Are you (or someone you know) planning to purchase a new car any time soon?
If so, you need to know about a disturbing trend that’s been sweeping the new car industry for a while.
According to this article from Consumer Reports, automakers are now shipping some models without a spare tire in the trunk. What’s more, some of them might not even come with a jack!
They’re ostensibly doing this to make their cars lighter and more fuel-efficient, but I’m guessing that part of their motivation is to squeeze a little extra profit out of every vehicle they sell.
But don’t worry (I say tongue-in-cheek) because they do give you a tiny air compressor and a can of “Fix-a-Flat”!
But seriously, is this really a good way for the automakers to eek out a little extra gas mileage and profit?
You might well disagree with me, but I really don’t think it is.
In my opinion, every car on the road should have a jack and a spare tire in trunk, even if it’s one of those irritating “donut” spares.
Why? Because depending on what caused the tire to go flat in the first place, a compressor and/or a can of “Fix-a-Flat” might not be able to re-inflate it.
And that of course would leave you stranded, possibly in the middle of nowhere with no cell signal or passers-by to render aid.
What’s more, using “Fix-a-Flat” on a damaged tire makes it a lot more difficult to repair the damage.
As a result you could end up having to buy an expensive new tire to replace one that could have easily been repaired for about 10 bucks.
By the way, the folks at AAA don’t much care for this new trend either. Check out the short video below to see their reaction.
Note: As always, you can watch the video at full screen
by clicking the “square” icon in the lower right-hand
corner of the video.
Bottom line: Before you sign on the dotted line to buy a new car I recommend that you ask them to open up the trunk so you can verify that it contains both a spare tire and a jack.
If it doesn’t it might be a good idea to either insist that they add those critical items or choose a different vehicle that comes with them. You’ll be glad you did the first time you have to pull over to change a flat tire.
Bonus tip: This post explains how to change a flat tire yourself (and why you really need to know how to do it).