Spare tires increasingly a thing of the past

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SPARE-TIRES_186075

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — More than a third of new cars now are sold without an actual spare tire. New federal fuel efficiency standards prompted auto makers to toss the tire for many models to make it lighter.

The tire is often unused and takes up too much space, car makers say. Instead those cars come with a tire inflation kit.

The tire inflation kit is a one-time use item and won’t fix flats with a large tear or puncture. So a motorist with that problem would like have to call a tow truck.

AAA and some consumer groups want car companies to put the spare tire back in all vehicles, but until that happens, you better check your trunk.

A new tire and tools will cost several hundred dollars. Inflation kits cost about $100 to replace.

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