Would you drive without a spare tire?

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Jack FFR1846
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:16 pm

AlohaJoe wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:10 pm
Every person with a motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle -- including the billions who do so in China, India, Indonesia, etc -- drives every day without a spare tire.
Well not all bicycles or scooters. Some scooters actually carry a spare on the back. I was a bicycle road racer for many years. I always had 2 spares strapped under the seat when out training. Why 2? One was a patched tire and the other a new one. These were sew up tires which are tire and tube and are glued on the rim.
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Bogle7
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by Bogle7 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:35 pm

No.
We are averaging 1 flat per year.
Lots of construction in our neighborhood.

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by jb1 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:39 pm

Yes. Less weight means I’m using less gas and saving money

EnjoyIt
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by EnjoyIt » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:43 pm

I have used a spare tire on several occasions over the years. Sure beats being stranded or needing a tow. I refuse to buy a daily driver car that does not have a spare.
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Small Savanna
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by Small Savanna » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:56 pm

Mine has no spare, but does have run flat tires. So far so good...

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by fru-gal » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:15 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:55 pm
When I shopped for the replacement tires, the tire shop I would normally use would not sell me the tires. It's a national chain with a policy to only sell run flat tires on cars that are delivered with OEM run flats. Even though in other countries this same model car is offered with the option purchasing OEM non-run flats and a jack kit.
What's the logic behind that?

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by IMO » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:30 pm

Presuming one doesn't have run flat tires:

If one lives and only drives in the big city, then sure you can get probably get by without a spare tire presuming you have something like AAA. This is complicated by the possibility that tow trucks don't carry spares (do they???). Now if they don't carry a spare for you, then we'll presume it's a flatbed type of tow truck that can put your car up on the flatbed to tow it. Now if you happen to have a flat tire on the rear and the tow truck is not a flatbed tow truck, then I suppose the tow truck driver can swap out your flat rear wheel for one of your front wheels for the tow. Now lets also presume that you get a flat during normal business hours and they can tow you to a local shop to get the flat repaired. If not, then they can tow it to the tire shop, you can leave the car there and take an Uber/Lyft home from the shop and then possible get another Lyft/Uber the next day to get the car.

Another option is to call a friend/family to come out to your car with the flat. You can then take the whole wheel off and leave the car propped up on the side of the road. Taking the car to the tire shop (if it's open) and then have your friend/family member drive you back to the car. If not, you can always just leave the car on the side of road overnight and take care of it tomorrow.

Now lets do the same routine way out, maybe even 50 to 100 miles from any real services, on a isolated road/highway that may or may not have cell service.

Let's make it even more fun. Let's make it at night and it's your teenage driving daughter taking that long road trip on the isolated roads.

When I was a great deal younger, I used to stupidly drive long isolated road trips towing a trailer without having a spare and this was the days before cell phones. What an idiot.

Don't be an idiot.

Run by some place like Discount Tires and ask "do people still get flats?" They'll probably laugh and think to themselves, "what an idiot."

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by tibbitts » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:33 pm

I'd hesitate to drive without a spare. I had an Elantra that came with just a sealant/inflator and bought the kit to replace it with a spare.

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by MtnBiker » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:38 pm

No, but I drive in some very remote locations. In 50 years of driving I have had plenty of flats but only one time has that led to stranding. That was a RBD when two tires picked up nails at the same time. Now I carry a tire plug kit and inflator in addition to a full size spare.

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by IMO » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:30 am

AlohaJoe wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:10 pm
Every person with a motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle -- including the billions who do so in China, India, Indonesia, etc -- drives every day without a spare tire.
Pretty much everyone I know who mountain bikes with tubeless tires still carries a spare tube, just in case.

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by MadHungarian » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:39 am

prairieman wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:16 pm
...
OK, I realize I might be rationalizing, because I like the car I’m waiting for ..... but, maybe not. In a world filled with cell phones, tire pressure sensors, and better tires, in general, maybe the cost of carrying a spare tire has become greater than the potential benefit.
That was the exact same reasoning used to justify the lack of enough lifeboats on the Titanic <grin>.

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by Daryl » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:27 am

The older I get, the less likely I am to change a flat tire on the side of the road! My car has a spare, but I don't plan to use it. I have about 6 years left of road side assistance through my vehicle's manufacturer. After that, I'll add road-side service coverage to my insurance policy. Last I looked it was less than $0.50/month!

I'm fully capable of changing a tire, but I don't want my obituary to include a story about being crushed when my car was hit from behind and fell of the emergency scissor jack.

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by RobLyons » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:48 am

Absolutely. AAA is a phone call away.
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Chip
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by Chip » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:48 am

I've used a spare probably 6 or 7 times in the last few decades. Most of those times I noticed a problem at home and put on the spare until it was convenient to get to the tire store. It was nice that I could drop off the bad tire and come back later to pick it up, rather than waiting at the store.

I was on a trip in someone else's car in the NC mountains a few years ago when we had a flat late on a Sunday night. Too much damage for fix-a-flat. Without a spare we would have been stranded overnight.

I bought a spare and jack kit for our recent car purchase. It has a place to store them. Without that I probably wouldn't have bought the kit.

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:00 am

prairieman wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:16 pm
I recently purchased a Prius Prime and am currently waiting for delivery. I have come to realize, much to my surprise, that it comes without a spare and, in fact, has no room for one. I probably would not have purchased the car had I known this.
But now that I’m committed, I started thinking more closely about the economics of the spare tire.
In particular:
I have been driving around with a spare in my trunk for 45 years and never once used it!
Every car problem I’ve had has involved calling AAA. If I already have AAA road service, then they’ll come help me with a tire problem (if I have one), too.
As a retired person, time is no longer equivalent to money. I am rarely on a tight schedule and could easily wait for AAA rather than fix the tire myself.
OK, I realize I might be rationalizing, because I like the car I’m waiting for ..... but, maybe not. In a world filled with cell phones, tire pressure sensors, and better tires, in general, maybe the cost of carrying a spare tire has become greater than the potential benefit.
I used to..when my car had run flats.

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by AerialWombat » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:04 am

I drive over 50,000 miles a year. Long cross country trips. No way I would drive without a full sized spare. Won’t own a car without room for one. Also carry compressor, Slime, various fluids, full tool bag, food, water, etc.

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:10 am

skepticalobserver wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:06 pm
No.

Nail punctures and curb blowouts happen. Get AAA and a spare, otherwise you’ll be towed to who knows where.
+1. I have had more flat tires than I care to count and one blow out.

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JoeRetire
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by JoeRetire » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:17 am

No. I would not knowingly drive a car without a spare tire.

That reminds me - I need to check the pressure in my spare tire.
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sschoe2
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by sschoe2 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:18 am

Just a tip you might want to check your lug nuts. Many service places overtorque them and the last time I worked on my brakes I needed a breaker bar to get them off. Your lug wrench in your trunk might not do it.

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by sschullo » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:23 am

Yes, AAA has many spare tires! :wink:
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by tibbitts » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:27 am

sschoe2 wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:18 am
Just a tip you might want to check your lug nuts. Many service places overtorque them and the last time I worked on my brakes I needed a breaker bar to get them off. Your lug wrench in your trunk might not do it.
I've found that was a huge problem in the past and maybe still is some places (sometimes resulting in rotor or lug nut damage), but now more facilities are pretty disciplined and require the final tightening be done with a torque wrench. And a couple of them I've been to require each lug nut be done by two different people, presumably in case one of them missed a nut or two. I missed all five myself once so now I know what that feels like.
Last edited by tibbitts on Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by tibbitts » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:32 am

AerialWombat wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:04 am
I drive over 50,000 miles a year. Long cross country trips. No way I would drive without a full sized spare. Won’t own a car without room for one. Also carry compressor, Slime, various fluids, full tool bag, food, water, etc.
I used to carry tools, and even some spare parts, but realistically most vehicles are smaller today and the weight of all that stuff is prohibitive, so I don't do that now. You're going to severely limit your choice in vehicles with the requirement for storing a full-sized spare today, unless you're into trucks or larger vehicles. Even some OTR trucks don't seem to carry spares for both their standard and wide-base tires - and like them some cars need different tire sizes for the front and rear. Many cars might fit a full-sized spare (not just a donut), but not of the (possibly optional) size and type that's actually on the vehicle, so just like with a donut you'd be limited to how far you could drive anyway.

You didn't mention it but you should also carry cash - permanently in the car, not on your person. It's probably more important than the other stuff. I sued to always carry a spare key on the car but haven't since the the new electronic anti-theft keys made duplicating problematic and/or costly. Maybe I should rethink that.

FreemanB
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by FreemanB » Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:37 am

Neither my nor my wife's vehicles have spare tires. In the past 20+ years, I've only had flat tires twice. The first time, the lock nut on the wheel broke, requiring the car to be towed to a service station where it could be basically chiseled off.(We had a spare tire, but it was useless in this situation) The second time, a little over ten years later with a different car, a huge pothole hidden by water blew out both tires on the left side of my car. Since I only had one spare tire, I again had to have the car towed to to a tire shop.

In the first case, a can of Fix-a-Flat or whatever may have worked better than an actual spare tire. In the second, there's really no way a tow could reasonably be avoided. Combine those incidents with the fact that virtually all of my driving is in well-serviced areas with multiple repair options, and I don't have any worries about running without spares.

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by lazydavid » Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:58 am

Absolutely, I do every day. None of our vehicles has a spare OR space for one. In my 3-series it would take up nearly the entire trunk, and in my wife's Q7 it would take half of the cargo area WITH the 3rd row folded. We need that space for useful things. And there's literally no place you could put a spare in my father-in-law's car (well I suppose you could remove the passenger seat). My and my wife's cars both came with runflats, but RFTs suck so I ditched them immediately on my BMW, and will do so when the Audi's OE tires wear out.

In the roughly 650,000 miles I've driven in my life so far, I've once changed a tire on property not owned by myself or a family member. And that was exactly 20 years ago. This is not to say I've never had a flat. I've had plenty--mostly due to bent/cracked wheels on Chicago's poor excuse for roads. But I've never had one that I couldn't refill and get to my destination.

But I have been stranded for a number of other reasons:
Lift pump on my BMW 335d
Multiple battery issues on a Ford Focus (voltage leak) and Chrysler Sebring (sequence of defective batteries)
3 PCM failures while driving in a Lexus RX350, and one in the Sebring
plugged exhaust in a Dodge Dakota giving it a top speed of 3mph at full throttle
Alternator failures in a Pontiac Grand Prix and a Dodge Colt
Broken flywheel teeth in a Toyota Camry rendering the starter useless

That's all I can think of right now. But I don't carry a spare lift pump, or battery, or PCM, or muffler, or alternator, in any of my cars. Or any of the other things that can go wrong frankly. So I don't see why I should refuse to drive a car that doesn't have a spare tire.

All that said, I do own spares for both of our primary vehicles--4 for for each of them, in fact. I just don't carry them around with me everywhere I go. When I have had a slow leak or needed to repair/replace a wheel due to damage, I've swapped (at home) to one of the winters while that work is being done.

westie
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by westie » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:10 am

At 67, I would still change a tire, in my driveway, never on a public road it's just too dangerous.

DaftInvestor
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:14 am

I guess I'm less lucky than many that responded - I've driven on spare tires many times. Once I was driving back on a holiday and got a flat. The tire was so damaged it couldn't have been repaired - luckily the spare got me home until the next business day when my local shop opened. With no shops open - what would AAA have done? Tow my car and wait for the next business day to sell me a tire? Or does AAA guarantee that they can sell you a suitable replacement tire even if it is a holiday - and regardless of where you are in the country? (tire would come at a high cost I am sure in such a pinch - discretion of local shop). I guess these are a lot of a "if's" but I wouldn't be comfortable traveling without a spare.

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Psyayeayeduck
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by Psyayeayeduck » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:17 am

Spare tires are like lawyers -- you may not need it now but will be glad when you do.

MichCPA
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by MichCPA » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:19 am

averagedude wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:55 pm
Having a flat tire is similar to other things in life such as speeding tickets, car accidents, ect.. You may go 25+ years and have none, or you may have 2 or 3 in a matter of months.
Wind shield chips need to be added to this list.

michaeljc70
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:31 am

I haven't had a flat in 20 years. The thing is here, if the weather is really bad getting AAA to show up in a timely matter is next to impossible. Though I wouldn't exclude buying a car without a spare, it would be a purchase factor.

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by Laker1 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:47 am

I owned a Honda Accord hybred that didnt not have a spare tire...after waiting overnight TWICE to get tire fixed and one time waiting three days for A new tire to be aquired for said car I said enough is enough. I spent 350 bucks on a spare steel wheel and tire and put it in the truck anytime I went out of town. You have to wait for a jack via road service is bad enought...In MIchigan our roads STINK and I used the spare two more times before I sold this car. GREAT car btw but I had enough of the issues. .04 MPG is not worth it to me for the weight savings. My new rule is no spare no buy. Period.

EnjoyIt
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by EnjoyIt » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:56 am

from AAA.com
Spare tires are optional on many cars, and AAA recommends the additional investment when buying a new vehicle. The cost of a spare tire may be less than that of replacing a sealant/inflator kit, and it will help ensure your mobility regardless of the reason for a flat. If your current car lacks a spare, auto dealers and aftermarket tire retailers sell spare tires and the related tools for vehicles that originally came with a sealant/inflator kit. The cost typically ranges from $300 to $600 depending on the vehicle.
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surfstar
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by surfstar » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:21 am

We just purchased 4 OEM Prius Prime wheels, like new off Craigslist for $200. Got America's Tire to price match the Costco coupon deal on Michelin X-Ice I3 and will get an additional $50 rebate from AT for using their store card. Full set of snow tires and wheels for ~$550.

$300-600 for a single spare!?! Y'all drive some fancy cars with diamond encrusted tires ;-P

The Prius Prime takes one of the most common, aka cheapest, tires sizes: 195/65R15 - another benefit of buying economical vehicles. A set of four will be less than a single performance/SUV/german/etc tire.

This thread does have me thinking of trying to fit one of the stock wheels/tires for a spare on our roadtrip this month. We'll be on the snow tires, driving to MT, WY, UT...

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by FIREchief » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:27 pm

westie wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:10 am
At 67, I would still change a tire, in my driveway, never on a public road it's just too dangerous.
I agree with this, but it certainly doesn't render a spare tire useless. My last flat occurred in a very mountainous area with absolutely no place to pull off and change a flat. Fortunately, it was a nail that caused a slow leak, which caused my tire pressure sensor to report an issue. This type of "slow leak" flat is likely the vast majority of those that occur (versus a catastrophic side wall failure likely caused by collision with some debris in the road or a blow out of a cheap or defective tire). Fortunately, that type of leak also allows you to safely drive a few miles to an exit or similar where the car can be driven to a safe area for changing the tire. That's what I did, and I was soon back on the road to the next major town (over one hundred miles away), where I had the flat repaired and mounted back on the vehicle. If I had not had a spare it would have been much worse. I'm guessing several hours for AAA to arrive, followed by a long tow and a hefty cab fare for passengers (assuming a cab or similar could even be found).
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by eucalyptus » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:52 pm

The Audi Q7 comes with Audi's warmest wishes and a fancy can of "fix-a-flat."

Hard to fix a tire with, for example, a torn sidewall.

Inconvenient to wait for AAA or Audi Roadside if you're in the middle of nowhere or it's a busy time or late at night.

I bought a spare rim and tire and throw it in the back on longer trips.

Absurd that the car doesn't come with some sort of spare.

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Just sayin...
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by Just sayin... » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:54 pm

Drive without a spare? Around town - yes. There are numerous services that are available to help in the instance of a flat. And, the associated weight (read: fuel) savings are nice benefits. For our typical road trip? No way. As a matter of fact, that was one of the decision criteria we used when selecting our larger road trip vehicle.

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by lazydavid » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:56 pm

FIREchief wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:27 pm
I agree with this, but it certainly doesn't render a spare tire useless. My last flat occurred in a very mountainous area with absolutely no place to pull off and change a flat. Fortunately, it was a nail that caused a slow leak, which caused my tire pressure sensor to report an issue. This type of "slow leak" flat is likely the vast majority of those that occur (versus a catastrophic side wall failure likely caused by collision with some debris in the road or a blow out of a cheap or defective tire). Fortunately, that type of leak also allows you to safely drive a few miles to an exit or similar where the car can be driven to a safe area for changing the tire. That's what I did, and I was soon back on the road to the next major town (over one hundred miles away), where I had the flat repaired and mounted back on the vehicle. If I had not had a spare it would have been much worse. I'm guessing several hours for AAA to arrive, followed by a long tow and a hefty cab fare for passengers (assuming a cab or similar could even be found).
A slow leak doesn't automatically mean calling AAA and waiting if you don't have a spare. Just like you can drive for a bit to change the tire, you can drive for a bit and then add air. My most recent flat about two years ago was actually a sidewall blowout (albeit a very small one) caused by one of Chicago's lovely potholes. I hit the pothole about 5 minutes before parking for dinner, then after dinner came out to find it dead flat. Refilled it and was able to make the 50 minute drive home, with the TPMS warning coming on literally as I turned onto my street. If I had a 100 mile drive like you did, I probably would have had to stop 1 or 2 additional times to top up, but it still would have been less hassle than changing the tire in a parking lot.

I filled it up again the next morning and drove another 45 minutes to the Costco across the street from my office to get the tire replaced.
Last edited by lazydavid on Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

IMO
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by IMO » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:00 pm

People who respond that they don't have room to carry a spare tire:

Are you saying you don't even have space to fit one of the small/temporary spare tires? These are a lot smaller than a full size spare tire.

I also don't get the logic that one needs to carry "a bunch of other car spare parts" as a valid logical argument. I always carry some type of spare tire, full sized or small/temporary as that's a reasonable thing in life. I suppose I could tow a 2nd car behind me all the time "just in case" but that's not a reasonable thing in life.

So for new modern cars, it is an seen as an "improvement" for a car to not have at least a small/temporary spare tire probably weighing 10 lbs, incorporated into it's design? :confused

Edit: How hard is it to change a tire? And honestly, how much fuel is saved by not having a spare tire? Honestly . . .

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by Northern Flicker » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:07 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:03 pm
I don’t carry any other spare parts around “just in case.” I don’t see that a tire is any different. In 40 years of driving, I’ve been stranded by the side of the road maybe 6 or 7 times. Only one of those times was for a tire, and that was my fault because I ignored a slow leak for several weeks.

This all just seems like a throwback to the days when tires were less durable than they are now.
Other parts are also more reliable. It depends on the age of the car. On a car made in the last 15-20 years, a tire blowout is by far the most likely cause of a breakdown in the first 100K miles of operation. I think the plug-in car is designed without a spare tire because currently people buy them for around town— the range would cause fuel anxiety on a cross-country trip.
Last edited by Northern Flicker on Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by lazydavid » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:14 pm

IMO wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:00 pm
People who respond that they don't have room to carry a spare tire:

Are you saying you don't even have space to fit one of the small/temporary spare tires? These are a lot smaller than a full size spare tire.
Neither of my cars has any available space anywhere outside of the main cargo/trunk area to put a spare of any size. And the Q7's tires are 2.5 feet in diameter. so yeah a temporary may not be quite as wide, but it's still massive. Putting on a smaller diameter tire will destroy the driveline in a matter of minutes.
IMO wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:00 pm
I also don't get the logic that one needs to carry "a bunch of other car spare parts" as a valid logical argument. I always carry some type of spare tire, full sized or small/temporary as that's a reasonable thing in life. I suppose I could tow a 2nd car behind me all the time "just in case" but that's not a reasonable thing in life.
I'll challenge this. It's only a "reasonable thing in life" because of precedent. Once upon a time, tires failed frequently. My parents used to use their spare tires multiple times a year. Now, that's no longer the case, and we are into the realm of "because we've always done it this way", which is my most hated argument for anything.

Based on my own experience, in the past 15 years I've been stranded zero times by a flat tire, and four times by a failed PCM. A spare PCM weighs 1-2 pounds, fits in the glovebox, and in many cars can be changed in just a few minutes with only a screwdriver. I could have avoided four tows if I carried one with me. Would not have required me to tow a whole 'nother car behind me.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:19 pm

Spare tire
Flat Fix Kit
Air compressor
Tow strap
4wd
Medical lst Aid Kit
Emergency equipment
Replace old tires regularly.
Tire chains

Extra golf gloves

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flamesabers
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by flamesabers » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:33 pm

I think it depends on the circumstances. For driving around my hometown, I wouldn't consider it a major issue since I could always call someone for help. However, when driving in remote areas and/or going on long trips, I would prefer to have a spare tire. You never know when you might get a flat tire in a area that has horrible cellphone reception!

A440
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by A440 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:38 pm

If you do have a spare tire, don't forget to check tire pressure every now and again. It's no good to you if you need it and it doesn't have enough air. :shock:
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unclescrooge
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:50 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:55 pm
My car came with OEM run flats. No spare, no jack, and no inflator. Problem is the OEM tires, which in theory are 65k mile rated, typically only deliver about 20k miles on this particular car.

So at 21k miles I decided to replace the run flats with non-run flat tires. I bought a donut spare on ebay, and now carry the spare and a jack. These items only just fit in the space where a spare would normally be stored.

When I shopped for the replacement tires, the tire shop I would normally use would not sell me the tires. It's a national chain with a policy to only sell run flat tires on cars that are delivered with OEM run flats. Even though in other countries this same model car is offered with the option purchasing OEM non-run flats and a jack kit.
Which car is this?

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by IMO » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:50 pm

lazydavid wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:14 pm
IMO wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:00 pm
People who respond that they don't have room to carry a spare tire:

Are you saying you don't even have space to fit one of the small/temporary spare tires? These are a lot smaller than a full size spare tire.
Neither of my cars has any available space anywhere outside of the main cargo/trunk area to put a spare of any size. And the Q7's tires are 2.5 feet in diameter. so yeah a temporary may not be quite as wide, but it's still massive. Putting on a smaller diameter tire will destroy the driveline in a matter of minutes.
IMO wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:00 pm
I also don't get the logic that one needs to carry "a bunch of other car spare parts" as a valid logical argument. I always carry some type of spare tire, full sized or small/temporary as that's a reasonable thing in life. I suppose I could tow a 2nd car behind me all the time "just in case" but that's not a reasonable thing in life.
I'll challenge this. It's only a "reasonable thing in life" because of precedent. Once upon a time, tires failed frequently. My parents used to use their spare tires multiple times a year. Now, that's no longer the case, and we are into the realm of "because we've always done it this way", which is my most hated argument for anything.

Based on my own experience, in the past 15 years I've been stranded zero times by a flat tire, and four times by a failed PCM. A spare PCM weighs 1-2 pounds, fits in the glovebox, and in many cars can be changed in just a few minutes with only a screwdriver. I could have avoided four tows if I carried one with me. Would not have required me to tow a whole 'nother car behind me.
Countless complaints about run-flat tire modern technology. One of my most hated arguments is this concept that "new technology solves everything." Honestly, go down to a tire shop as ask if people still get flats and I guarantee they will tell you that people still get flats even with "modern" tires. In fact, I'd bet my life on it. I get it, I've been lucky with a car that's never got a flat in 20 yrs, and other cars that have gotten multiple flats.

It's just a statistical game. I've never been stranded by a failed PCM, and I've never known anyone whose been stranded by a failed PCM. Not sure what that means?

But NO WORRIES, we have different opinions on the topic! If I saw you stranded on the side of the road 100 miles from any services and you waived me down, I'd still stop and give you and your flat tire a ride. Hopefully there will be a tire shop open that has your specific required tire. :sharebeer

Edit: Based on your lemon PCM issue, I'd suggest you actually carry a spare PCM.

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FIREchief
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by FIREchief » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:12 pm

For those worried about wasting gas carrying around the extra weight.... Why not buy a car with a spare and leave it in the garage until you need to drive out of town? :P
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anoop
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by anoop » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:18 pm

Without run flat tires, definitely no.
With run flat tires, yes.

You're lucky if you have never had a flat in 45 years. I have had a flat (in some cases multiple flats) on all my cars except one which I owned for only a year. With RFT I'd just keep driving so it's practically a non-event, but with regular tires, I had to stop and get it changed (which I do by calling AAA or the car's roadside assistance number).

If your car doesn't come with RFT, you could look into Bridgestone Driveguards. They are a 3rd gen RFT and are supposed to be designed for cars where the suspension wasn't specifically designed for RFTs.

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by andypanda » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:23 pm

No.

And I have a spare for the boat or the utility trailer if I'm pulling them. When I go any great distance off road I have a good 12v compressor, tire repair kit, snatch strap and recovery boards. And a first aid kit. And shoes or boots sturdy enough for a 5- or 10-mile hike. And water and snacks.

And I always carry cash. Don't leave home without it. :mrgreen:

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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by alfaspider » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:39 pm

I wouldn't think twice unless I were driving in a remote area. Tires have gotten better and better, meaning flats are a more rare occurrence. As highway speeds have increased, it's often not worth the safety risk to change by the side of the interstate.

I have not changed a flat by the side of the road in 15 years, and the vast majority of people I know couldn't do it even if they had the equipment. They will call roadside assistance regardless. That's a big part of the reason why manufacturers have stopped going through great lengths to provide a spare. Better to be able to advertise more cargo room.

That said, if I were driving the Dempster Highway in the Yukon, I'd probably want two spares, plus a patch kit, plus an inflator.

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Kurmudjon
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by Kurmudjon » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:50 pm

I drove a Corvette for about 9 years with no spare tire. However it did have runflats which were helpful a time or two. Many trips from MN to FL over the years with no flats. Carried some goop and some air inflater gizmo but never used. Comfortable with no spare tire.
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backofbeyond
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Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Post by backofbeyond » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:53 pm

I'm a numbers guy. I have had a few flats in +35 years of driving, but maybe 3? So very seldom used.

My wife and daughter have had flats where I couldn't get to them quickly so they called a tow truck, which is included in our insurance at no cost. I'm not saying they couldn't fix a flat but my guess is they would never attempt to.

So yes, I'd drive without one.
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