Hey buddy, can you spare, a spare? That’s what some stranded motorists find themselves asking AAA when they pull over and discover that the spare tire, once standard, has become optional.
Pushed largely at GM but also seen in some overseas car makers, some manufacturers are trying to cut costs, reduce car weight, and meet efficiency standards by not packing a spare in the back of the car, Reuters reports.
A spare, its jack, and the other assorted gear add about 25 pounds on to a car’s weight. Removing it adds about 1 MPG to the car’s fuel efficiency. It’s not much, but GM is hoping that it and other incremental changes will help it meet higher Federal car efficiency standards.
But some motorists don’t realize there’s been a change, until they go to make one. With their car sitting on the side of the road, it’s too late. Dealerships don’t exactly slap a big sticker on the car window that says, “100% spare free!” Car makers have been putting inflator kits into the cars instead, which are only able to deal with minor punctures and flats. However, consumer awareness about both the absence of the spare and the presence of the inflator kit is low, Reuters reports.
Come to think of it, headlights and brake lights are kind of heavy. And do you really need two?
The Disappearing Spare Tire [Edmunds]