Audi A1: Tyre troubles

  • We encounter the first big problem in the A1
  • Bad puncture on the Audi with no spare in sight
  • How will Audi Assist fare and how much will it cost?

So, everything had been going incredibly well with the Audi A1. It’d caused me no problems whatsoever.

This, however, was all about to change. As I was driving home and overtaking people on the A1, every time I pulled back across lanes the sound and vibration of the cat’s eyes was incredibly bad. Now, the 18-inch wheels aren’t the quietest or most comfortable anyway, but this felt worse than normal. At this point I thought it was probably a good idea to pull in a garage and see if I had any problems.

After stopping at the BP garage at Baldock, I checked the front passenger wheel and there it was - a punctured tyre. Having had the car for four months I was pretty certain there wasn’t a spare in the boot but I had a rummage anyway. The only help I had was in the form of a compressor and the sealing foam.

First I tried the compressor to see how bad the puncture was. After inflating the tyre it was soon down again within a couple of minutes. I checked the instructions for the foam, but even with this you can only drive at 50mph and need to get the wheel changed as soon as possible. Needing to be at Heathrow the next day for 6am, I decided the best thing to do was call Audi Roadside Assist.

This breakdown service is actually provided by RAC. After phoning I was told that someone would be out to me and that I would get a call back to say how long it would be. The recovery van was fairly prompt and I was waiting around 40 minutes at the most – although the usual ping-pong of phone calls and waiting took about the same length of time.

Unfortunately, after having my tyre checked by the RAC, I was told the side wall was damaged and I would have to get a flatbed truck to take me back to work to swap cars. Again I was kept informed all the time at when the truck would be with me and, although it took the best part of two hours, it was reassuring to actually know this. I eventually got picked up and taken back to our Peterborough offices, a mere four and a half hours after I had set off.

The next thing to do was get the tyre sorted. However, as I was off gallivanting in Munich I left the problem in the capable of hands of my colleague Lewis. The first thing was to call our local dealership, which was very polite and well organised. With no remote tyre fitters on offer, Lewis was told that they would look to see if they had the correct tyre available. He was then told to call Audi Assist again about getting the car taken to the dealership.

The dealership called back saying a tyre would need to be ordered  and would likely take two working days to arrive. However, the big issue was the price. It was going to cost £209.88 for the new tyre – it’s a good job it was only one. Within an hour, much to everyone’s surprise, the dealership said that a tyre had actually arrived. Audi Assist said that as the dealership was so close it would be easier to take just the tyre and swap it over. It was all very quick and effortless and the Audi soon had four fully inflated wheels again.

So after all this what did we learn? Well, Audi assist are polite and offer excellent customers service as does the dealership. Opting for a car with 18-inch alloys, however, is going to cost you A LOT of money when it comes to replacing tyres.

Current mileage: 5,847 miles

Average mpg: 33.4mpg