21 October 2011

Committed to improving automotive fuel economy

Your next new car may not have a spare tire.  As cited by a WKOW television report:
Manufacturers are beginning to phase out spare tires from their new models. Some General Motors cars come instead with a tire repair kit that can patch small holes.

Automakers say roadside assistance plans will cover major tire punctures and spare tires aren't needed much anymore. According to car website www.edmunds.com, 14 percent of new cars are coming without spares. This can cut down the car's weight, making it easier for manufacturers to stick to tighter fuel economy standards.
See?  It's not about cutting costs - it's about improving fuel economy.


  1. I've not needed my spare for five years or so, but my main objection to not having one would be the expense.

    I don't bother insuring things that I can repair myself, or replace at little cost - so for example I have no car or domestic appliance repair cover 'cos it's silly to pay for something I can do more cheaply myself.
    Having to rely on a third party for something like a tyre would mean that I'd have to pay someone else's rate for a roadside tyre fix instead of an "at your leisure" rate from my local tyre shop. Big difference, in most cases.

  2. This would mean if you had major tire damage your trip was over and you would need a tow, as opposed to 20 minutes or so spent changing a tire.

  3. This is an example of the auto industry falling prey to the insurance companies' sales model.
    Things get pricey, some opt for insurance, mix in some lobbying and now two entities are paying most of the time, things get more expensive, now you'll NEED insurance just to survive. ...worked for them with health care...
    I have removed the spare off of my trucks since the 90s. My current daily driver is a Suzuki Samurai. With meaty mud treaded tires, I have 'run flat' but really the tire's carcass is heavy enough to maintain 4-6 psi on such a light vehicle. And the treads and belts are so stout that I even ran over a bottle once that rolled into my path, shattering it, without incident.
    Carrying an extra 75 or so pounds would certainly ding my mileage and cause extra wear and tear on the drivetrane and brakes.
    As for these two ton raised station wagons that are so popular today... they will get stuck: Their aluminum rims will fail the moment their rediculous heft forces them into the pavement. But perhaps that is what onStar is for? Nanny knows best!
    FWIW, I mount and balance my own tires.

  4. So I guess they're assuming we all live somewhere convenient for roadside assistance to come and help us? So much for traditional American self-reliance, except for those of us who can't reasonably utilize such creature comforts. I live in rural Alaska - if I get a flat it would probably be hours before a roadside service got to me, and it may be well below zero while I'm waiting. Meanwhile, I could change the thing myself in about ten minutes and be on my way.

  5. I've needed a spare 8 times in the last 12 years. Of course, I drive an older car - a 91 Ford Explorer that rolled off the assembly line when the mileage restrictions of the last gas crisis were still in place. It gets better MPG than a new explorer. I wear tires out rather than just buying a new car every 5 years.

  6. Sounds like a way to cut costs. Do spare tires really weigh that much? I've had to use my spare once but I'm lucky to have roadside assistance and they put the spare on one for me since I didn't know how. It's nice to have that spare "just in case".


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