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Discussion Starter #1
Notwithstanding the apparent problem in the UK with obtaining replacement tires for the 451, the two OEM sizes are both currently in stock in the US, at least at the Tire Rack (http://www.tirerack.com/):

155/60R15 - Continental ContiProContact (Grand Touring All-Season)

175/55R15 - Continental ContiProContact (Grand Touring All-Season)
and,
Continental ContiEcoContactEP (All-Season)

I know that the standard protocol for a flat (smarts carry no spare) is to inject the tire with the provided can of some "goop" or " slime" or something, then inflate it with the 12V tire pump. Well, the pump is OK, but I'm not that taken with the goop. It seems to me to be a bit "hit-or-miss," and I don't know what it would do to tire balance. If the wound allows, I would opt to first to use a plugging kit (a clearing rasp, plugs, insertion tool, plugs and cement). It is usually a permanent and safe fix. Of course, that routine will likely involve an additional jack and lug-bolt wrench, but those are available.
 

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I know that the standard protocol for a flat (smarts carry no spare) is to inject the tire with the provided can of some "goop" or " slime" or something, then inflate it with the 12V tire pump.

...If the wound allows, I would opt to first to use a plugging kit (a clearing rasp, plugs, insertion tool, plugs and cement). It is usually a permanent and safe fix. Of course, that routine will likely involve an additional jack and lug-bolt wrench, but those are available.
Difference seems to be between a temp fix that would get you a few hundred miles with the go-flat stuff, and a permanent repair job. Not sure most of us will be cleaning, plugging and cementing our tires along the roadside. I'll be happy to drive to the nearest Big O to get a flat repair.
 

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.., but I'm not that taken with the goop. It seems to me to be a bit "hit-or-miss," and I don't know what it would do to tire balance.
I have my concerns about this as well. The excess goop in the tire will have a tendency to settle and pool and dry into a lump in the tire, leaving the tire out of balance. If used as a temporary fix, I would have the tire shop break the bead and wipe out the slime before the complete the permanent fix. Fixing from the inside is a better repair anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Difference seems to be between a temp fix that would get you a few hundred miles with the go-flat stuff, and a permanent repair job. Not sure most of us will be cleaning, plugging and cementing our tires along the roadside. I'll be happy to drive to the nearest Big O to get a flat repair.
The plugging operation can be completed roadside in about five minutes once you remove the tire, find the culprit (nail, etc.), and pull it out. Obviously, if the problem is a shoulder puncture or sidewall cut, no goop nor plug will do you any good, nor any Big O repair. And you are not going to be driving to the nearest Big O on that sneaker. But a plugging kit (as little as $5) is a good first shot, even if you ask the AAA (or Penske) guy to do it.
 

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Once the tire is inflated with the goop you need to get driving so it is evenly distributed throughout the tire keeping it in balance. So it says on a can of "Fix-A-Flat". :)
 

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Fact is, you don't necessarily have to take the tire off the car to plug it. Usually, you can slowly roll the car until you see the nail/screw. Then, you can use the weight of the car to hold the tire still to plug it.

Fix-a-flat, in my professional opinion, should be outlawed. It should only be used to inflate a tire in a last resort. The stuff is flammable and a low tire builds up a lot of heat. Not to mention, if you take a hard turn and the tire pops off the rim, a steel rim could spark a fire/explosion.
The stuff is virtually impossible to clean out of a tire which will make a proper, in-tire patch repair unlikely.
 

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Check the can...

Certain brands of Fix-o-flat are flamable as they use propane for the inflation. Others brands specifically say they are not flamable.
 

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I sat waiting for a tire repair once and read a poster in the shop about "fix a flat" stuff and how the repair guy needs to know if there is any in the tire before attempting dismounting...

the caution was because the steel removal tools can cause a spark potentially maiming or killing the repair person... The poster was complete with pictures and not something to see before lunch

That caused me to stop using the crap...

Yes, there are non flammable versions for sale but who reads that fine print in the store?

I ONLY use green slim or other goop in lawn tractor tires...

Years ago in Germany I did a side of the road repair on a motorcycle tire with "fix a flat" my wife brought out to me from home. I nearly wrecked because of the severe imbalance on the front tire when I merged back onto the autobahn... not good and totally unexpected that first time.... got a new front tire that day

I don't think there is any danger of the current brands going "solid" over time...However I know in very cold weather they can take a long time to flow properly and spin balance from the centrifugal force.... well any way on my sons hunting 4wheeler they are bad out of balance for nearly a mile because of this phenomenon

In Europe, and I suppose if we looked here, there is a professionally installed tire sealer that once properly installed is spin spread and then turns semi solid adhesion to the inside of the tire. The stuff remains gooey enough to flow into a puncture and seal fairly large sized wounds.

I don't intend to use any of these methods with mine...

I will watch locally and e-bay for "take offs" for cheap and get a set. Probably take one along for any long distance trips out of my local area.

My giant F350 factory rims are over $450 each and the tires usually in the $200 range... because so many people buy new rims and tires to get away from the factory stuff I usually can find new zero mile "take off" tire and rim assemblies for under $100 each... my current truck with 50K miles still has 3/4 tread on all the tires due to rotation of 8 in the mix...

I already know I want different rims so I may end up with 12. The factory set, a set of take offs, and some day the rim/tire combo I really want. Properly rotated, I should get a very long life span out of them
 

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Many smarties in other parts of the world acquire a front "steelie" with a front tire and keep it behind the seat as a spare. It will work just fine even on the rear axle, but should not be used long term in that position. Have a small tire cover made for it that matches your interior and it will look like it's supposed to be there!
I agree, I don't like the goop!
 

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What about Run-Flat tires?

Heavier and more expensive than standard tires and will offer a much harder ride. The run flats are generally lower profile tires, so you will probably have to move up to 17" rims. I will be looking at mounting run flats on Brabus rims.

I have runflats on my MINI and they have come in very useful twice in the past two years after hitting pot-holes.
 

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Speaking of tire things on the car, this is copied from the CarConfigurator for my order. Does this mean that there is a sensing system for tire pressure?

The tire repair kit is listed separately elsewhere in the Configurator.
Wheels/tyres
9-spokes alloy wheels (15") with front tires: 155/60 R15; rear tires 175/55 R15
Tire pressure control system
 

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Speaking of tire things on the car, this is copied from the CarConfigurator for my order. Does this mean that there is a sensing system for tire pressure?

The tire repair kit is listed separately elsewhere in the Configurator.
Wheels/tyres
9-spokes alloy wheels (15") with front tires: 155/60 R15; rear tires 175/55 R15
Tire pressure control system
Yes, its located on the row of buttons below the radio.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Or pick up the car and take it to the shop?
I haven't been pre-occupied with tire worries, and thinking about it a little, I shouldn't. We have a Penske truck service garage here in the City of Williamsburg, about five miles from me. Right next to it, and I mean RIGHT next to it, is an independant auto repair business. The owner of that business is a Greco-American, who also has an olive oil operation and garage in Greece. He has been very familiar with smarts back in Greece for a long time. And, he is also an approved Tire Rack Installer (he has already done two full sets of Yokos and Dunlops for me). The bacclava is good too. I couldn't have it any better.
 

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I may be showing my ignorance for a guy my age who has lived with cars all his life but I really would like to know. My S-2000 has different tire sizes front to rear and that sure makes it a PITA when the rears wear out first OR the front start to growl due to cupping and not being rotated. So you have to stay with the same brand of tire or buy all 4 even though they may not need to be replaced just yet (fronts or rears independently).
As we all know, the Smart is set up that way too. I imagine the smaller 155's on the front are there to get tire clearance to the wheel well and also to set the ride height properly, right?
My question would be whether the same size tire could be used front and rear and what would that size be? 165 60R 15? OR what.....
I really like to be able to rotate the tires for optimal tire wear and longevity and I know from experience that it can mean as much as twice the mileage out of a set of tires if rotated on a regular basis. (every 6000 miles).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The rolling circumference of the 155/60 and 175/55 should be about the same, in fact a front can be used as a temp spare on the rear (but not the other way around). A big difference is the offset of the wheel - the distance from the wheel's mounting face to the center of the wheel (rim). The OEM 155 front is 29mm, but the OEM 175 rear is only 1mm. Why? - dunno; it may have something to do with the front disc brakes and the rear drums.

I would bet that the larger OEM wheel sets provided for the pulse and Brabbus have those offsets taken into account. You may be taking a chance with third-party wheels.

Way back when radials first came out they used to say that once they were put to rolling in one direction that they couldn't be reversed, and you could only swap front-to-rear on the same side. That is no longer true. So, you can at least swap fronts and rears side-to-side, or reverse them on the rim. All that presumes that the tires are a bi-directional design. High performance tires are often not.
 

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Question then: Since a lot of the weight is over the rear wheels, shouldn't there be a balance of wear? Seeing as the fronts will take the steering wear the back has the engine over it. Thoughts?
 
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