Well I've just got back from a few days in Lincolnshire with the wife and kids and a first outing for the Vectra bus. All was going fantastically well the huge boot easily swallowed everything including the kitchen sink the two kids were entertained all the way with the roof mounted DVD The wife was unstressed and comfy with the kids being so chilled out and happy. I managed 33.4 mpg then I lost the will to live and floored it. You can cruise at any (ahem legal) speed in complete comfort nice and quiet etc.
We arrived at our holiday cottage and unpacked and had a fantastic week touring the local places of interest. The sat nav got us everywhere no problems and even sent us on detours to miss standing traffic etc. All in all apart from it being hard to find super unleaded and the local rozzers love of speed cameras we had a fantastic time and the car performed without fault.
Then on Friday at about 16:30ish on the way back from our last trip out I thought the car seemed to have a little more road noise then usual and then I noticed the steering wheel was oh so very slightly off to the right. I moved the mirrors down to see if the tyres looked flat which they didn't and I rocked the steering side to side with no noticeable difference to handling. But I just knew something was different so I pulled over and had a quick look about and could find nothing then I put my hands on the tyres and 'bingo' the drivers rear was very warm.
So I dug out the little compressor and tub'o'gunk I tried the compressor first but nothing so with two very young kids and a slightly agitated wife I opened the tub'o'gunk and watched with a tinge of regret as it 'spunked' all over the road in a split second! Arse!
So here I am about 17:00 on the Friday before bank holiday weekend stuck about 300 miles from home with two hungry kids and a agitated wife in the car. I have to get them back to the cottage, fed, watered, bathed, and then pack up ready for eviction at 10am the following morning...nice...
So I Break out the 'Vauxhall assist' card and give them a ring tell them what happened play the "Small baby on board" card and wait. Ten minutes later they ring back saying a tyre fitter is on his way to replace the tyre. 50 mins later an AA flatbed turns up...
The driver was second to none he loaded us up during his 45minute rest break and helped me load up kiddie seats and family. Basically within three and a half hours I was back at the cottage with the car unloaded. A job number and a phone number and a managers name. I rang him and told him new tyre in the morning or a 250 mile recovery home. So first thing in the morning a women rang from the AA sorted me a tyre place a AA van turned up whipped the wheel off took me there and back and refitted it and I was on my way. Relatively painless and there service was second to none which was nice!
BUT and it's a big but, I learned some important things. First of all every single AA staff member and everyone at the tyre shop said the same. The gunk in a bottle NEVER works and it ALWAYS funks the tyre so rather then a £10 fix its a scrap tyre and £235 for a new one (when your stuck you just pay!)
So my question is what do all you guys do for a spare? I need and 18" wheel to cover the brakes on the VXR. I'm tempted to buy another with a trolley jack etc just to be safe but a space saver would be easier for boot space. Please post your opinions and stories etc and sorry for the very long story!!