Say Hello to Repair Kit, Bid Adieu to Full-Size Spare Type

Nowadays, if you find yourself on the highway with a punctured tire, you might end up not finding a spare tire in the trunk, specially if your car has been made in the last five years. A recently released report  by AAA says that among the vehicles sold in the US today, the number of vehicles being released without a spare tire is increasing. Reports say that over the past 10 years, in 29 million vehicles run-flat tires or inflator kits have replaced the spare tire feature. The rate at which this trend is being practiced is moving upwards. In 2006, 5 percent of the total number of cars sold did not have the backup rubber, and in 2015 the percentage selling cars without a backup rubber increased up to 36.

Removing deadweight

The reason why this practically useful item is being removed is nothing but the fuel economy. In order to make vehicles lighter, the carmakers are trying to get rid of anything akin to dead weight to increase the mileage. Thus, removing the backup rubber, which is quite heavy and is not used by customers in many cases and for years, is an alluring option. Moreover, removing the spare tire releases a lot of space, which can be used for storage or passenger space.

Puncture solution

Do you get anything else in place of the conventional spare tire? Yes, you do. The automakers either provide you with an inflator kit, which can be used for sealing punctures or re-inflating the tire, or equip the car with run-flat tires. Run-flat tires are designed in such a way that they remain inflated over some distances after being punctured. Nevertheless, survey reports say that AAA has not seen any decline in the calls for road services, and so we can conclude that neither the inflator kit nor the run-flat tires are a great substitute.

The inflator kit is useful as long as the tire has had a puncture on the surface and even over a bit of the object that caused the puncture remains inside the rubber. The kit then can be used to seal the inner wall, and then the rubber can be re-inflated. However, if the tire suffers a major blowout, the kit won’t come of any use, which is the reason why AAA hasn’t seen any decline in the calls for road services.

Maximization of earnings

Spare tires are expensive but the inflator kit is more expensive. However, the chances are, the money spent on the spare tire will be your one-time expenditure whereas in case of the inflator kits the manufacture requires you to replace the entire pressure monitor once you use their sealant.


So, is this replacement economically beneficial for you? The change in the vehicle’s weight may reduce the vehicle’s fuel economy up to one percent. This can help you save a lot of fuel over a long period. The automakers are supporting this point of view and thus, the number of cars with spare tires is decreasing. Nevertheless, AAA wants those companies to pay attention to “consumer interests” and re-introduce the spare tire.


No matter what you have in your trunk, the best thing you can do is to be prepared. If you have got a repair kit, see that it is in good working condition, and if you have got a spare tire, see that it is inflated, and do make sure that you have what you wish to use in your car. Finally, do learn how to use the tools that you are carrying.