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
Posted by: John | Oct 2, 2021 12:43:44 PM
Can't remember the last time I had a flat while driving. All my cars have spare tires, and I would never consider buying a car without one. I also do my own permanent tire repairs at home.
Posted by: Al-Man | Oct 3, 2021 9:59:15 AM
The first thing any of my family does when they buy a car is to check for a spare. If it comes as an option, they get one as part of the purchase price. And a real spare too. If the vehicle comes with one of those little dounut tires, it gets taken out and used to make carts and wagons to pull behind a garden tractor.
It doesn't surprise me that car companies are taking tires out and making them an option. Anything to improve the bottom line at the expense of the consumer. Tire repair kits are garbage and do wreck your tire. I guess car companies think most people are idiots and will call CAA instead of changing tires themselves. Maybe they don't realize some people live outside of cities in this country.
I say buy a real spare, buy a real wrench, and throw the repair kit out.
Posted by: Grant | Oct 3, 2021 6:13:58 PM
One factor was neglected about new cars, that many come with a device to let you know that you tire is getting low. The manufacture states not to use any of the sealants as the will prevent the device from letting you know of the air pressure. Plus what is the cost to replace this device in a new tire, unknow at this time fore me as have not had to fix a flat on my vehicle. Hopefully somebody has and will let us know the price of this little device.
Posted by: John | Oct 6, 2021 8:07:21 PM
@Grant... I bought a neat little device at Candian TIre called a tire pressure gauge for only a few dollars. It is a long cylindrical device that you stick on that black thingy sticking out of your wheel rim and goes "pssssss" when you press on it. A pokey thingy pops outs and tells you your tire pressure! WOW, isn't that just spiffy! You should buy one! They are really cool!
Posted by: Uh Oh | Oct 8, 2021 8:20:50 PM
@John. ROFLMAO Grant is also probably the kind who doesn't want to get his hands dirty and would call CAA when he gets a flat. Wouldn't want to ruin that manicure of his.
Posted by: Tyre Repair | Oct 28, 2021 9:47:49 AM
A spare tire for me is the partner of your car. a driver should be always ready in times of unexpected flat tire. Although there are new things being improved nowadays such as the repair kit, I still see the need and the importance of an extra tire at your car.