Modern motorists are being caught out when they suffer a blow-out – the reason? Many cars around now being launched by mainstream car companies WITHOUT a spare.
Increasingly, a tyre REPAIR kit is being added where the spare tyre used to be, and we say that a period of intensive education on how to use those kits must be undertaken. Motoring breakdown people Green Flag are reporting a 20 percent increase in the number of motorists stranded by spare tyre problems while the RAC claims to receive as many as 80,000 calls every year from motorists without a spare.
The superbly titled RAC patrolman, Crackers Patel commented:
“We have limited success with the sealant kits and in some circumstances we can’t use the kits at all.”
The problem could be even greater for those drivers able to do an on-the-spot re-seal. An increasing number of tyre fitters are refusing to repair sealed tyres claiming it is expensive and time-consuming.
Tim Shallcross of the Institute of Advanced Motorists noted:
“Manufacturers try to make cars as light as possible because heavy cars use more fuel and emit more CO2. Safety equipment such as airbags and anti-lock brakes, along with our demand for extras such as air conditioning, have actually increased vehicle weights over the past few decades, so among other weight saving measures, most manufacturers have tried to reduce the weight of the spare wheel or eliminate it altogether. The sealant kit can be a useful emergency measure, but only if a puncture is in the main tread area. Sealants cannot repair a cut in the sidewall or a complete blow out, both of which are common types of puncture, so drivers may be left stranded.”
The moral of the story is, if you’re buying a modern car, make sure to establish whether there is a spare tyre included.