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No more spare tire, is bad

Yahoo :In the United States there are seven tire punctures every second, totaling 220 million flat tires each year

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There is a new impetus to eliminate spare tires, thus a flat equals a tow. Bad in my book, how do you feel?

Well, not necessarily a tow. Some flats can be fixed at least temporarily with a tire sealer. That came with the Cobalt instead of a spare tire, although a spare was available as an option. If you carry a tire pump with you or one is built into the car, you can often continue your journey. We have roadside assistance insurance so it’s not as big a deal as it used to be.

I notice the given reason in the article is to lighten the load and improve fuel economy. I don’t feel it’s any more than a cost issue if the car still provides the space and mounting area and hardware for the buyer to install his own. I can see some makers making it part of some $1200 package for a gullible buyer. It’s really stupid IMO for companies to say, “most people have cell phones and can call for help” when the real issue is breaking down because of a flat in an unsafe area then introducing more vehicles to help. Give us the option ! Guess what, some people actually don’t have cell phones, and they may be in the Eco car class…

If it gets to a point where, like the awd Sienna, no mounting area is provided and the only recourse is to “through one in” , adding a heavy accident producing projectile, then this socialist, along with other anti capitalist pinko commi citizens, may feel it necessary to support legislation mandating them in cars. Bring in the Feds ! So we can what; also mandate that everyone carry a cell phone?

I’m in the “better to have one and not need it then need one and not have it” corner and I’m putting the Eco on my not recommended list if anyone has the poor judgement to ask me.

I think there’s two schools of thought, and both are just as valid. The first is Dagosa’s. The second is “everyone has a cell phone now. If you have a flat, you can summon help. You don’t carry spare batteries or alternators or radiator hoses. Why carry a spare tire?”

Regarding the statistic cited in OP, that statistic was provided on a user-edited answer site by “ID1072286662,” who both asked and answered that question, and who has no other posting activity except for a rephrased version of the same question, which he also answered. The data is therefore inherently suspect. I would frankly be surprised if it was that high, as statistically that’s nearly a flat tire per person per year once you eliminate children and elderly-who-no-longer-drive.

I don’t remember the last time any friends or family had a flat tire. The last time I had a flat tire was in high school, and even that was only caused because some jackass slashed a bunch of tires in the parking lot that day. Technically, that spare tire IS just excess weight, because I never use it.

I have a cell phone and an AAA membership. However, I would not be caught dead without a spare tire. There are many mountain areas where a cell phone does not function (out of reach), and using a tire sealer makes fixing that flat a real chore.

I also carry a small tire pump, operated from the cigarette lighter socket, in case of a very small leak, so I don’t have to change the tire at an inconvenient location, such as a backroad with no shoulders.

The compact spare is a good compromise.

Since 1988, we have had 4 flat tires that required changing the tire, and 2 very slow leaks that were the result of a bad seal between tire and rim. So that’s 6 tire problems for 2 cars in 33 years. Not much, but still significant enough to warrant a spare.

Include Me In The “better to have one and not need it th[a]n need one and not have it” Corner, Too.

I will not purchase a car with no spare tire designed into it unless we reach a point where nothing else is available. This insane push to make everything “green” at the expense of safety is nuts. As Dagosa implies, this “feature” may be just be an attempt at a cost saving measure disguised as being beneficial.


Very much against this. In fact am looking at a RAV4 as a replacement car precisely because it has a full sized spare. My wife and I have had three flats in the past three years, once on a Sunday evening when no tire repair facilities were available. Having a compact spare allowed me to get to a larger town, stay over night at my sister’s house and get repaired the next day. Without out a spare, I would have incurred lodging and additional meal costs as well.

Perhaps Businesses Haven’t Caught Up To The “No Spare” Car Feature, Yet.

Should you get a flat and you have no spare, which business would you call for help . . .
the towing company that hooks up your vehicle and tows it someplace to have the tire repaired . . . or . . .
the one that either plugs your leak on-site (using proper equipment and training) or loans you and installs the proper sized wheel/tire for your vehicle that they bring out from the assortment they keep on hand at the shop ?


Count me in too. I have a cell and AAA. If it is my wife stranded and I can’t get to her or I am at a very dangerous fwy I might call AAA, but otherwise we never use the AAA calls for a flat. I consider having a properly inflated spare a safety cushion. Who knows where the next flat will happen and if AAA could get to you in a timely manner.

I wish the automotive manufacturers would call on their styling departments to design either attactive side mounts or a “continental” rear spare tire. I thought that the side mount spare tires looked great for the cars of the 1930s (I loved watching the “Untouchables” where a big limosine with side mounts would come around a corner in Chicago, a rear suicide door would open and a stiff would be rolled out onto the street). The continental spare tire was featured on the original Lincoln Continental–one of the most attrative cars made IMHO. “Continental Spare Tire Kits” were available for many cars of the 1950s.

Personally, I would rather buy a car that comes with no doughnut spare, and buy my own full-sized spare, than have a small doughnut spare that isn’t really that useful.

Whether your car comes with a spare tire, or you have to buy your own, you still end up paying the same amount for it. It’s a case of pay me now or pay me later.

I also don’t like the tiny spare tires, but I think all cars should have some kind of spare tire, preferably a full size tire, but lots of smaller cars don’t have room for that anymore. That seems to support the option for exterior mounts. As for frequncy, I had two tires go bad the same week, both from road debris, big screw in the front right, and the next day I managed to pick up a razor blade. Spare tires and knowing how to use them should be mandatory.

re shadowfax "Regarding the statistic cited in OP, that statistic was provided on a user-edited answer site by “ID1072286662,” (2.2 mil flats per year)

“Roughly 1.2 million drivers will call AAA for help with a flat tire during the summer travel season”

Imagine if none of them had a spare tire.

Our car with no spare picked up a nail and consequently a slow leak about 1200 miles from home. I fixed it with a tire plug and after we got home, installed a mushroom plug. If you can’t do this, then you need at least a compact spare. Calling someone for help in the middle of the night while waiting in a dangerous area, one being in the breakdown lane of a freeway, is not a place where I want to be for long. If you don’t have a spare tire of some kind or run flat tires, then you might want to pack some heat in the trunk.

I see too much resistance to not having a spare. This is a bad cost reduction idea that should go away. Improved gas mileage due to saved weight by eliminating a compact spare is a red herring in my view.

I also don’t have many flats in the US. My car goes with me to Mexico and i have had more bad tires, and more flats in the last 5 years here, than in most of my life. Except when I was very young, around 1960 and had to buy cheap tires.

In fact, I have a fast leak right now. Tomorrow I will take it to the tire repair shop. He does a good job, even has spare parts.

I respect those who have experienced flats on the order of traditional breakdowns and feel a spare is as necessary as an extra fan belt or what ever. To me, the simple solution is for companies to always provide the location and hardware for a spare and let the buyer load that space with a spare or stash of Hersey bars; their decision from that point on. Worse case and they don’t, we go safari style and mount them on the roof.

I hear you, then have to wonder about the 35 lbs to increase mileage. I have probably 35 lbs with golf clubs, etc. Now I am probably 30 lbs overweight as for 5’ 11" I should be 165. I was near anemic at 165, and have not had a bmi, but all indicators are good for me at 190. Dagosa I do not know any one with an extra fan belt. I know lots with a spare tire for their car, and an extra 35 lb spare tire around their middle, keep the spare for the car, and have drivers loose the 35 lbs, so silly when you really look at it.

To me the weight argument is so nonsense, I would not be surprised if the owner’s manual starts calling for taking water pills and laxatives for better mileage.

“water boy” I’m with you and get the point you make. Cars are meant to carry the weight that people can’t and shouldn’t. I too carry a " carry bag", my cart bag, clubs and cart in my SUV around, always ready to play along with my sailing gear. 35 extra lbs does not mean a hill of beans to me and is one of the reasons I prefer even car based SUVs over cookie cutter tires and blandness of Eco cars. So far, knock on wood, they expect we who still drive these SUVs in places where flats occur more often and no one will easily get to you to help regardless. IMO, the move to spare less cars is in line with the," do everything for me crowd" but for a price.

When the all electrics are priced to affordability with their lack of profit generating service, car companies will some how have to think up ways of getting you in. Battery maintenance scares and no spares so we need special no flats with all that goes with them, will be part of the scam.

I have issues with the cars that don’t have spares. I wouldn’t be without one. As to spare fan belts, hoses, and whatever else, that’s different. Regular maintenance checks things like hoses and belts (1 belt, and 4 hoses?), and it’s not that difficult to tell if a any of them are breaking down.

A blowout on the highway is another issue altogether, and needn’t be caused by neglect. The number and diverse nature of things sitting on the roadways is incredible, and sometimes your option is a flat, or hitting someone. A flat I can repair or replace easily…and accident, or even a serious accident…not so much.

(Both of mine ('01 Jetta and '04 4Runner) have full size spares, matching the currently mounted set)