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Has anyone ever had to jack up the van by the roadside?

Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

Messages
99
Location
London
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
I was just wondering if anyone had any experience of this. Had a puncture?
Knowing where the jack is on back of bench, wheel under the van, locking nut on it, different locking nut on the wheels, whenever I think about it I imagine it would be one of the worst days of my life. Particularly if raining.
If I ever drive over glass, I wince.
Oh and I forgot, I had the spare stolen years ago and I bought a replacement on eBay. I hope I got the correct size. But that worries me also!
 
danvan

danvan

VIP Member
Messages
20
Location
London
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
I had to change the wheel on the roadside earlier this year after I punctured a two week old tyre hitting the curb. It was relatively straightforward given I hadn't changed a wheel for about 20 years. Ours seems quite low at the back, so I had to jack it up before I could get the spare out. Putting the punctured tyre back underneath was more than I could take though, so I put it in the boot and let the Kwik Fit mobile fitter deal with that (it took them a while).
 
rod_vw

rod_vw

Messages
606
Location
Shropshire
Vehicle
Motorhome
Yes, I've had to change more than one either on the roadside or managed to limp to a decent carpark. As @danvan says putting the spare back in the carriage is difficult job for the 'not so young' and that includes me.
If you are a serious tourer it's worth trying the process at home or at least on a level smooth hard surface. Wheels stuck to the hub is very common and worth while fixing before the need to do it in a difficult position. There are a number of threads on here about such problems, it's worth searching for 'stuck wheel' but one example is https://vwcaliforniaclub.com/threads/punctured-and-failed-to-remove-wheel.718/
 
Alan Andrews

Alan Andrews

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
698
Location
Staffordshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Yes wheel stuck on the hub is the biggest problem. It can take a lot of clouting to free. Not that easy or safe) when the van is solely up on the vw jack!

I change between summer and winter wheels every year, and smear copper grease on the wheel to hub interface, but it still sticks.

On longer trips I place my 3 tonne hydraulic jack in the back just in case.
 
Ch1pbutty

Ch1pbutty

VIP Member
Messages
969
Location
Burgess Hill
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Yes...but having watched well equipped AA & local garages struggling to get wheels off past T4 & T5, will happily let someone else do it for me.
 
Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

Messages
99
Location
London
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
Thanks for information. My Golf jack just snapped a few years ago. My arm was in the wheel arch when it happened but I managed to get it out. Shook me up though. I can’t imagine whacking a wheel while the Cali was on a jack.
 
rod_vw

rod_vw

Messages
606
Location
Shropshire
Vehicle
Motorhome
If the conditions will allow the easiest way to free stuck wheels is to slacken the wheel bolts slightly and drive the vehicle waggling the steering as you do so. Of course not possible with a flat tyre.
A number of times I have had to do this but luckily I have a loop of roadway about 400 yards long that brings me back to where I started. However I have had instances where I have had to repeat the procedure to free a particularly stubborn wheel!
 
westfalia

westfalia

Top Poster
Messages
3,869
Location
Germany.
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
Once on the side of the motorway and i won't do it
ever again.
Led on your back whilst trucks wizz past your head 2metres away
is not ideal. I had a warning triangle out and high viz vest on praying that
the drivers wizzing by had seen me.

Next time i will be sat behind the Armco barrier waiting for the man.

Only had 1 puncture in the past 2 decades.
 
Meoncoast

Meoncoast

an Ocean by the Sea
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Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
4,260
Location
Moorgreen
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
No never done it. Only one flat used a 12 compressor pump, drove to the local tyre shop If that had been not possible would have call VW assist and put the kettle on while I waited.
 
K

Kernowboy

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
248
Location
Cornwall
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
What do VW assist do if you don’t have a spare, and the gunge doesn’t work? And the local tyre shops are shut? Agree with above, I‘m happy swapping summers for winters on the driveway with a trolley jack but don’t fancy doing it in the dark on the side of the road. Really just trying to work out if it‘s actually worth carrying a spare or not.
 
Neil_L

Neil_L

VIP Member
Messages
12
Location
Surrey
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
I had a puncture (luckily!?) on my drive. But I could not shift the locking wheelnut which soon burred given the cheap supplied tools, poor quality of the nut and probably the fact it had been over tightened at the factory. Had to call out VW assist. They needed an impact wrench to remove it and also a large mallet to knock the wheel off the hub. No way could I have changed the wheel myself. Van 1 year old. Have now replaced all locking wheel nuts with normal bolts. I could remove 2 other locking nuts myself and the last one I had to go to a tyre centre and get them to remove it. Still need to apply copper paste to hubs. Also bought an 18” breaker bar and keep it in the van.

My advice is to check if you can undo the locking wheelnuts before you’re stuck by the roadside.
 
LisaKent

LisaKent

VIP Member
Messages
171
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Make sure you regularly check you actually have a spare wheel still, we found out the hard way when we got a puncture only to find out the spare wheel had been stolen and the thief kindly put the carrier back in place so we were totally unaware!
 
Meoncoast

Meoncoast

an Ocean by the Sea
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Messages
4,260
Location
Moorgreen
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
What do VW assist do if you don’t have a spare, and the gunge doesn’t work? And the local tyre shops are shut? Agree with above, I‘m happy swapping summers for winters on the driveway with a trolley jack but don’t fancy doing it in the dark on the side of the road. Really just trying to work out if it‘s actually worth carrying a spare or not.
I think it is worth carrying a spare personally if it fits in the cage under the van and you have one as I posted early carrying a 12-volt compressor pump has got me out of trouble. Last time I had AA assist out they had a number of loan get you home wheels in the van - whether they fit a transporter I do not know.
 
5i1ver8ack

5i1ver8ack

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
327
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Puncture 1
France. Roadside. Large nail. Unable to remove locking wheelnut. VW Assist called. Unable to remove locking wheelnut. Temporary fix to puncture with wheel in situ. Visit to 4 separate VW garages to get wheelnut removed. Wheel was stuck solid and took considerable force to remove. Nail too close to edge. New tyre.

Puncture 2
Home. Driveway. Slow puncture so drove to tyre place for a replacement tyre. Nail on edge of tyre so repair impossible. Wheel was stuck solid and took considerable force to remove.

Puncture 3
France again. Clipped a curb in a supermarket carpark and ripped a hole in the sidewall. Right next to a tyre place. Wheel was stuck solid and took considerable force to remove. New tyre.

Puncture 4
Campsite. Cornwall. Tent peg stub through tyre. Very soggy ground. Didn't even attempt to get the tyre off. Called VW Assist. He used all manner of boards to get the van off the ground without the jack sinking into the saturated ground. Wheel was stuck solid and took considerable force to remove.

Puncture 5
Slow puncture picked up on the way back from the Lake District recently. Straight to the tyre place. Nail. Wheel was stuck solid and took considerable force to remove.

More punctures in 3 years than in the previous 30!

But an important lesson learnt....

Just call VW Assist.

If you manage to get the van up onto the jack safely (and the standard jack is about as robust as a lump of jelly); and

If you manage to get the locking wheelnut undone (eventually only achieved using a hydraulic gun - which noone had been willing to use) ; and

If you can get the wheel off without using a rubber hammer and considerable other force - involving a lot of strength and getting covered in dirt; and

If you can get the spare wheel (if you've got one) out of the hard-to-access wheel carrier; and

If you've already paid for VW Assist;

Why bother? Just call VW Assist.
 
AndyWT

AndyWT

Messages
140
Location
Italy
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
I taught my son & daughter when they got their first cars how to change their wheels and brake pads.

Don’t mention tyre goop aerosol repair to a tyre fitter if you are of a sensitive nature.

Alloy wheels seized effect all vehicles including trucks due to galvanic corrosion.

Locking wheels nuts are the first thing to throw away and only deter the semi honest, a pro will have a pocket of adapters to fit his battery impact wrench.

Changing a wheel roadside should not be a drama, you have to accept it will happen sometime, usually the tyre is not repairable so move it to a safe local if you can, if you have leveling ramps run the flat up a ramp, the VW jack is OK I have only tried it out of curiosity, have a small double lift bottle jack and a flat wooden block if the ground is soft. A longer wheel brace is useful and/or a battery impact wrench.
 
SimonB

SimonB

Staff member
VIP Member
Messages
1,371
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
I think it is worth carrying a spare personally if it fits in the cage under the van and you have one as I posted early carrying a 12-volt compressor pump has got me out of trouble. Last time I had AA assist out they had a number of loan get you home wheels in the van - whether they fit a transporter I do not know.
VW Assist (The AA in practice), seem to mostly use VW Transporters and I think the RAC do as well which could be useful. When we bought our Cali we also asked for the cradle to be put on for the spare wheel, I think the Club shop sells them but not sure of the cost.
Well worth having a spare wheel, I have a few friends in Californias who have had punctures that could not be repaired by the gunge solution that VW issue you with.
I would also strongly advise that if people intend to use the VW jack they try it out under controlled conditions.
@T6 CFO and I tried it on a flat hard surface and were both quite concerned how badly the jack performed. I then bought a 3 tonne hydraulic jack for the annual change over of winter and summer tyres.
I agree with @Rich20 £155 for two years cover with VW Assist is great value.
Simon
 
B J G

B J G

Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
2,743
Location
Stamford
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Once on the side of the motorway and i won't do it
ever again.
Led on your back whilst trucks wizz past your head 2metres away
is not ideal. I had a warning triangle out and high viz vest on praying that
the drivers wizzing by had seen me.

Next time i will be sat behind the Armco barrier waiting for the man.

Only had 1 puncture in the past 2 decades.
I'm with you there as some years ago on a dual carriageway I limped to a layby and got the car jacked up and an HGV shot past whereby the air impact moved the car resulting in a twisted jack and car jacking point. Total collapse only saved by me desperately clinging to the car.
 
campandfly

campandfly

.....
VIP Member
Messages
694
Location
Sunny Cornwall
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
1. Get rid of locking wheel nuts.
2. Call AA, RAC, VW assist or other for efficiency and ease and more importantly for your own safety.
3. The supplied jack should not be relied upon. You may get away with it numerous times but your luck will run out.
4. Loosening wheel nuts and rolling vehicle a little can help to release the wheel.
5. Carry 12v pump it can help you limp to garage, home or somewhere safe eg. not at the side of busy road if its a slow puncture.
6. I have a tin of that temporary tyre repair foam. Have had success with other vehicles with this not needed on the Cali as yet.
7. Check spare tyre regularly to make sure its in good condition and not been pinched.

The list could go on and on but the priority is think ' SAFETY'
 
alstevens

alstevens

VIP Member
Messages
182
Location
cornwall
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
As most of the above...took the RAC guy an hour overall to unstick and replace....then let the tyre depot put the spare with new tyre back in the rack. Got quite worried at the size of the mallet and the amount of whacking .. can't do the steering much good ....
 

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