RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Nobody wants to deal with a flat tire, but some drivers who run over a nail or pothole may be in for an even more unwelcome surprise.
That’s because not all cars come with spare tires.
Raleigh resident Frank Mossa found that out the hard way after hitting a pothole on his way to work.
“The car starts going to the side, and that was it. I just pulled over,” Mossa said.
With one flat tire, he went to his trunk to find his spare.
“There was nothing there,” he said. “I thought ‘there’s something wrong with me, so I’m looking underneath the car because some spares are underneath the car’. So I check there. Nothing. I went to the side of the car, look under the passenger seat. Nothing.”
While that came as a shock to Mossa, it doesn’t surprise Ashton Gough, who sells cars for Hanna Imports. He said some vehicles don’t come with spare tires anymore.
“Manufacturers are trying to save on gas; you get better gas mileage,” Gough said. “A full-size tire is probably about 40-50 pounds so that’s a lot of miles per gallon you’ll be saving.”
Some vehicles do still come with spares, though, and others have run-flat tires and/or a mobility kit to get you far enough down the road to get your tire replaced.
“There’s going to be a fluid in here that will patch the hole,” Gough said, showing one of the tire repair kits. “You’ll have a pump, and you’ll also have something that tells you the tire pressure.”
Those kits don’t last forever, though.
Mossa’s kit was seven years old, and he said it didn’t work, so he had to call a tow truck.
Some manufacturers offer roadside assistance, and if you buy a new car, you can often pay extra to get a spare if you want one.
Mossa said once he gets his tire replaced, he’ll also buy a spare to keep with him.
“I’m going to make room in the back and put it there and that’s it. This is not going to happen again,” he said.
He encourages everyone to check their cars and know, when you buy a vehicle, whether you have a spare, a tire repair kit, or nothing at all.
It’s a good idea to know what you’re dealing with before you get stuck with a flat.
“You don’t want to be surprised the way I was,” Mossa said.