What? No spare!

Spare Tire

That’s right folks; many car companies are building cars without spare tires stating the spare tires are causing issues with weight, cost, and fuel efficiency.  There are plenty of car companies to blame, it’s not just one, but the reality is if you don’t have a spare tire, or even a respectable donut in the back you are going to wait a long time to get a blown tire taken care of and the cost of getting a new tire or getting the car taken to the repair shop will be more than if you simply had a spare to start with.

Take a look at our national landscape.  Do you see areas of the country where it might be a real problem to not have a spare tire?  These areas such as the desert of the West, the Mountains of the East and West-Central area, the Northern Plains and many other areas can be far from any service or any help.  This can actually be detrimental to the health of a driver if the person driving the car was elderly or in poor health as they might have to wait for hours on end to get a tire fixed or have a tow truck take them to the nearest service station.

Automakers are putting in a small air pump and a can of what amounts to the same stuff as Fix-A-Flat which actually is ok for most flat.  Most flats are easy to fix small punctures that will seal up fine with this substance, but when you have a full blow out or a hole in the sidewall this system will not do much at all for you.  In this case you do need a spare tire to put on your car and when the chance is you will be in the middle of nowhere you need to have a full size spare, not just a donut that can’t drive at the right speeds or make it where you need to go.

If we look at it from the side of the automakers we might understand that savings, but the reality is this is a cheap measure to save some weight and money.  The items needed to have a spare in the car would cost an automaker approximately $100 per vehicle and would add about 50 pounds of weight.  This does give them an accounting and an engineering problem, but the reality is cars had spare tires in them for many years and engineers and accountants figured this out without passing on the problems to the consumers, so why now?

You can see this lack of spare tires in makes from a wide variety of brands including Acura, Audi, Buick, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Infiniti, Kia, Land Rover, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Scion, Smart, Toyota and Volvo.  The expectation is that more and more automakers are going to take out the spares and make this either an option to choose, which they could charge you as much as $500 for something that cost them $100, or they will continue to forego the spares altogether.

What should you do about not having a spare?  The first thing you should do is make a full inspection of a vehicle before you every make a purchase and makes sure the car has all the necessary items you desire.  If it does not come with a spare tire and tools you need to ask about having it included, possibly at no cost.  If this is not an option then you need to rethink your car budget to add the cost of the right tools and a full size spare to your overall car costs, this will be a miniscule price to pay compared to having to get a tow truck to get you, waiting for hours on the side of the road and then having to purchase the new tire anyway.

 

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