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Night Elf

FYI - Spare tires. I had no idea!

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I have a flat tire. I called AAA and they came out to fix it, only to find out I had no spare in the car. Apparently newer cars are not equipped with them. 2015, which is what I have, is the first year Hyundai stopped including them. Ugh! So AAA called in for a tow truck to take my car to the tire dealership. Supposedly I have a kit in the car that I can use to pump up the tire but the AAA lady couldn't do it do to liability and I have no idea how to use it and DH said he can't come home right now. So I'm waiting for a call from the tow truck service. She said they'd call within 15-20 minutes and it's been 45 minutes. I'm giving it 15 more minutes then I'm calling AAA back and ask them why the hold-up. I need this all under one ticket so it won't cost me anything. If I have to open a second ticket, I may be charged. I'll find out for sure when I call them back in 15 minutes. So, I'm late to work. Good thing my manager is laid back. We have enough employees so I'm covered but still, good grief!

At least I had the flat in the garage and not on the road where I'd be waiting all this time for help.

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Yep. This is one of the stupidest things ever imo.  I work in a body shop and we can’t even move cars around if there is damage to the tire. It is a real problem. 

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When we bought our Toyota Corolla in 2006, we asked about the spare tire because I was used to having one in each of my aunts’ cars/trucks. The dealership says we have to buy because they no longer bundle a spare tire with the cars.

From Consumer Reports https://www.consumerreports.org/tires/some-newer-cars-are-missing-a-spare-tire/

“Carmakers are skipping the spare because of regulatory pressure to squeeze more miles out of every gallon of fuel: Ditching the 40 or 50 pounds that a tire and jack usually add to a car’s weight helps to increase fuel economy slightly. (It also incidentally increases automakers’ profits because they don’t have to pay for those parts.)

The problem is that a sealant kit won’t help drivers if a tire’s sidewall gets sliced or if the flat is caused by more extensive damage than a tread puncture. If you want to be prepared for any type of flat tire, some retailers and car dealers offer spare-tire kits, including a tire, jack, and lug wrench, starting at about $150.”

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That's weird. Our vans still have spare tires. Guess the weight thing isn't as big an issue when the vehicle is already this HUGE. 😉

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that's stupid.  dh used to leave his spare at home because it took up most of the trunk (very small car. very. small.)

to think I was irked my new suv has a compact spare!  my van, which I'm prepping to sell, - has a full-sized spare.

considering we've had tires completely totaled, filling the tire isn't always an option.  (one of those times - we'd have been sitting on the side of a I-5 in Portland!)  there are cans of "something' you can buy at auto  shops that are supposed to inflate and seal a small hole - at least long enough to get you somewhere you can have the tire fixed or replaced.

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DH looked it up and read about 1/3'rd of new cars don't have one. Instead, my car did come with that sealant you use but the AAA lady couldn't use it due to liability and I didn't know how to use it so DH came home from work to take care of it. He wasn't sure about it but then got the idea to take the flat off and take it up to the tire place for them to fix. We called ahead and they said that was good and the guy told DH the very same thing happened to him and his wife with the same car I've got! LOL 

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I'm under the impression that the tire place won't fix the tire when that sealant stuff had been used. That would mean if you spray it in you would have to but a new tire. That would be an expensive way to fix a flat! Maybe the stuff the dealer fixed you instead is ok? (I doubt it)

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I think I heard of this but I don't remember where (maybe here?). Both of our vehicles are Toyotas - a 2004 Sienna and a 2016 Camry. Both came with donut spares.

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Our 2013 Honda has a spare because I've had to use it! Our oldest has a 2011 Honda and she has used that spare twice now. We taught our daughters how to change their own tires should they have a flat somewhere. I don't think our Mini Cooper has a spare because it came with run flat tires. We've replaced with real tires (because run flats are very expensive) and purchased a compressor to keep in the back. Our youngest has a 2014 Camry - and it has a spare too. 

But it is definitely good to know that is something to check when we switch to different cars! 

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6 hours ago, Arcadia said:

 some retailers and car dealers offer spare-tire kits, including a tire, jack, and lug wrench, starting at about $150.”

So, do the new cars have a compartment for the spare and jack? It's hard to stow them if you don't.

If this is the new normal, IDK why tow trucks and roadside service companies don't bring a donut when they come.

5 hours ago, SusanC said:

I'm under the impression that the tire place won't fix the tire when that sealant stuff had been used. That would mean if you spray it in you would have to but a new tire. That would be an expensive way to fix a flat! Maybe the stuff the dealer fixed you instead is ok? (I doubt it)

We've been told the same thing.

This is disheartening.

I know everyone thinks you should be self-sufficient about changing tires, but where we live, there aren't safe places to do so, and one of my kids will probably never be able to do so (he can't exert that kind of force safely due to a medical condition). Honestly, there are many times that I've seen adult men unable to remove a tire because of how tight they've been screwed on with air tools. It's extra frustrating that you might have to arrange multiple factors to get roadside assistance that works. 

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Yes, sadly I was aware of not having a spare tire in my 2014 car when I got a flat tire several hours from home. I called AAA and told them I didn't have a spare, so they said they could tow me somewhere. I was in the middle of nowhere and it would have been a long and expensive tow. I had one of those tire sealant things, but we couldn't get it  to work. The tire had a hole and the sealant was just pouring out of the hole. I finally called dh who rushed to a dealership right before they closed, bought a spare tire kit, drove two hours to find me, and fixed the flat  tire for me. The good news is that I now have a spare tire in my car, but as others said, I don't know if I would be able to change the tire myself. Between the location of the spare storage ( hanging under the center console between driver and passenger seat) and the tightness of the bolts, I'd still need help.

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5 hours ago, kbutton said:

So, do the new cars have a compartment for the spare and jack? It's hard to stow them if you don't.


I would ask (ETA: if there is a spare tire compartment when shopping) for a sedan. I think Corolla still comes with the spare tire compartment, just that the donut is bundled in for the LE and not the actual spare tire. 
My neighbors’ newer SUV (Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4) doesn’t come with a spare tire mounted at the back like the older models but it should be easy to mount one.

Canada’s 2017 Honda CRV has a spare tire under the cargo mat https://www.wheels.ca/car-reviews/honda-rampsup-2017-cr-v/

If you think you might need to change a tire in the middle of nowhere, maybe buy a cordless wrench to bring along (together with a spare tire) to remove the lug nuts. It would probably be safer to call for roadside assistance but you would have the tools and spare tire needed. https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/tools/reviews/g2028/the-best-impact-wrenches/

Edited by Arcadia

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5 hours ago, kbutton said:

 ). Honestly, there are many times that I've seen adult men unable to remove a tire because of how tight they've been screwed on with air tools. It's extra frustrating that you might have to arrange multiple factors to get roadside assistance that works. 

dh puts a big 4-way lug wrench in everyone's car - so much more leverage than the puny thing that comes with the jack.

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8 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

dh puts a big 4-way lug wrench in everyone's car - so much more leverage than the puny thing that comes with the jack.

But even with one of those it can be difficult to impossible to remove machine tightened lug nuts. DH is 200+ pounds and I’ve seen him struggle to loosen lug nuts with one of those. There’s no way my 110 pound self could do it even with a four way. When I was a kid/teenage driver my dad always insisted on hand tightening lug nuts on all our vehicles. Back then the tire places allowed it; I bet they’d put up a big fuss about it nowadays. 

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1 hour ago, Pawz4me said:

But even with one of those it can be difficult to impossible to remove machine tightened lug nuts. DH is 200+ pounds and I’ve seen him struggle to loosen lug nuts with one of those. There’s no way my 110 pound self could do it even with a four way. When I was a kid/teenage driver my dad always insisted on hand tightening lug nuts on all our vehicles. Back then the tire places allowed it; I bet they’d put up a big fuss about it nowadays. 

Yes. It does me no good to know how to change a tire, because even with the leverage I can't loosen the lug nuts. I've actually bent the big 4 way lug wrench, without loosening the nut one bit. 

We carry a small compressor in the back of the car, and so far this has been enough to get to somewhere to have the tire repaired. 

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I had no idea. I know that the oldest vehicle has one because I stashed things in the well for many years, but I'll have to look at our newer ones.

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I don't have a spare but I do have run flat tires. Dh has had to drive home on one once and it did work to get home at night and the tire store the next day. They're expensive but they do work.

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5 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

But even with one of those it can be difficult to impossible to remove machine tightened lug nuts. DH is 200+ pounds and I’ve seen him struggle to loosen lug nuts with one of those. There’s no way my 110 pound self could do it even with a four way. When I was a kid/teenage driver my dad always insisted on hand tightening lug nuts on all our vehicles. Back then the tire places allowed it; I bet they’d put up a big fuss about it nowadays. 

Agreed.

Let me rephrase my original--I've seen grown men "jump" on those 4 way lug wrenches without loosening the nuts. 🙂 

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44 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Agreed.

Let me rephrase my original--I've seen grown men "jump" on those 4 way lug wrenches without loosening the nuts. 🙂 

 

This is a sign of a really crappy tire place.  If they are lazy, this can happen, but it doesn't have to. 

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All of my cars, including the 2019 Forrester, have had spares (donuts, not full size). But I don't even attempt to change my own tire, I have AAA for that, and both of my kids are on the account. I've only had one flat in the last 10 years or so though — and ironically that was in a rental car. I would not buy a car without a spare.

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Well changing that flat tire was an ordeal!! We too wondered if a tire repaired with sealant would result in us buying a new tire so DH decided to take the flat off and take it to the tire place for them to fix. Great idea! However, not easy. First he discovered that we had one lug nut that was locked. It required a special key to unlock. DH looked in the car. Nothing. We were not happy. So I called the tire place and they said if I could get the car to them, they probably had something that would work. Probably? What does that mean? You either do or your don't. DH called the dealership to see if they had one for sale. They acted like they didn't know what he was talking about. Finally they took his name and number and said they'd call back.

So, we wondered what to do. Call a tow truck at our expense to get the car to the tire place or wait for a call from the dealership? Then DH brightened up and ran into the garage. He had found the wheel key kit! He remembered that when we bought the car last January, he had taken the kit out of the car and put it in a box in the garage. Why?? Good grief! So now DH was finally able to unlock the wheel. Was that it? No! So now, the tire wouldn't come off the car. He struggled with it and finally came inside to look up a you tube video of what to do when the tire won't come off. Well, the solution was easy enough. Kick it! *laugh* So DH laid on the ground in front of the car and awkwardly aimed his foot at the tire and started kicking. It still wouldn't come off. Finally, I started pulling while he was kicking and it came off. 🙂

I finally got it to the tire place. They fixed it. $21.40. Took it home. DH put it back on the car. I  got to work 5 hours late. All for one flat tire.

Oh and the dealership did eventually call us back, at 7:15 am the next morning. 

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