Spare tires may be on there way out

Used Tires

This year, more than 14 percent of new models on sale in the United States came with liquid tire sealant and a portable electric air pump instead of a spare, a trend that is growing as automakers try to shed pounds and boost gas mileage.

But there can be problems. While the sealant works well in most cases, you could be stuck on the shoulder if the hole that caused the flat is larger than a quarter of an inch, or if the puncture is on the side of the tire. In those cases, the only option is to have your car towed, and you may have to wait for a repair shop to track down a new tire.

General Motors Co., Hyundai Motor Co. and other automakers that use the pump-and-sealant kits say they have many advantages, mainly the weight savings. The kits are about 20 pounds lighter than a temporary spare and the jack and other tools needed to put on the tire. Also, the inflator kits don’t take up as much room in the trunk, leaving more space for luggage or other cargo. GM, which has made inflators and sealant standard on all but five of its 22 U.S. car and crossover models, said the kits can fix 85 percent of tire punctures. They’re easy to use, even for someone who might be afraid of changing a tire, and they’re safer because tires can be quickly refilled, getting the driver off the roadside and back in traffic faster than putting on a spare, said Dave Cowger, GM’s tire engineering group manager. According to Edmunds, just over 6 percent of all new car models had only the inflator kits in 2009, but that more than doubled by 2011. For more information check out the full article at For a free P.A. Auto Insurance quote visit our website today

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