Discontinued spare tires could fall flat for unprepared motorists

Jan. 1, 2020
Tire dealers may have an opportunity to assist their customers in assembling an effective in-car backup kit should they experience a flat tire while on the road.
Tire dealers may have an opportunity to assist their customers in assembling an effective in-car backup kit should they experience a flat tire while on the road.

As some automakers are now omitting heavy spare tires and instead equipping new vehicles with a runflat tire or an emergency sealant/inflator to better meet new government fuel efficiency standards, the American Automobile Association (AAA) is warning car buyers that they could be in for an unpleasant surprise.

“Unfortunately, many vehicle owners may be unaware that their vehicle has no spare tire until they experience a flat tire,” says John Nielsen, an AAA national director.

“Consumers should review their owner’s manual and emergency maintenance supplies they have in the vehicle and be informed about alternatives to a spare to prevent panic or a delay when encountering a flat tire,” he urges.

A spare tire, related tools and a jack can weigh more than 40 pounds. “That may seem like a small amount but every little bit helps, and unlike other weight saving changes, it doesn’t add cost to the vehicle,” Nielsen explains.

A list of vehicles currently being sold without a spare tire is available here.

 

PAGE 2 AAA has compiled a list of tips for motorists: Inspect the car and consult your owner’s manual. If the vehicle has a spare, be sure it is properly inflated and stowed. If you cannot locate a spare tire, ensure your vehicle has an alternate solution. Options include runflat tires that allow the car to be driven to a safe location or an emergency sealant and inflator kit.

  • If you carry a sealant, check the date and replace it every five years or after its use. Sealant can become less effective with age.
  • For more information, visit www.aaa.com.

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