Automakers taking out spare tires for increased fuel economy

June 19, 2012 12:00 AM

With all automakers hoping to improve fuel economy, many are seeking to reduce weight in their vehicles by any means necessary. As a result, many manufacturers are not including spare tires in new cars, according to USA Today.

Spare tires are very useful for drivers who suffer flats out on the road, and in the past they were included with all new vehicles. Yet with automakers seeking to improve MPGs, spare tires are becoming less common. Many automakers are instead including sealant kits designed to fix and re-inflate flats.

"Engineers sweat bullets to reduce a car's weight by grams, and this is a way to shed 40 or 50 pounds," Bill Visnic, senior editor, told the news source. "Not every customer is comfortable with it, though."

The trend isn't simply due to shedding weight and cutting costs, however. Many drivers are not fearing flat tires as much as they once did. Tire longevity has improved, and all new cars come with pressure monitoring systems that will let drivers know if a tire is low well in advance. In addition, if a flat does occur, many would rather call for help on their cell phone than fix it themselves.

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