I Have A Flat Tire And No Spare – About a third of new cars in 2017 did not have a spare tire. So what’s a driver to do when he gets a flat? kenneth-cheung/Getty Images
If you’ve recently bought a new car, you may have noticed something missing from many new models: a spare tire. How could it be? What should a driver do when he gets a flat if he doesn’t have a spare?
I Have A Flat Tire And No Spare
But it’s true: Nearly a third of new 2017 vehicles don’t have spare tires, according to a new AAA study. And while the number of cars without parts has declined in recent years (36 percent of new cars came without parts in 2015), many drivers still don’t seem to realize it’s a problem until they get a flat. Case in point: AAA says it received more than 450,000 calls in 2016 from members who owned condos and were surprised they didn’t have replacement parts.
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Of course, manufacturers don’t risk alienating customers without a good reason, but a stranded driver might not agree with them, no matter how good the car company thinks it is. So why exactly are manufacturers not putting spare tires on new cars? There are several explanations:
If you bought a new BMW in the last few years, chances are it didn’t come with a spare tire. This is because BMW usually comes with run-flat tires that have a stiffer sidewall or internal reinforcement. Other manufacturers also use bumpers, but BMW has become a well-known leader among them. Racetracks are designed to run for 50 miles (80.4 km) after a puncture — at a top speed of 50 mph (80.47 km/h) — until drivers reach safety. If damaged, they need to be replaced and are more expensive and harder to find than regular tires.
It’s hard to deny that providing a flat tire saves the manufacturer money, but what happens when they put regular tires on these cars and still don’t offer the product? Perhaps the manufacturer wanted to save money. Here’s why: It costs about $100 to get your own parts from a tire shop or dealership, and a proper jack and wrench costs a little more. Given that manufacturers get these materials at low cost, it’s unlikely they’ll save more than $100 on the car.
Hyundai is often considered one of the leading manufacturers in this trend, but he says it’s a matter of weight savings, not cost savings. Many Hyundai vehicles have tire kits instead of spare parts. Hyundai spokeswoman Michelle Tinson explained the automaker’s policy in an email.
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“The primary benefit of equipping a vehicle with a tire booster instead of a temporary spare tire is about a 25-pound weight savings; cost was never an important decision factor for Hyundai,” Tinson said. “Speedway engineers are constantly looking for ways to improve car efficiency, and weight reduction is a major factor in helping cars achieve better fuel economy.”
In other words, reducing the total weight of the vehicle increases fuel economy. Tire Rack, a company that tests and sells tires, found that weight savings can improve a vehicle’s fuel economy by up to 1 percent. It’s also tempting for the manufacturer, since fuel economy estimates play an important role in a carmaker’s marketing strategy, as does the brand’s overall average fuel economy.
The growing popularity of hybrid and electric vehicles is another reason manufacturers are abandoning spare tires. Designing a vehicle that requires a battery pack in addition to a gas or electric engine poses special challenges. The battery is usually under the back seat or in the trunk that goes into the car’s storage compartment.
“Our engineers decided to put the hybrid system/grid charging system/battery system in the spare wheel to maximize passenger and cargo space for our other powertrains,” Tinson said.
Automakers Are Sacrificing The Spare Tire For Fuel Economy
Most hybrids have battery packs located in the trunk, leaving little or no room for a spare wheel.
This isn’t much of a problem for large cars, but most alternative fuel cars are small. It’s hard to sell a compact hybrid or hatchback without cargo space, and manufacturers have to make compromises. Goodbye, products.
According to Hyundai, the company recently revised its policy on non-hybrid/electric models due to customer feedback. The Accent and Elantra, for example, used to come with tire repair kits and now come with replacement parts.
Until other manufacturers follow suit, car buyers should be prepared. If you’re buying a car soon, find out which manufacturers are the biggest offenders and keep that in mind when you’re at the dealership. And if you recently bought a new car, check the trunk before getting stuck.
Got A Spare? Not On These Cars
Buying your own parts from a tire shop or dealership costs about $100, and a proper jack and wrench costs a bit more.
According to TireRack.com, replacement tires and rims are the same size as the original car tires, so they are not one-size-fits-all. Many spare tires are small tires, or “toy tires”, and are designed for these vehicles. You should never use a compact spare or tire from another vehicle unless it is the same make and model as your vehicle.
Your vehicle’s owner’s manual should contain detailed instructions on how long you can drive with a spare tire. However, a general rule of thumb is to drive no more than 70 mph and no more than 50 mph.
If you don’t have a spare tire, try to see if your car is equipped with run-flat tires that have a solid sidewall or internal reinforcement. Some brands, such as Hyundai, include tire kits instead of spare parts. Yes, you should always have a spare. Yes, you should know how to change a tire. Sometimes you still find yourself in difficult situations. Here’s who to call when you need mobile tire repair services in Amarillo.
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There are many places in the city where you can get your tires repaired. What do you do if you still can’t get your car to the tire shop?
I actually used Hawk before when I had an apartment and found that my donuts were flat too. I was expecting a crazy bill, but honestly, it wasn’t bad.
After calling them I left for work that morning and left my car there. By the time I got back to lunch the tire was replaced and I was ready to go.
We once had to use Impact Mobile tires on a relative’s car. The trick to this car was that it was on very special tires and of course no spares. The hole came out with their trailer and the tires were quickly replaced and we were back on the road.
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I had to learn the hard way. Get the product. This will save you quite a bit in the long run.
As I also had to learn the hard way, be sure and check it every now and then to make sure it’s close at hand when you need it.
Feel free to contact us if we missed anything. We are happy to add more collision centers in Amarillo to this list of shame.
Yelp can be a weird and nasty place. Here’s what I learned when I recently decided to rank reviews by “lowest rated.”
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I was fine with people getting upset about bad service and what not. But I saw some reviews that left me speechless for lack of a better word with some negative reviews of some of the most famous places in Amarillo. Be prepared to shake your head and shrug your shoulders “I don’t know” a lot. Most people know how to handle a flat tire, especially if the car comes with a spare tire. However, do you know how to fix a flat tire without a product included? This is something that often happens with new models.
It’s important to evaluate your options to determine what works best for your situation. It’s also a good idea to change your driving habits or make other changes that will prevent this problem from happening again.
If you have a flat tire without a spare, the safest option is to call roadside assistance and take the vehicle to a tire repair shop. However, if you want to do it yourself, you can also opt for a factory tire repair kit, an aftermarket tire repair kit, or a fix-a-flat, but each of these options has drawbacks.
If you drive a new car with a warranty, you may also have a roadside assistance plan. This free service makes it easy to get the flat tire help you need. Even if it’s not included, you can pay extra to get roadside assistance through another company like AAA. If so, pick up the phone, call and patiently wait for the tow truck to arrive.
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Even if you don’t have a free one
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