Just the way the old cassette player was slowly phased out, the spare tyre is in the process of being phased out. Is this a noble idea? What is the logic behind phasing out the spare tyre? What will happen if you car develops puncture at a place where you cannot easily access tyre repair services? These are some of the questions that people are asking themselves since now it is becoming clear that many automobile manufacturers in the UK have actually stopped supplying spare tyres in the cars that they offer for sale.
Check your car’s boot
If you recently bought a new car, check your boot and you will most likely find that it is empty. This new development came in to focus when a UK resident Robert Griffiths while driving home from Sheffield realised that one of his car tyres had developed puncture. Surprisingly, his Vauxhall Safira 2010 model did not have spare tyre. Instead, the car was fitted with DIY repair kit that was complete with sealant.
According to the story told by Robert, he tried repairing the tyre but found that the tear was so large such that the sealant provided in the DIY repair kit could not seal it completely. He had no option other than to call rescue service. It took about two and half hours for tow truck to be organized to tow to the car and take Robert home. According to report recently published by Green Flag rescue service, the numbers of drivers who make calls after being left stranded has increased by 20%.
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The RAC report
Another report by RAC states that they have had more than 80,000 call outs annually from stranded drivers who do not have spare tyres. Most of these drivers did not know how to use the provided sealants to repair the tyre. This kit is designed such that it can only repair the small punctures. Therefore, it will not work if the tyre has deep cut or side wall damage. Also, even if the kit works, you may still end up paying someone to do the repair.
According to another driver Tom Watkins who had flat tyre and used the provided sealant, Tom’s dad requested the Vauxhall Corsa dealer to perform some simple puncture repair on the tyre but they refused. Because they could not manage to wash out the sealant, Tom had no option but to buy new tyre that cost him more than £100.
According to other stories posted online, many drivers in the UK are getting bills similar to that of Tom. While some of the sealants provided in the repair kit are soluble, industry insights show that most of the tyre repairers decline to wash out the sealant and re-use the tyre which had the puncture because the process is generally time consuming. In the mean time, many car manufacturers in the UK are in the process of getting rid of the spare tyre.
According to study carried out on the top ten selling car models in Britain, it is only Volkswagen that provided spare tyre. According to Dominic Tobin, The Sunday Times Motoring Journalist, many car manufactures in the UK want to make their car models and brands lighter since doing so will help improve the fuel economy. The European Union has already set targets for this undertaking.
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Will phasing the tyre reduce the total weight of the car?
Actually, phasing out spare tyre will reduce the total weight of the car by about 20 kilograms. However, experts are of the opinion that phasing out the spare tyre is not the only way in which the weight of the car can be reduced because those efficiency savings can be achieved at through various other ways which do not inconvenience drivers such as redesigning the seats or using aluminium the general design of the car.
Since Britain’s roads are already riddled with potholes and the condition is expected to deteriorate even further in the next winter season, many drivers are likely to get stranded when they experience blow outs and turn to the car boot to find that it is empty. At this moment, and bearing in mind the currents status of the roads in the UK, it would wise if the car manufacturers rethink of introducing the spare tyre