AAA Idaho says check your trunk – you may not have a spare tire. A relatively new trend by car manufacturers leaves the spare and the jack by the roadside, as it were, in an effort to get better gas mileage.
Over the last ten years, car makers have been getting rid of the 30-pound spare tire to help meet tougher federal fuel standards. A new study by AAA says more than one in three cars being made today simply don't have a spare.
AAA Idaho’s Dave Carlson says car makers are replacing the spare with inflator kits. They coat the inside of the tire with a sealant and put air back in the tire. But Carlson says they don’t work on a lot of flats, leaving drivers stranded.
“Motorists are left down a very dangerous road. They’re potentially more vulnerable and more than likely, if the thing does not work, they’re going to require a tow.”
Replacement kits can also be costly. They can run upwards of $300.
Carlson says tossing out the spare is a growing trend.
“Currently, 36 percent of the cars that are being manufactured today do not have a spare. We have the equivalent of about 30 million vehicles on the road that do not have a spare tire.”
Carlson says to ask about a spare tire when buying a new car. And AAA is asking car companies to bring the spare tire back and find other ways to save gas mileage.
Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio
Copyright 2015 Boise State Public Radio