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Changing A Flat Tire Could Soon Be History

By Robin Culverwell

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Changing a flat tire could soon be a thing of the past, as car makers are starting to phase out spare tires in an effort to increase gas mileage.

It never happens at a convenient time, but the days of having to change a flat when you’re all dressed up with somewhere to go could be numbered.

“They’re trying to reduce the weight of newer cars, so that they can get better miles per gallon. And what they’re doing in essence is eliminating the spare tire and some of the equipment that goes along with it, like the jack,” says Sue Madden with AAA Mid-Atlantic.

She says that spare and related tools can add 40 pounds to the weight of a car and that cuts fuel efficiency.

Madden says drivers need to be prepared. “What they need to do, is find out from their owner’s manual if their car has a spare tire, where it is, and if not, have a plan B. Have the sealant with you at all times if you have a flat tire.”

The life of sealant isn’t forever; it’ll last about five years. Another option is the “runflat” tire which inflates itself and the car’s computer lets you know when a tire’s been punctured and needs service.

Madden expects calls to AAA to rise as drivers find themselves with no spare and not knowing how to use the inflator and sealant.

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  • Don't buy it!

    Looks like they don’t want us to be able to anything to a car ourselves.Next it will drive itself, then it will decide where you go, when you go, how you go,why you go…….

  • teresa

    Oh I also forgot to mention the highways that are older so the middle of the lane, the concrete is high, sloped up with the place the tires are sloped more down. Now picture your run flat that the trad area is stiff as a board and doesnt bend to the pavement slope. that can allmost pull you over on the line to the shoulder.
    More stupid decisions by our government.
    It sucks to drive on run flats!

    • wdeew

      What does the government have to do with it? Where in the story does it say the government did this? Conspiracy theorists everywhere. They’re all out to get me!!

  • teresa

    They are called run flats. I have a convertable vet which has to have them due to no room for a spare.
    Now do you understand the cost of replacing a run flat? Very expensive!!
    Go price them. most wont be able to afford to replace there tires!
    Do you also know that i have done auto cross racing in my vette. a vette is suppose to be able to take a turn at higher speeds. Really!
    Well myn doesnt due to the run flats. you cant lower the pressure in the tire to hug the pavement. Run flats are hard all the way across tread. In fact, if you park you car where your tire is half on and half off a curb it doesnt bend at all! straight as a board.
    Let me tell you also due to the rigidness of the tires, no matter what kind you get, even ones rated for racing, you will spin out around turns going high speeds compared to normal tires. I couldnt do auto cross in my vette due to this, only the ones without run flats could.
    Let me share another fact with you also. You will have your tires grabbing any non smooth surface on the roadway. You know the groves they sometimes put on the road that arent absolutely straight? Those will pull your car back and forth and you are unable to drive a straight line. When they gouged into the highway to take off the lane striping, my car would be litterally pulled almost into the other lane unless I stayed exactly centered over it. If my tires ever touched the lower portion it yanked the vehicle over.
    They are horrible! Ibelieve they are dangerous as well.
    Look up the cost compared to your old tires.
    Terrible handling, overpriced, and if you go around a curve to fast your arse end will swing around. More accidents.
    This irritates me and they leave this info out and regulators, government says its to save fuel. Not a good trade off. I dont enjoy driving my vette due to this. The coups have regular tires as well as the other vettes. myn is newer model and a convertable, and thats what you get with that car.

    • jon

      Wow. Considering your awful English skills it’s no wonder you don’t understand the facts of the story. I guess if you can’t write a coherent sentence you can’t read properly either.

  • stars

    Life’s little inconviences, like having a flat tire, become life’s big inconviences, like having no spare.

  • Larz Larzen

    I won’t buy a car that has no room for a spare.

    • gr8dismal

      When they make you buy them, you buy them.

      The Chicago way.

  • Dave in Doylestown

    This is the stupidest lead sentence ever.

    “changing a flat could soon be a thing of the past” sounds like a good thing, right? But we read the story and find out its because you don’t have a spare anymore!!!

  • AAA: Spare Tires for Some New Vehicles

    […] Changing A Flat Tire Could Soon Be History By Robin Culverwell PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Changing a flat tire could soon be a thing of the past, as car makers are starting to phase out spare tires in an effort to increase gas mileage. It never happens at a convenient time, but the days of having to … Read more on CBS Local […]

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