28 percent of new cars sold without spare tire

In an effort to reduce weight and improve fuel economy, automakers continue to eliminate spare tires from new vehicles. Not anymore. A new AAA survey found that 28% of 2017 models were sold without a spare tire as standard equipment.

One thing you're probably not checking for - a spare tire.

"This is a major issue for the motorist who is now stranded, because they can no longer rely on their tire inflator kit, requiring their vehicle to be towed" said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA - The Auto Club Group.

According to new research from AAA, almost one-third of new vehicles are missing a spare tire. The agency reported more than 450,000 members they rescued from a flat tire, did not have a spare.

As a replacement for a spare tire, some automakers are including kits that can temporarily fix small punctures in flat tires.

"39 million of US drivers don't know how to change a flat tire", Armbruster said.

Check expiration dates. If your vehicle is equipped with a tire-inflator kit, check its expiration date.

"With low-profile tires and the elimination of a spare tire, many newer vehicles are especially vulnerable to roadside tire trouble", Mr. Paul said.

Inspect all five tires.

If your vehicle does have a spare tire, be sure it is properly inflated and stowed and check your tire pressure every month.

"Absolutely, anytime you're buying a vehicle, its known to be the second most important investment next to a house".

Today's vehicles often have run-flat tires or an emergency flat-tire inflation kit with an aerosol sealant and a compact air compressor in place of the spare tire.

AAA members have saved a total of more than $3 million dollars by visiting AAR facilities in the past year. However, AAA says the top cause for roadside assistance calls are tire-related.

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