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Old 05-22-2016, 01:40 PM   #41
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They don't carry spare tires for folks. They will tow you to a garage though, even if it's 200 miles away. In West Texas, that's a possibility.
I like AAA, but I'd rather have a spare than go through a 200 mile tow.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:40 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
They don't carry spare tires for folks. They will tow you to a garage though, even if it's 200 miles away. In West Texas, that's a possibility.
Not here, it's dense, most likely 50 miles at most. But my husband always checks before we go on a long road trip. We bought this car in 2013 so have not had time to check yet.
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Flats sometimes occur at inopportune times, too.
Old 05-22-2016, 04:13 PM   #43
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Flats sometimes occur at inopportune times, too.

A friend of a friend was driving her several-months-old car home to Ann Arbor, MI on the afternoon of Dec. 31 (which was a very cold day with snow on the ground. BRRRR.) About 20 miles from home, she gets a flat tire while driving in a rural section of a major freeway. She pulls over and calls the 800-number that the vehicle manufacturer had provided for complimentary road service. This being late the afternoon of New Year's Eve, it takes about 2 hours for the service guy to show up. He pops open her trunk, takes a look around, and informs her that she doesn't have a spare tire. (Unbeknowst to her, her car came with the 'inflator kit' instead). Without further ado, he jumps in his vehicle and takes off!

By this time, it's dark and cold out. She's still sitting on the side of the highway with a flat tire. She then calls AAA. They come out after an hour or so, take a look at the flat tire and tell her that it has a large cut in the sidewall and the inflator kit will not be able inflate her tire. She asks if AAA can tow her car to a nearby dealer and they do. With it it being NYE (followed by New Year's Day and the weekend when dealerships in the area typically are closed), it will be three days before the dealership is even open!

She then ends up calling a cab to take her to the airport (15-20 miles away) where she is fortunately able to rent a car. By this time, all her NYE plans have been shot.

On Monday, she contacts the dealer (where her car had been towed). They don't have her tire size in stock (as it is one of these odd-ball sizes that no other models use) so it is another day or two before the dealer can get the tire she needs. The replacement tire is also quite expensive. That, the cab fare, plus the total of 6-7 days of car rental makes this a very expensive flat 'repair' indeed.

She does buy a full-size spare afterwards to prevent this from happening again.

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Old 05-22-2016, 04:25 PM   #44
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And then there's the story about my DW using my 2002 Dodge RAM pickup on a rainy night when I was in Oklahoma on business. She was coming back from hauling stuff for step daughter when she hit a concrete curb in a construction zone and blew both tires on the passenger side. Cost me two new tires and new wheels. Oh, the tow was free with AAA.
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Old 05-22-2016, 04:36 PM   #45
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Being an old scooter rider, I have a little air compressor that operates off the car battery in addition to a battery pack. Can't remember the last time I had to use a spare but I have taken the jack out and used it here and there. I'm too cheap for AAA.
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Old 05-22-2016, 04:39 PM   #46
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Not having a genuine spare is a risk. Some tire failures can be managed with the sealant, but rim or sidewall damage cannot.
Actually even with a spare it makes sense to buy a 12 volt tire pump and carry it with you. Then if you have a slow leak you can pump the tire up and limp to a tire place. (Plus eliminates the need to find a tire inflator). They cost from $20 up. With that and a can of sealant you can have both modes.
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:08 PM   #47
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Actually even with a spare it makes sense to buy a 12 volt tire pump and carry it with you. Then if you have a slow leak you can pump the tire up and limp to a tire place. (Plus eliminates the need to find a tire inflator). They cost from $20 up. With that and a can of sealant you can have both modes.
Agreed. I've used mine several times to help out others and also to inflate a slow leaking puncture enough to save me changing to the mini-spare. Not every gas station has air these days and those that do charge for it.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:09 AM   #48
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Yes...you need/want a spare. Cant believe cars are now being sold without one. When you negotiate a price make sure you negotiate a spare tire/jack...whether they bump an extra $200 off the total price...whatever works.
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:41 PM   #49
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Yes...you need/want a spare. Cant believe cars are now being sold without one. When you negotiate a price make sure you negotiate a spare tire/jack...whether they bump an extra $200 off the total price...whatever works.
My diesel doesn't have a spare. If you look in the spot where the spare would be, there's a DEF tank there...
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:07 PM   #50
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My diesel doesn't have a spare. If you look in the spot where the spare would be, there's a DEF tank there...
Uggh.
Well, that's two big "wins" for the environment. The pig pee (DEF) helps with the diesel exhaust, and a car stuck on the side of the road because it doesn't have a spare is not creating any emissions.
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Old 05-23-2016, 06:15 PM   #51
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I have carried a small 12 VDC compressor in my car for a number of years, and it has saved me some grief a couple of times, and saved my neighbors even more. It's not the fastest air pump, but it takes up hardly any space and always gets the job done.

Mine is similar to this one:
Amazon.com: BETOOLL HW0154 Car Tire Portable Compressor Inflator DC 12V: Automotive
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Old 05-23-2016, 06:53 PM   #52
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and a car stuck on the side of the road because it doesn't have a spare is not creating any emissions.
That's why the car comes with run flat tires.
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:06 PM   #53
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That's why the car comes with run flat tires.
Good thing cars with run flats have TPMS.... (Assume they all do?) I had one go to zero air pressure a few years ago and I would not have known it except the TMPS told me. Car dove okay and the tire looked inflated to look at it.

Fixed it in a few minutes with a tire repair kit without taking the tire off.
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:36 PM   #54
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Agreed. I've used mine several times to help out others and also to inflate a slow leaking puncture enough to save me changing to the mini-spare. Not every gas station has air these days and those that do charge for it.
I don't know about other states, but in California every service station is required by law to provide air and water for free to customers. Many stations here have air or water with a coin slot, but you don't need to pay. Just go to the counter and ask them to turn on the air or water. They are required to do this, I have never had any problem at any station here.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:09 AM   #55
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A few years ago we rented a Kia Soul on a trip. It was the last year of the original design (2013). It was a nice little car, loved the tight U-turns it could make. But a bit tight on luggage space behind the rear seat.

At the first hotel, after I pulled the suitcases etc. out, I thought I'd lift up the floor cover and see what the spare looked like... No spare, and no place to put one! OK, must be undercar... nope! I took the owners manual in to flip through that night, and found there is no spare, but there IS a helpful can of tire sealant Of course, the tire sealant can was missing from the rental car. Someone told me that it was common for rental companies to pull out all of the easily-pilfered items, that they store them till they sell the cars. Don't know if that is true or not. But that would explain rentals where BOTH sets of keys are on the same key ring, which was made of stout steel, welded at the juncture. So no keys could be separated.

Anyway, I want a with-us spare for any vehicle we own.
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