Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Donut for a Chevy Spark?

We are planning a road trip in a few weeks and I recently discovered that our 2013 Chevy Spark has no spare. I even more recently discovered that the dealer wants $500 for a “spare kit.”
Is there a cheaper way to get some peace of mind? I read something about using a Aveo donut, of which there are lots available for under $100, but want to be sure that this is a good, safe option.
Thanks for any insight!

get the donut. it is only 100 bucks. if you don’t want to that’s cool too…, most people don’t drive thru death valley, so they are ok with sitting on the side of a road, waiting for a tow. usually it is not a life or death situation.

Yeah, get the donut, and test-mount it to make sure it’s the right fit.

Your current rims are 7" deep and 15" diameter. There are 4 bolts in a 100-mm diameter circle. The center bore is 56.6-mm diameter. The studs are 12-mm x 1.5-mm thread. You need to measure the Aveo rim to make sure it is 7x15. Measure the distance from the center of two opposing bolt holes to make sure the distance is 100-mm. Last, make sure the bolt holes are large enough that a 12-mm stud can fit thorough them. One measurement is enough.

Jesus they dont even give a spare these days? I have heard of some cars coming with basically a can of fix a flat essentially. How long thats supposed to last and how fast you can go is beyond me. If youre really pinching pennies get a couple cans of fix a flat and one of those air pumps that run off the cars cigarette lighter. Granted, the severity of your flat may render the fix a flat option useless. Make sure you buy a cheap jack too if you buy a spare!!! Sounds like it doesnt have that, or a socket/T-bar to take the lug nuts off with.

Another option (what I would do), buy a cheap wheel that fits your specs (bolt pattern/spacing, back spacing, correct rim size etc) and get yourself a used tire. Used tires are a great value and everyone thinks theyre taboo. Theyre taken off in very good condition sometimes and will cost you 20-50 bucks. Get that mounted and balanced on your extra rim, put that in the trunk and get a t-bar that has your lug nut size and a cheap 30 dollar jack. This way you can swap it out if you get a flat, and do the speed limit, and youd be fine for thousands of miles really - more than enough to complete the drive or at the very least get to the nearest tire place to buy new if you wanted.

yeah I keep a 2 ton floor jack (30 bucks) and a fourway lug wrench in all my vehicles. much faster and safer than the jacks and wrenchs that come with cars.

If you put a full-size spare and jack in a Spark, there will be be no room for luggage…A road trip in a Spark? Ouch…The Donut solution might work but if you need to use it be sure to put it on the back…Fix-a-flat is usually useless to inflate a tire that failed at highway speed. There is nothing left to inflate…The fact is, your chances of needing a spare tire on a interstate trip are very remote…That’s why the Spark has no spare…

Why not stop by your local junk yard and ask if they can line you up with one.

My wife bought a used van and it had no spare , wrench or jack. The local yard fixed me up with the whole works for $35.


I would never go cross country with out a spare

If your tires have little wear-and with a 2013 I’d suspect they are fine- and if you have emergency roadside service- AAA or your insurance company- I’d just go. Flats are so rare these days I’d go. A road trip in a Spark sounds like not so much fun to me but I did them in way worse cars in my youth.

Make sure it will bolt onto the hub ok. Even if the bolt pattern matches, that’s no guarantee. The studs are shaped to match the hole in the wheel so it self centers correctly as you tighten it down. The shape of the studs may not match the shape of the hole in the wheel, which could cause you no end of grief. Someone here had that problem a while ago when he tried to use a wheel not spec’d for his car. As I recall the wheel ended up damaging the studs, and the studs had to be replaced.

The need for a spare may be remote on the interstate but it does happen. We were heading from Ohio to lower Illinois before back to Minnesota and my TPMS went off. I was losing air like crazy and ten miles yet from Springfield about 5:00. I managed to find a place with air to add enough and made it to a Walmart that was still open. Otherwise I would have been out of luck and probably wrecked the tire in the process. Someone dropped a 2 1/2" screw on the road and I found it.

Bing…I was wondering where I lost my screw!!!

I had a friend come to my shop last week with the problem that GSJ discribed. He found some tire on wheels that were much better than he had on and he thought that the wheels fit fine, except that he had to pound them on. THe result…too small a stud hole and he messed up the threads on every stud. Not real bad, but I had to run a die down every one of the studs.


Donut for a Chevy Spark? Seems like a fair trade to me. Sorry. I just couldn’t resist.

Somebody mentioned Slime, or equivalent. If I had a choice, I’d prefer a “rope plug” to that: while both are considered “temporary” repairs, plugs are good enough that many people (like me) use 'em as permanent fixes. Also, nobody has to clean the gooey mess up off the rim afterwards.

Bring a rope plug kit and a cigarette-lighter pump (or a bicycle pump if you want “cut” triceps and forearms :wink: