Tire Repair Kits Replacing Spare Tires

According to AAA Carolinas, more car manufacturers are forgoing spare tires in order to make cars lighter and also boost gas mileage. Approximately one of every seven cars comes without a spare, and instead contains a tire repair kit and sealant. Buyers don’t realize this until they have a flat tire and go to search for their spare. AAA also cautions buyers to be aware that the repair kits don’t work on every type of flat tire.

Removing the spare, however, may only bring a limited boost to mileage. If you are buying a new car or looking to buy one, AAA suggests checking for a spare tire before purchasing, as buyers aren’t always told the extra tire doesn’t exist. The average cost to add a spare tire is $150.

Other tips AAA Carolina recommends are:

  • Some models started swapping out spares for tire repair kits back in 2006. If you have a newer vehicle, check to see what’s in the trunk.
  • If you have a tire repair kit, review the instructions. If you use a sealant, limit the tire use to 50 miles or the adhesive will harden up too much to remove.
  • Replace the tire repair kits every five years or after usage.
  • Check your spare tire annually to make sure it is inflated.

For a list of models that come without a spare tire, see the AAA Carolinas website.

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