JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More new cars than ever before are being sold without spare tires. According to new research from AAA, nearly one-third of new vehicles are missing a spare tire.
Not only does this put you at risk of becoming stranded, it's more money out of your pocket.
AAA said the research shows that nearly 28% of all 2017 model cars do not come with a spare tire. The agency reported more than 450,000 members they rescued from a flat tire, did not have a spare.
One thing some automakers are doing as a replacement is adding tire-inflator kits that can temporarily repair small punctures in flat tires. But there's a catch, a tire inflator kit can only be used when a puncture occurs on the center tire tread and the object remains in the tire. These kits cannot be used if the object is no longer lodged in the tire, if you have a blowout, or if something happens with a pothole or curb.
To protect yourself, don’t assume new cars come with a spare tire. Always ask sales staff for a detailed list of equipment and if a spare tire can be purchased as an option. If your car is equipped with a tire inflator kit, AAA recommends that you check its expiration date and replace the kit when necessary- this is typically between 4-8 years.
If your car does have a spare tire, be sure it is properly inflated and stowed and check your tire pressure every month.