to the TripleCare section below. Feel free to share your experience as well!
History - Introducing Cynthia:
We bought our C-Max certified per-owned in December of last year (our first car) and were super excited - we named her Cynthia. Given that we live in Brooklyn, and the roads in NYC are generally pretty sh*ty.... the Ford TripleCare package seemed enticing. Free tire repair and rim replacement / replacement due to road hazard, Windshield repair, and dent repair. In hindsight.. we probably could've done without the windshield (also covered by geico) and dent (people are terrible at parallel parking in NY.. too many dents / scratches / scuffs to worry about)... but the tire replacement is what I was looking forward to most, given that one tire is $200. I figured 4 flat tires would be easy to come by in 5yrs. (we drive very little)
Flat Tire - the mobility kit is "eh":
Fast forward to last weekend, 9 months after driving off the lot, Boom: our first flat tire on our way up to Newport RI. We picked up an insanely large nail on the driver side rear tire. It was nasty and super close to the sidewall. Luckily it was a slow leak and not completely flat. Ford road side assistance was an hour away.. and it was late at night... against my better judgement...I used the "tire mobility kit" and somehow managed to make it to Newport. PS: dont use this thing... its a piece of junk in my opinion. I do like the fact there is a separate air compressor but the goo did not last long. Miraculously I found out later that my tire pressure sensor was not damaged from this stuff... I'm thinking i just got lucky.
My fix - Tire plug kit:
We had a busy schedule for the weekend so taking the car to a dealership was out of the question...AND we had to be back in NYC Sunday night. I opted for a local auto store and bought an $8 tire plug kit and rubber cement. (I was a little skeptical because the package only says for lawnmower / ATV / tractors... but I've come to believe that these things are magical). I jacked up the car, removed the wheel, removed the nail (HUGE) and plugged the hole in about 30min time. I let it dry for about 5min before pumping up the tire - she was holding steady and the warning light on the dash diapered (I should mention that the first thing I did when i bought the car was I purchased a scissor jack and lug wrench to keep in the trunk... I'm still on the look out for a spare tire to throw back there too). We drove around Newport for the weekend and made it back to NYC safe and sound with close to 300miles on the patch. I will admit: I was nervous the entire trip and checked air pressure every time we stopped. In my mind this is a temporary fix.
Ford TripleCare and Service... here we go:
What they don't tell you is you have to call and make a claim prior to going to a dealer or tire shop. The lady on the phone gave me a claim number and mentioned that usually it is a much easier process at the dealer (sure...). At a tire shop I would need to pay for service and then (hopefully) be reimbursed. Fine: I go to the dealer. The dealer was relatively quick to get the car on a jack and inspected.. however it was nearly 2hrs of explaining, waiting, and calling TripleCare until I finally left. Essentially it works like this: the tech needs to inspect the tire for damage and recommend to TripleCare whether or not a patch will work or if a new tire is needed. I begged and begged for a new tire because I dont like the idea of driving around on a patch given the size of the hole and location... but for one reason or another TrippleCare only approved me for a "patch" worth $50. I eventually said fine: I'll take the patch...just fix my tire professionally and I'll be on my marry way. Here is where the story gets weird: The service center inspected my patch (the one i put on) and deemed it perfectly safe and stated that no work needed to be done and that they were not collecting the $50. (UMMM...EXCUSE ME?). I said "no no no.. I want the tire to be taken off the rim and patched & plugged from the inside.. then put back on." The tech says "we don't do that here.. we would do the same thing you did.. and yours is perfectly fine" ...........My mind is blown.......I eventually leave, tail between my legs, and no new tire.
I later find out that the requirements for a full tire replacement is the tire must be "leaking air, have bubbles on the side wall, or have exposed threads." I guess all i can do is wait for my patch to fail... at which point I'll try begging for a new tire once again. I am still hopeful that TripleCare is worth the $$ I paid up front.. but for now it seems an $8 fix will do the trick.
Photos of my fix:
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IMG_8023.JPG 135.98KB 0 downloads
IMG_8026.JPG 92.91KB 0 downloads
IMG_8025.JPG 110.75KB 0 downloads
Edited by CmaxBK, 03 October 2015 - 01:21 PM.