"Limited" use spare rims black 5 stars, really? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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"Limited" use spare rims black 5 stars, really?

I have a nice snow tire on the spare black 5 star rim in my trunk. I have an 01 clk 320 with 20" rims and tires on it now but my stocks are beat and winter is coming quick. I'm wondering if I were to go get 3 more of these spares and put snow tires on them if they would hold up through winter.... Anyone ever try it?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 05:34 PM
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Well, the instructions for using the spare rim state that it is suitable for driving no more than 12,000 miles, but don't spell out any other limitations (top speed, drive extra carefully etc.). From this one can conclude that for 12,000 miles it should serve you perfectly fine. One can also conclude that after 12,000 miles it will most certainly NOT disintegrate immediately. I assume this limitation simply means that it has never been tested how it would hold up over hundreds of thousands of miles of driving. That means that using it occasionally should be safe.

So it is certainly possible to do this, would it make any sense? Of this I have most serious doubts.

First, where would you buy three more spare wheels? Each car only came with one, so you would most likely need to find three different vendors. Are spare wheels on ebay, for instance, cheaper than standard OE wheels? I am not sure. And what about shipping costs for three separate shipments? Of course, perhaps you could find three wrecked W210s in the junkyard, each with a spare wheel still in place. But in any case, even if you succeeded in buying three spare wheels, each of them would still come with an individual history unknown to you. Maybe one of the three would already have seen 10k or more miles of use, coming from a driver who was thinking like you?

So I would follow a much simpler course of action and try to buy a set of FOUR matching original wheels. Given your original idea, you probably don't care much about looks (by the way, if you put spare wheels on, the lug bolts stick out quite a bit, which does not look quite normal), so those could be in poor cosmetic condition and therefore cheap. Then you could take your good snow tire (provided it is not 10+ years old!) off the spare wheel and buy three matching snow tires. Or you simply buy FOUR new snow tires. This should not make a difference, because with an additional set of used OE wheels, you could now SELL your existing spare wheel (incl. tire) and henceforth use one of the regular wheels as a spare wheel.

I strongly suspect the cost for this would not be much higher, but quite possibly lower, than if you realized your plan. And you would have a viable, long-term solution, another set of wheels you could use forever and on which you can keep your snow tires--which probably makes sense in the place where you live given you are considering using them.

Last edited by Simon_E; 10-20-2015 at 05:37 PM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 11:28 AM
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The black alloy spares never made sense to me.
I had one in my wagon, what was normal size wheel/tire and never could figure out where the limitation come from.
So before the tire aged, I bough original matching rim and swap the expensive tire on it for normal use.
I know you can buy those black wheels for next to nothing, so if that is the case, getting them for winter tires might make some sense, but than how much more original wheels will cost you.
Meaning I am with Simon on his suggestion.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah well the thing is that the spare originally had an almost bald tire on it before I replaced it with a snow tire last year for a just in case emergency. I'm guessing this wheel has had a lot of miles put on it by the previous thrifty owner. I can get 3 more of these wheels from the junk yard with tires on them for $50/each which is just the reason I was wondering if it would work for more than the 12k miles posted on the wheels. It seems the one I have has already gone WAY over that with the old tire it had on it but the rim is still straight and true. These spares do feel pretty light but I feel like they could hold up fairly well with the way the one I have seems to have been used at one point. I was just curious if anyone tried to use a full set of them with any success or even a horror story? Mercedes owners will know by looking at it that I put 4 spares on my car but the normal every day driver won't lol. I have all new chrome lug bolts in 2 different lengths with smaller heads so the lugs wouldn't be as unsightly as you might think :-)
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 10:42 AM
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If you are seriously considering using 4 of black wheels, I would write to Stuttgart with question what stands behind limited use of full size mag wheel.
I did emailed them in the past couple of times and had good, although delayed response.
Mine black spare had $150 Michelin on it. Those tires last for 50,000 miles so I wonder if that was a case with your spare.
$50 per wheel if the tires are not older than 6 years sounds like a good deal.
Don't count that 10 years old tires will hold the thread. Been there, done that.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 11:03 AM
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$150k for three spare wheels would be a very low price, so I now understand your reasoning a little better. A bald tire on the spare wheel doesn't necessarily mean that the rim has seen a lot of use. The previous owner could have put one of the used-up (but still newer) tires on the spare wheel when he last replaced the tires on the car. In fact I would deem it rather unlikely that somebody would use this spare wheel for 40-50k miles (or however many miles it would have taken to get the old tire to the condition in which it was). But of course, unless you can still ask the previous owner, you won't know for sure.

Also, I would bet that there exist no "horror stories" about breaking MB spare rims. On the other hand, the German driver's manual (I don't have the English one here at the moment, but it probably says the same thing), also explicitly warns against using the spare wheel permanently. It does not simply call it "spare wheel," but consistently refers to it using the expression "lightweight construction spare wheel." Its "limited service life" is specified there as 20,000km. The manual further states that it can be put to normal use, but at the same time advises you to replace it with a "normal wheel" as soon as possible. And it states that it is illegal (i.e. in Germany) to use the car with more than one "lightweight construction spare wheel." (I am writing this all assuming the rules are the same for the CLK as for the E-class).

Clearly, this is still more than a bit paradox: you obviously can drive your car normally--i.e. fully loaded, in a spirited manner, at a speed of 150 mph--with one "lightweight construction spare wheel" on it for up to 20,000 km, but after that you risk "injury" and an "accident." What is pretty clear, though, is that MB really tries to scare you into not even considering to actually test these limits. In the end, of course, it's your call.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 05:32 AM
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I think the lawyers write the manuals.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 10:04 AM
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Can you weight the spare wheel?
I wonder if the "light weight" description is actual.
Car rims weight 20-25 lb , so even if you shave 5 lb, what is the point?


Last edited by Kajtek1; 10-24-2015 at 10:06 AM.
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