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DTro

2003 Town and Country

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I’ve never seen this before so I thought I’d give anyone who owns one of these a heads up.

The other night I was coming home from work and noticed a co-worker pulled off on the shoulder, so I turned around to see if everything was alright with her.

Well it turns out that she blew out a tire, so I told her I’d change it out for her.

I get the tire off and go to drop the spare. It’s the kind that sits under the vehicle and drops down.

Now I know all about the corrosion issues with these and asked if she ever has had it down before. She says no, so I expect the worse. Well I start turning the bolt and low and behold the tire drops down a couple inches and the cable releases. Good right? Well not really. I crawl under the back and for the life of me cannot get the tire to drop down anymore that a couple of inches. Try and try again, it would not move. Very frustrating. In the meantime another guy stopped to help and he could not get it off either.

We even got the manual out and read through that…….nothing.

So I ended up driving her to a tire shop to buy a new tire so she could get home.

Well today she told me her husband spent all night trying to get the spare off, and it took him jacking up both sides and farting around for a few hours to finally notice a pin up above the tire that you have to pull out, then the tire drops.

From the sounds of it, it's basically a two person job. mad

After seeing this, there is no way we would have ever seen that and what a horrible design. Not only that, but wouldn’t it make sense to reference that in the user manual???? Guess not.

Anyways, just wanted to save someone else from all the trouble.

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Thats a really common issue with those. Basically there is a safety latch that engages when the tire is all the way up that secures the piece that goes through the wheel to prevent the wheel from falling off if the cable decides to break. The pivots in the latch rust up and prevent it from releasing. Typically you can crank the wheel up and down a couple times and it will release. Otherwise you know exactly the tools you need to grab and it takes 30 seconds to get it free.

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Oh, so in other words it's supposed to release automatically?

In that case I'm going to blame it on her for not maintaining it grin

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Yes Sir! Chances are the spare was flat anyways so even if you had got it down you still would have been out of luck

That brings me back to the discussion we had on spare tires a while back. If you notice many of them are mounted with the valve stem in the up position from the factory. My theory on this is you have to lower the spare to check the air which gets everything moving theoretically twice a year. This has to be way better than not moving at all for many years!

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Ya, I always wondered what someone one would do, when the first time they realized where the spare is grin.

Nightmare to monkey with in the nice service isle/drive, let alone alongside a slush filled hwy on a cold winter night crazy.

If anything though, it keeps the entire spare tire mechanism covered and protected for many years of dropping use. Just a pain for lube techs’ to check the tire pressure at every oil change grinwhistle.

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Which Lube techs check spare tire pressure?

Oh yeah I'm sure they all do.

Even as a tech I checked spare tire pressure every time I did a LOF.

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Which Lube techs check spare tire pressure?

Oh yeah I'm sure they all do.

Even as a tech I checked spare tire pressure every time I did a LOF.

Huh, I didnt eek . If the customer requested it, I would. I just dont like digging around peoples trunks, you can find things in there, that people just shouldnt have! Also if you lower the spare tire down, and the ratchet mechanism breaks, and the customer didnt ask you to, guess who will be buying them a new one?

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I was making a little joke about that grin, even though Ford required it to be done per the Ford Miant. check list on a 99p for a 6k (I guess not a 3k though) I think it never gets done.

Plus, I can remember twice where the customer was on trip and just before going they had their vehicle serviced at the dealer I was working at. During their trip, they encountered a flat tire, only to drop it and find out it was flat. Well, they wrote the owner and you know how it trickles down to a “must have” new procedure change. Plus, the tech on the quality care inspection sheet (customer sent a copy of his/hers copy to the owner with the letter wink ) would pencil wipe threw it and check the box that said they check the air pressure in the spare. I think the service department took care of some towing or road side assistance fee’s from out of state because of this.

I see 4.W.E.’s point and from a tech’s and service advisor stand point, approaching a customer during maintenance service visit and telling them they need a new spare tire carrier because while we where lowering it, it broke does suck. But!! When trying to explain stuff like this to an owner or service manger (ones who do not deal directly with the customer) it means we just losted an up sale on a tire carrier and put the customer out on the road with a spare tire carrier they might now work if a flat occurs wink . This can go hand in hand with applying the e-brake during a service visit also grin. Do not let the owner get down wind that you not checking the e-brake. Plus you will hear this:

“That’s lost sales and a potential liability if the customer goes to use it in an emergency situation right after a service visit. Not Us!”

Ah, the dealership or service center game!

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I check them if the valve stem is accessible or if it is requested by the customer.

Quote:
I just dont like digging around peoples trunks, you can find things in there, that people just shouldn't have!

Unless you have been there done that your wildest imagination can't prepare you sometimes! crazy

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I check them if the valve stem is accessible or if it is requested by the customer.

Quote:
I just dont like digging around peoples trunks, you can find things in there, that people just shouldn't have!

Unless you have been there done that your wildest imagination can't prepare you sometimes! crazy

Lets just say, law enforcements should have been called! But the SM said no!

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When I had to dig into a pit of a trunk for something, I could care less what I saw. I was just worried about sharp objects and needles eek, while sifting threw gym shorts and trash sick

I am not Mary Poppens, but I can not live like some people do.

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4wanderingeyes, I hear where you're coming from there!! Shoulda seen some of the stuff I found in them when they came to the salvage yard!! Phred52

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