Q. I was stunned to discover that my brand-new car doesn’t have a spare tire. Was i ripped off?

A.

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 Not really. End the past 5 years, about 10 percent that the cars experiment by customer Reports came with a full-sized spare. About 60 percent came with a short-term (aka room saver) preventive tire, and the rest were equipped through a sealant kit or a run-flat tire, or nothing in ~ all. 

About a third of new cars today carry out not come with a spare tire, despite they might likewise be equipped v a compressor and also sealant kit to temporarily solve a flat tire. Part cars there is no a spare come with a run-flat tire, i beg your pardon is design to run for a restricted distance after losing air native a usual puncture.


Carmakers are skipping the spare because of regulatory push to squeeze much more miles the end of every gallon of fuel: Ditching the 40 or 50 pounds the a tire and also jack usually include to a car’s load helps to rise fuel economic situation slightly. (It also incidentally boosts automakers’ profits due to the fact that they don’t have to pay for those parts.)

The problem is that a sealant kit won’t assist you if a tire’s sidewall gets sliced or if the flat is resulted in by more extensive damages than a tread puncture. If you want to be all set for any form of flat tire, take into consideration a spare-tire kit, which contains a tire, jack, and lug wrench. These kits start at around $150.

“Know exactly how your auto is equipped before you take it delivery,” says Chris Jones, a certified mechanic and tire technician at CR. “Don’t i think the automobile you’re around to buy has a preventive tire. The best time to discover out is in the showroom—so friend can additionally use it together a negotiating point—not top top the side of the road after you’ve had a flat.”


Editor’s Note: This article has been updated since it very first appeared in the September 2018 issue of customer Reports magazine.

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Jeff S. Bartlett

A new England native, I have actually piloted a wide variety of vehicles, indigenous a Segway come an plane carrier. All told, I have driven thousands of vehicles—many on gyeongju tracks across the globe. Today, the experience and also passion space harnessed at the CR Auto Test center to authorize consumers. And also if some tires need to be sacrificed in the search of truth, so it is in it. Monitor me top top Twitter (
JeffSBartlett).


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