Does your car have a spare tire? Maybe not in newer cars

PHOENIX - In an effort to reduce weight and improve fuel economy, automakers continue to eliminate spare tires from new vehicles.

According to new research from AAA, nearly oneā€third of 2017 model year vehicles do not come with a spare tire as standard equipment, creating an unnecessary hassle and expense for drivers.

Last year alone, AAA came to the rescue to more than 450,000 members faced with a flat tire whose cars did not have a spare tire.

To avoid a roadside surprise, AAA urges drivers to check their trunk for a spare tire before trouble strikes.

As a replacement for a spare tire, some automakers are including tire-inflator kits that can temporarily repair small punctures in flat tires.

However, a previous AAA study found that tire-inflator kits have limited functionality and cannot provide even a temporary fix for many tire-related problems, including sidewall damage or blowouts.

Not only are tire-inflator kits not a good substitute for a spare tire, they can cost up to 10 times more than a tire repair and have a shelf life of only four to eight years.

To prevent drivers from being stranded in the event of a flat tire, AAA offers these precautionary tips:

  • Do not assume there’s a spare. When purchasing a new vehicle, always ask for a detailed list of equipment and whether a spare tire can be purchased.
  • Inspect all five tires. Check tire pressures monthly and have all tires inspected as part of routine maintenance. If your vehicle has a spare tire, be sure that it’s properly inflated. 
  • Read ahead. If your vehicle is equipped with a tire-inflator kit, read the owner’s manual and understand how it works and its limitations.
  • Check expiration dates. If your vehicle is equipped with a tire-inflator kit, check its expiration date. Most need to be replaced every four to eight years.
  • Consider roadside assistance coverage. Roadside assistance coverage can offer peace of mind when faced with roadside trouble, including a flat tire. 

For more information, visit AAA.com

 

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