So, when did they stop putting spare tires in cars?

Discussion in 'Wheels, Wings, Mud, and Water' started by the skipper, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. the skipper

    the skipper Amateur Curmudgeon Subscriber

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    The last new car we bought was in 2009. We took for granted there was a spare in it and, thankfully, it was. Se ran over a piece of metal on Rt 75 and sheredded it. We jacked it up, put on the donut, and we were able to get to some place and replace it.

    Likewise, wifey was forced into a curb and not only shredded a tire, she bent the whee. Again the donut saved the day.

    So, we were looking at new cars and were looking at a Kia Optima. It looked OK so I did a little research and turned up a writeup that said they don't put in spares, just a "tire inflator kit".

    I talked to the sales man and he must have thought I was stupid. He said we didn't need one. That inflator kit would take fix it. Now, I know this guy is a moron and he lost the sale. Now, it's fun time.

    I asked him about when a tire is shredded . He said the kit would fix it. Now, I'm laughing inside. I say "Really? No tire inflator will fix a shredded tire." He said Kia roadside service would handle this.

    I said we bent a rim. What happens then? He said that Kia roadside service would take care of us. I said That happened at 3:00 in the morning in the middle of nowhere. What happens then?" Again, he says their roadside service is amazing.

    Now, anyone with more smarts than a salami knows that without a spare, or even a donut, you're gonna have to wait for and pay for a tow.

    I just laughed, shook my head, turned and walked out.

    Now, I wasn't too keen with donuts but do see where they are better than nothing and have accepted them. But, if they all go with the "no spare" route, I'll be very disappointed and probably wind up throwing a real spare in the trunk and, believe me, I won't be a happy camper.

    OK, I'm done bitching. On with your regularly scheduled programming.

    Oh, our Hyundai Sonata comes with a donut, and a killer factory stereo,
     
    stish likes this.
  2. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock Subscriber

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    Its been a feature of Jap cars for quite some time. My JDM Mazda MPV Turbo has no spare, just an inflator kit. Its a 2006 model, so obviously they have been on the no spare path quite a while.

    With the MPV though, it is somewhat of a benefit. Being a 7 seated, rear luggage space is limited but being able to lift the rear floor and put stuff where the spare used to be is really handy. That space also contains the Bose factory sub, the the killer audio system.

    I do sometimes wonder what might happen without a spare wheel, but when I think how many times I've actually had to change one in the middle of nowhere in the 30 years (maybe twice) I think the trade off is acceptable.
     
  3. mars_volta

    mars_volta Super Member

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    :rflmao:
     
  4. Bob Price

    Bob Price Active Member

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    Pleasant Garden, NC.
    Many new cars come with "inflators" which (as you said) is a joke. I am sure most manufacturers do it to save money.....but even the more expensive cars are going to inflator kits. There is no excuse why a $50,000 plus car would come with an inflator kit. My SRT did. I did not even think to ask and boy was I surprised when I got it home! Then I realized that a 20" doughnut would not fit in the trunk anyway.
     
  5. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    They do it (delete the spare tire) to save money and to save weight to help keep/get the fleet mpg as high as possible.
    Or so I have read (albeit on the internet).
     
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  6. beat_truck

    beat_truck Super Member

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    Sorry, but I don't see the ~50 pounds that a jack, wheel wrench, and doughnut tire weighs making any appreciable difference in MPG.:bs: I think they are mostly just cheaping out. That, and how many idiot drivers today are actually willing to change a flat, or even know how?:rolleyes:
     
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  7. Quadman2

    Quadman2 Super Member

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    Not to change the direction of this thread, which is eye popping in itself, but I wonder how many owners have EVER checked their spare to see if it can be used if need be? Probably less than 10% I'll bet. I knew they were there if needed, but the pain to look at them!

    Well, I finally did this check this past weekend, and found not only the one vehicle had no air in it, both had none! Till now never checked the spares as it's quite the chore to dig them out. As well, people just forget to check them. Both of mine were in perfect unused condition, but after five years...no pressure.

    Anyways, just a suggestion to check them out if you never have done so, esp if they've been there more than three years...or more, unchecked.

    Q
     
  8. restorer-john

    restorer-john Super Member

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    Australia
    I wouldn't buy a car without a full size spare tire. All decent 4WDs have full size spares in Australia- everything else is regarded as a bit 'soft'. Distances are far too great and the remoteness of this country is beyond anywhere in the world.

    I check the pressure every six months on the spares and set the wheel nut torques correctly (no rattle gun stupid tight) so my GF is able to change a wheel if she needs to- she's quite capable of it.

    We get two or three flats a year on our two cars, no fuggin roadside assistance- that's for pussies and old people. Bahh.
     
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  9. pfekula

    pfekula AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If that tire inflator is anything like the ones that you can buy in a auto store then I’d be cautious. I was told buy tire service guy that they will damage the tire pressure sensor and gunk up the rim either causing excessive cleaning or replacement. What if you have a flat in the middle of nowhere and either have no phone with you or no service. You may end up like Chevy Chase in National Lampone Vacation!!!
     
  10. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    A full size or compact spare is an option on some, where the base is the inflator.

    My '91 Camaro has a compact spare that is stored deflated. There is a high pressure CO2 canister to inflate the tire after you take it out of the storage compartment.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  11. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    If my choice was walk in the middle of nowhere or gunk up the rim or pressure sensor, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to use the canister.
     
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  12. olson_jr

    olson_jr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Sorry but you would be wrong. Compared to the cost of some of the current technologies to squeeze an additional .05 mpg out of a current production vehicle, eliminating the unneeded weight of a spare tire was a no brainer.
     
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  13. beat_truck

    beat_truck Super Member

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    I'm not wrong. I said it wouldn't make any APPRECIABLE difference. I didn't say NO difference. And, the whole "unneeded" part is what is being debated.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
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  14. olson_jr

    olson_jr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Think of it from the standpoint of a Powertrain Calibration Engineer, tasked with making his drive ability, performance, emissions, and MPG numbers with only 1’s & 0’s. Now think of appreciaple where .05 MPH is the difference between the Gas Guzzler Tax and no additional tax.
     
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  15. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    There's a tire pressure sensor in the (full sized) spare on my old ('06) RAV4. Wednesday it grumbled at me, on a cold night en route home from teaching class in Boston, that it was low.
    I wasn't in the middle of nowhere -- but I could see it from where I was.

    Having ascertained that the tires actually in contact with the road were properly inflated, I completed the remaining 70 miles of the journey home & dealt with the spare in the morning.

    This happens about every couple of years (so far -- I bought the car used from a family friend who was giving up driving due to age). The amusing part is that the spare tire cover is hard, if not impossible to remove -- and the instruction manual's thorough description of how to do it is wrong.

    Fortunately, I can get it off enough to reach the valve stem :)
    If I ever actually have to change the tire -- I will have to destroy the cover to get to it.
    On the plus side, other than being dusty, the spare is (still) in like-new condition.

    As an aside -- I looked online to see if there were any tips on removing the cover -- and I found out that the unremovable cover is a thing on some of the RAV4 models.
    This particular year/model Toyota was rife with really boneheaded engineering decisions.

    http://www.rav4world.com/forums/97-4-3-exterior/74027-how-remove-spare-tire-cover.html

    This is part of the reason that our most recent car purchase was a Honda, by the way. :)
     
  16. WillVT

    WillVT Well-Known Member

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    I've been driving for about 24 years, and driving for a living for 6-7 of those years. I don't think I have ever gotten a flat and had to put on a spare. Sure, I've had slow leaks that needed air every week or so, and I've had some pretty crappy old tires on some cars.
    Someone above said they get 2-3 flats a year. Wow! Is that from city driving, or maybe off-roading? Have I just been really lucky?
    Hope I didn't jinx myself...
     
  17. restorer-john

    restorer-john Super Member

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    Australia
    We get 2-3 flats a year, yes.

    Not off-road driving either. A bit of unsealed driving, but it's the lazy-ass Aussie tradies (so-called tradesmen) and their tray back utilities, their roofing screws, tek screws and nails fly out everytime they go around a roundabout or swing round a bend too fast on their way to another overpriced job. They are lazy scumbags that cost other road users a fortune in lost time, inconvenience and replacement tires
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017 at 3:50 PM
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  18. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I used to get a couple per year commuting through Baltimore city to school in the 1970s.
    Yeah, it's an urban/construction thing -- mostly.
    In New England, it can be potholes and granite curbs, too!
     
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  19. HTHMAN

    HTHMAN Super Member

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    With the TPMS on my Highlander, I do not worry too much about having an inflated spare. Of course, it lights up as soon as the temperature drops in the winter. Of course you have to drop the tire to get to the valve which is like a 30 minute job.

    My last flat was hitting a tree limb which punctured the side of the tire. No tire inflator would have helped with that one, so I was glad for a full size spare. Of course, we were going on vacation and had the whole back end loaded. Had to take everything out to lower the spare and jack up the car. Beats waiting for a tow truck and then a trip to the tire store before you can continue.
     
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  20. johnebravo

    johnebravo I should be practicing

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    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    I've been driving for about 45 years now, and if I had had to change 90 or so flats over that period of time -- or even had to watch some other sorry bastard change them for me -- I'd probably have moved to a hopelessly congested urban area where you can't drive . . . ;)
     
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