The automotive website Edmunds.com says 14 percent of new cars this year came with a tire repair kit instead of a spare. Eliminating the spare can save from 20 to 100 pounds in vehicle weight, which can translate into slightly better gas mileage, more trunk space and most importantly, lower costs for the manufacturer. .
The kit helps cover small holes in a tire's tread. All you need to do is take it out, plug in the power source in the cigarette lighter, screw the device on to your tire and turn it on. .
Roadside assistance will still be needed to cover major problems but the repair kits' manufacturers say fewer people are changing tires anyway. Better roads, tires and vehicles lessen the risk of flats and tires only get torn by nails and pieces of metal every so often.
Still, not all auto-repair shops agree with that assessment as they deal with the customers who only discover they don't have a spare in case of an accident. They are now taking more time warning the public of car manufacturers' new practices and teaching them new reflexes when purchasing a vehicle.
So don't forget to check the trunk before signing on for your new car. It could spare you a lot of frustration.