Spares tires are gradually becoming considered non-standard equipment for cars of newer models. As many as 1 in 3 new vehicles do not come equipped with a regular-sized spare tire and instead come with an alternative to spare tires.
Emergency repair equipment is a vital service to have within your car, but there are alternatives to spare tires that can have the same quality, expertise, and dependability. This article will cover the benefits of not carrying a spare tire in your vehicle and the three main alternatives to spare tires.
Benefits of Choosing Not to Carry a Spare Tire
There are many reasons to not carry a spare tire. Read about some of the most common below.
Improves Your Vehicle’s Fuel Efficiency
Spare tires can weigh up to fifty pounds – not including the jack and lug wrench. Not only will removing these reduce weight but it will reduce air drag below the undercarriage and improve aerodynamics.
Saves Space in the Trunk
For smart cars, compact vehicles, and sports cars, conserving space in the trunk is vital.
Saves You Money
Spare tires are costly and, for those with cars that don’t come with spare tires anymore, you might want to save yourself several hundred dollars. Instead, here are some options!
1. Keep Tire Inflator Kits in Your Car
Built-in tire inflator kits include an aerosol seal kit to provide a short-term solution to minor punctures in your tire tread. These kits work by spraying the sealant into the flat tire through the air-inflation valve and will inflate your tire enough that it can be driven a short distance.
These are typically priced between $20-200. You should be wary that these kits can sometimes cause a build-up of grime inside the tire, disrupting the TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system).
2. Choose Run-Flat Tires
Providing more control and flexibility, run-flats are perhaps the most common alternative to spare tires. These are specially engineered tires that are constructed with reinforced sidewalls or internal support rings and can enable a driver to drive the vehicle a short distance under forty miles an hour.
However, your run-flat can only be used once and will become unusable. Run flats must always be replaced after use and this can potentially prove just as costly as keeping a spare tire in your vehicle.
3. Use Self-Sealing Tires
As the final alternative to housing a spare tire in your car, you could consider using self-sealing tires. These are manufactured with a specialized built-in lining, coated with a sealant designed to automatically surround a hole should your tire experience a puncture.
When using these, if there is a foreign body puncturing the tire (such as a nail or a piece of metal), you will need to safely remove this first before the sealant can fill the hole. Unfortunately, if the puncture is too large or it punctured the sidewall of the tire, the sealant will not function.