If you’re out car shopping, you should expect to see fewer and fewer new cars coming with spare tires. Nearly all automakers are in the process of ditching heavy spare tires and jacks for small air compressors and sealant kits.
Some luxury automakers offer run-flat tires, which can be driven on at low speeds for a limited distance – designed to get you safely to a dealership after a normal puncture. Most automakers offer a less-expensive alternative, stashing an air compressor and sealant kit in your trunk in place of the spare tire. For most normal tire punctures, the sealant kit is enough to allow drivers to get to a shop or dealership to replace the tire.
So why ditch the spare tire? According to Consumer Reports, automakers have been under immense pressure to create lightweight cars that are more efficient. By removing the spare tire, cars can lose 40 to 50 pounds – weight that adds up in gas prices over time.
Losing the spare makes sense in a society where the art of tire-changing is a diminishing skill. With higher-quality tires, improved technology, and roadside assistance programs, roadside tire changes are few and far between.
If you prefer to keep a spare in your car, aftermarket companies and some dealerships offer spare tires, a lug wrench, and jack for anywhere from $150 to $300.
Make sure before you purchase your next car you know what the spare tire situation looks like. You should be prepared to handle your flat tire before it happens.
Stop by Parks Mazda to check out the MX-5 Miata, which offers a light-weight and space-saving sealant and air compressor in place of a heavy, space-eating spare tire.