My fiancée and I were just leaving home in the CTS-V Coupe, off to see some friends, when a large pothole on an onramp blew out the front passenger side tire. Immediately after hitting the pothole I realized the tire blew out and pulled over. At this point I didn’t realize how bad a situation this really was going to become.
Upon examining the tire, I could see the hole was the size of my pinky, and was clearly on the sidewall. The CTS-V Coupe doesn’t have a spare tire, rather it has an emergency inflator and a tire sealant kit. While I naturally assumed this would do nothing, I still hooked it up to the tire and shot the sealant inside. As soon as the air flowed into the tire, the sealant flew out of the hole. I clearly wasn’t going anywhere.
The tow truck arrived and it (thankfully) was a flatbed. I stated over the phone this was a high-performance luxury car with little ground clearance. A flatbed would be necessary. After the driver gawked at the svelte coupe sitting before him, he instructed me to pull it forward. I could instantly sense he didn’t understand how low the front end was. I asked my fiancée to “assist” him in watching the front end to ensure it was not going to bottom out. The two plastic pieces on either side of the front clip are held in with some clips. If you hit a driveway incorrectly (or too fast) you’ll rip them right out.
I could see how this situation might end poorly. As I crept forward I watched my fiancée’s face and could instantly tell this wasn’t going to work. I stopped the car and got out as it was within an inch of the flatbed. The driver continued to assure me it was going to clear. I looked at it for two seconds and assured him it was not going to happen. I asked him if he had some wood planks to which he started grumbling about how this Cadillac was stupid and expensive.
After he found the wooden planks (which were more like two foot wooden two-by-fours) between the two front tires and the flat bed, he instructed me to continue forward. Already seeing how much he cared about the safety of this car so far, I made sure my fiancée was paying close attention. Ignoring the driver and watching my fiancée I slowly made my way onto the truck. The front end cleared, if just barely.
Once I was on the flat bed, the driver said I would need to pull forward another two feet so he could lower it back down. I was sitting in the CTS-V Coupe at what seemed like a steep angle with my foot firmly planted on the brake and clutch. It was clear that if the car moved backwards at all I might damage the exhaust by hitting the ground, to which the driver didn’t seem concerned at all. At this point I became slightly nervous. I clearly had no choice and needed this car to move forward without moving backwards at all. In one swift movement I moved my foot from the brake to the gas, releasing the clutch and then instantly back to the brake and clutch again. That swift movement might’ve been a bit fast, as the power of the LSA quickly left two sticky black tire marks on the already happy tow truck drivers flatbed. He got his two feet.
We lowered the flat bed onto the truck and hopped into the cab with the tow truck driver. The conversation during the drive to the dealership mainly consisted of the tow truck driver explaining how this high performance Cadillac was clearly stupid and over priced because of the situation. Right.
Upon arriving at the dealership I knew taking the car off the truck was going to be as much fun as it was getting it on the truck. I was clearly psychic. I noted that during the ride to the dealership the front passenger tire had lost all the remaining air and was now completely flat. This meant if I rolled off the truck I would be rolling directly on the rim. I asked if the driver had any air on the truck. After giving me a puzzled look as to why I would ask such a thing he said yes.
I hopped in the car and the driver took the flatbed up. Once I was at the proper angle he told me to slowly back off. I first reminded him that we need the “wooden planks” ready for the front wheels. I then asked if he would put air into the front passenger tire. He gave me this look like, are you a moron? I explained that if he filled it up the truck would put air in faster than it would come out. Once he had it full I could roll back a foot or two before it would be completely flat. This would prevent me from rolling directly on the rim and possibly damaging what has to be an expensive wheel. The concept clearly clicked in his head and he filled the tire. What little sealant was left start shooting out of the hole. He quickly looked up and said good to go. I back up two feet and it was quickly deflated. He repeated the process three times. After I had backed the car off to the front wheels my fiancée placed the wood behind the front tires. The driver filled the tire one last time and I quickly backed off the truck. Soon as the front end cleared the truck bed (barely) the front tire deflated. That was it. The nightmare was over.
Of course, since I only had a week scheduled with the CTS-V Coupe and this was a Wednesday I was somewhat devastated at the situation. As I will mention in my review, this CTS-V Coupe was still wearing snow tires. Unfortunately no one in town seemed to have the tire I needed. My fleet manager worked closely with the dealership and a new tire was overnighted from Tire Rack. The dealership mounted the tire and balanced the wheel. Friday morning around 11 AM a shuttle from the dealership arrived at my house to take me to the car. The staff was friendly and they had me on my way quickly.
So what were some of the takeaways of this nightmare? Well for starters the sinister looking front end of the CTS-V Coupe is low to the ground. While we aren’t talking Corvette low, it poses a challenge when it comes to towing, even with a flatbed truck. Make sure you have some wooden planks when loading the CTS-V onto a tow truck, as without them you are likely going to damage the front end. Also, you do not have a spare tire. If you have a flat the sealant and air pump might get you back on the road. If you have a blowout, be ready for some roadside assistance. Last but not least, the stiff sidewall and low profile on the recommended snow tires for the CTS-V do not like potholes.
While your experience may vary, the above was my colorful CTS-V Coupe towing experience. Needless to say, we never made it out to our friends house that night.