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October 02, 2021

Have you seen that spare tire lately?

Had a flat recently? If not, you may be in for a surprise. Over the past few years, several automakers have removed spare tires from the trunk, although some are still offering a spare as an option -- for 300 or 400 bucks.

Trouble is, since spare tires have been standard equipment for so long, many new car buyers don’t even realize they don’t have one until it's too late. And the jury is out as to whether replacement systems are any better.

For instance, to save weight and space, Acura has replaced the traditional spare tire, jack, and lug wrench with a tire repair kit.

The kit consists of a sealant that can temporarily plug a typical flat tire hole using a battery-operated pump. As the pressure increases inside the tire, the sealant is drawn toward the leak until it forms a plug, after which the pump will continue to fully re-inflate the tire until you can get to a garage for a more permanent repair.

At least that's the theory.

One of the worst things about these kits, says Jim Motavalli, who writes on cars for the Mother Nature Network, is that they can really mess up a tire. The kit may get you out of the emergency, but many tires are more likely junk after the fact, he maintains.

If you have a new or nearly new vehicle, see what’s in the trunk. Some models started swapping spares for tire repair kits in 2006.

If you don’t have a spare, consider buying one, experts suggest. If you use sealant, limit the tire use to 80 kilometres, or the adhesive hardens too much to remove. In any event, tire repair kits should be replaced every five years or after usage.

Have you changed a tire recently? Did the kit hold up? Did the tire last?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money

Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2012/09/21/4280346/aaa-to-motorists-beware-of-missing.html#storylink=cpy



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...