Missing a Spare (Tires, Not Bowling)
According to AAA, 28 percent of 2017 model year vehicles don’t have a spare tire as standard equipment.
Some have run-flat tires. These tires are constructed with reinforced side walls and other structures that allow a tire to continue to operate, generally for 50 miles at 50 mph.
Bridgestone DriveGuard run-flat
Other cars come with tire-inflator kits. These have air and some sort of sealant that temporarily repairs a tire. Back in 2015 AAA did a study on these and discovered things including:
1. They don’t work on sidewall damage (to say nothing of blowouts)
2. They have a shelf life of four to eight years
3. They can cost up to 10 times more than a tire repair
Last year AAA sent trucks to some 450,000 of its members who discovered their car didn’t have a spare.
(Given that tires weigh on the order of about 20 pounds, many OEMs are foregoing them because of their weight-reduction goals.)
According to John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, “With low-profile tires and the elimination of a spare tire, many newer vehicles are especially vulnerable to roadside tire trouble. AAA urges drivers to make it a priority to check their vehicle’s equipment and know what to do if faced with a flat tire.”