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One-third of new cars do not come with a spare tire

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(KUTV) At Hillside tire and service, they change a lot of tires. But assistant manager Chris Pappas says he's noticing a new trend in how customers get to his shop after a flat.

“We see quite a few cars with simple flat repairs come in on tow trucks,” he said. “Before they would put their spare tire on and drive their car to us.”

It's not a coincidence.

According to a study by AAA, about one-third of new vehicles don't even come with a spare tire. Many cars makers, trying to make vehicles more fuel efficient, are dumping the spares along with heavy jacks and tire irons.

Instead, those cars come equipped with a can of gel that is supposed to seal small punctures.

But as Gabe Payne can attest, the sealant won't work on all flats. After a nasty flat, and without a spare in his trunk, he avoided the tow truck bill by phoning a friend. Still, it cost him time.

"Probably about two hours extra to get the plugs, get it done, have my friend come and help me,” Payne said. “I'm lucky he was there."

Payne says he was determined not to be stranded again, so he also called his car dealer and learned they sell spare tire kits for his vehicle.

"I went and bought a kit the next day,” he laughed.

AAA’s advice it to check your trunk right now, before you find yourself stranded on the side of the road.

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