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Run flat tires are extremely expensive, and they only last about 50 miles or so with zero air. They are a solution of choice by some premium car brands, but when the tires cost 2-4x what a regular tire costs.. and are still ending up destroyed by something more severe then a simple puncture... owners are generally angry about it.

A friend of ours owns an Audi A4. Came with run-flats, and she lost one to a road hazard. Dealer price= $600 (though you can get them online for about half that of course).... but it gets worse... dealer advised here that she had to replace all four.. not just the failed one... so she was very upset about the outcome, after initially loving the idea of run-flats instead of a spare. She did end up buying a full set for $1200 off of Amazon and then paid a local tire shop to install them. Audi dealer wanted almost $2700 for the same result.

If my next vehicle (which will be a compact SUV, and probably a CRV) has no spare.. I will be buying and placing a spare in my cargo hold... which further argues in favor of a CRV.. since it generally has best in class cargo space. For an SUV.. a covered spare tire enclosure in the cargo rack above would work too.. and that may in fact become an after market thing for the SUV/CUV market in coming years... as this is ripe for enterprising entreprenurs to go after.
The Rav4 and even the hybrid has a full sized spare. Only the next years plug in has a run flat.

The reason you have to replace all on an axle or all four on a 4WD is an imbalance in the tread depth and thus a confused traction control system. And that is with or without run flats. Had a delamination years ago on a rental car in Germany and was fun getting the rental company to buy two tires. Germany has strict rules and the shop wouldn't sell only one. This even with no traction control.
 

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I have to comment on this as its an issue I have had to face for the past 20+ years in my work in the industry. Many decades ago we went with the "compact" spare tires. Customers hated them from the beginning so I have long since gotten over this battle. We had these crazy spared that were "shrunken" and didn't expand until they were filled.Then we had the "no spare" cars that came with a "repair kit". That really bothered people and I understand why. Now, the car company I worked for had data that showed it was very rare for a spare tire to even be used. Personally I have only used a spare tire once in the past 25 years. On that occasion a repair inflation kit would have taken care of the tire (small nail hole). But while that is true its no comfort when you are out in the middle of the mountains or desert and you have a tire blow out. When I have made my adventures into the wilderness I have always had a real full size spare with me. When the nearest paved road is 45 miles away and the nearest repair shop is much more than that....you really need a full size spare!

So, while I understand when the engineers look at the data and decide to forgo the full size spare, They have to make compromises at times and they go with the numbers. I still have a personal preference for them. Both my current cars have the "donut" spare and that is the bare minimum for me.

And for the record, you would not believe how low a price car makers pay for tires. I remember back in the '90's were were only paying about $25 per tire (just the tire, no rim). The rim for a donut was probably less than $20 then. Now, understand this was a "quanity" price as GM was buying them by the train load direct from the factory.
 

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It all boils down to $$, What they saved by eliminating the spare tire and utilizing the area for the battery, same car just a minor adjustment to the rear floor panel . I would bet anything that when they change from this model they will move the battery ahead and put the spare tire back in. Remember when Acura had run flats? they lost a lot of sales and they went back to a spare tire....
 

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Discussion Starter #46
The Rav4 and even the hybrid has a full sized spare. Only the next years plug in has a run flat.
Err, not a FULL sized spared, just one of those donuts, hoping the younger folk believe that is the way it has always has been, and the corporations will win.
 

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I'm curious. Why would you say a spare tire is "one of the most essential items need(ed) for a real family vehicle"?

Did you know that new Hondas come with free roadside assistance for 3 years, most full-coverage insurance policies include roadside assistance, and there are other services (such as AAA) that many people pay for?

Even if you don't have some type of roadside assistance plan, as long as you have a working cellphone I don't get what the big deal is.

I would bet that a good percentage of drivers don't know how to change their tire in the first place. I would also bet that even for those that do, many would rather call a tow truck than having to deal with the possible danger, dirtiness and inconvenience of changing it themselves.

Of course, if you drive in rural areas with spotty cell coverage and/or that are far away from civilization then I could see a how a spare tire could be pretty important.

With this being said, I do get how changing a flat yourself can be more convenient than having to sit and wait for a tow truck, as long as you have the skills and don't mind getting dirty. I just don't get how it can be that important of a thing in this day and age for a "real family vehicle".
Well said. I am 69 years old and can't remember the last time I had to change a tire. I also have a 2001 Ford Ranger with 233K miles. The original spare hangs underneath it. I think spare tires are a waste of space.
 

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I'm 76 and have a flat a couple of years ago and it ruined the tire, now what do you Fix a flat and a compresser is worthless. nice to have a full size spare. I changed the tire and was on my way. I travel a lot to West Virginia and the there are so many places the cell doesn't get out. you get a flat from the some of the biggest, deepest pot hole I ever saw, you maybe there till the road crew shows up......
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Well, spare tires are like Life Insurance and Home Owners Insurance. Something you hope you never have to use but are awfully darn glad you that you have it when needed. I have been driving since 1969 and have only had two flat tires ... but boy was I EVER GLAD that there was a spare.
Acadia
 

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Well, spare tires are like Life Insurance and Home Owners Insurance. Something you hope you never have to use but are awfully darn glad you that you have it when needed. I have been driving since 1969 and have only had two flat tires ... but boy was I EVER GLAD that there was a spare.
Acadia
I agree. It's not about all the times you don't need it.. it's about the few times when you actually do need it. :) But the average modern urban driver simply does not get it and thinks that if they get a flat.. Honda roadside assistance will show up within 15 minutes and deal with the problem. The average response time for roadside assistance, even in a busy urban area is hours... not minutes.

The way this is going to settle out over time though is manufacturers are going to continue to remove spares and replace them with either very expensive run-flat tires (on premium vehicles) OR just put in a temporary repair and inflator kit... which will work for simple punctures.

Problem with this approach though is simple punctures are rarely actually noiticed until enough air bleeds out to trigger the TPMS alert, somtimes days after the puncture. For any serious road hazard incident... the flat-kits are useless, and if you are in a rural location with no reliable cell service and the nearest tow service under contract with Honda being a hour or more away... a spare is a must, even if only one of the cheezy temporary spares. Smart owners will simply buy and place a spare in their cargo "for insurance" against being stranded for hours somewhere waiting for roadside assistance and then hours more being towed somewhere and getting one or multiple tires replaced somewhere in the boondocks.
 

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I agree. It's not about all the times you don't need it.. it's about the few times when you actually do need it. :) But the average modern urban driver simply does not get it and thinks that if they get a flat.. Honda roadside assistance will show up within 15 minutes and deal with the problem. The average response time for roadside assistance, even in a busy urban area is hours... not minutes.

The way this is going to settle out over time though is manufacturers are going to continue to remove spares and replace them with either very expensive run-flat tires (on premium vehicles) OR just put in a temporary repair and inflator kit... which will work for simple punctures.

Problem with this approach though is simple punctures are rarely actually noiticed until enough air bleeds out to trigger the TPMS alert, somtimes days after the puncture. For any serious road hazard incident... the flat-kits are useless, and if you are in a rural location with no reliable cell service and the nearest tow service under contract with Honda being a hour or more away... a spare is a must, even if only one of the cheezy temporary spares. Smart owners will simply buy and place a spare in their cargo "for insurance" against being stranded for hours somewhere waiting for roadside assistance and then hours more being towed somewhere and getting one or multiple tires replaced somewhere in the boondocks.
Drove a Miata for 11 years with no spare tire and only needed a spare ONCE in those years and 130,000 miles.

I don't consider something I only needed once in 11 years as a "must have" item.

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Discussion Starter #52 (Edited)
I don't consider something I only needed once in 11 years as a "must have" item.
So, cancel your home owner's insurance after all you are never going to have a fire, and cancel your life insurance after all you are going to outlive your wife and children.

Where would you have been that ONE time that you needed a spare for your Miata? Spares are NOT needed until you NEED them, they sit there doing nothing just like an insurance policy.
 

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I've had more than my share of flat tires due to unseen hazards in the last 10 years. I discovered the most recent when leaving a parking lot after taking my 88 year old mom grocery shopping in my RDX with only about 7,000 miles...which doesn't have a spare. I was alerted to it by the TPMS, showing the RR tire had 27 PSI (should be at 33). After checking the tire for nails (couldn't see any obvious) I drove to the nearest Discount Tire store, less than one mile away. They confirmed I needed a new tire, as somehow the inside sidewall had a slight cut, and the tire was not repairable. A new tire was needed.

This was the fourth tire (IIRC) I had to replace due to un-repairablity since 2009 on relatively new cars. But the first without a spare. Didn't matter, as age and arthritis have determined I will no longer change my own tires (or oil for that matter). This last time I was fortunate, as the tire store was close by, and the tire had not gone totally flat yet. Previous time was in West Texas, at night, headed east on I-10 about 2 hours west of San Antonio in our 2012 Highlander, with the luggage compartment filled to the roof. Having the spare was no help, as I would have had to unload the whole back end. AAA took about 2 hours to get there. That was the longest I have ever waited for roadside assistance, by far.

When I bought the RDX, I knew it didn't have a spare, and figured the odds of me having another tire that couldn't be repaired with a sealant kit was slim... Guess I was wrong! Maybe NOW the odds have turned? Guess I will wait and see.

While I dislike not having a spare, the lack of one will not keep me from buying my next vehicle...and I won't be adding one after purchase. Seriously considering the CR-V Hybrid to replace my wife's '15 Escape next year.
 

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So, cancel your home owner's insurance after all you are never going to have a fire, and cancel your life insurance after all you are going to outlive your wife and children.

Where would you have been that ONE time that you needed a spare for your Miata? Spares are NOT needed until you NEED them, they sit there doing nothing just like an insurance policy.
I don't see the house analogy here. One is for damage, versus inconvenience.
 

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I don't see the house analogy here. One is for damage, versus inconvenience.
Then you either missed or ignored the earlier analogy of a spare tire in your vehicle being roughly equivalent to having an insurance policy protecting your home when something goes badly. I encourage you to go back and read that earlier post.

Now.. if a flat repair kit could bring any damaged tire back on line so you could drive to the nearest tire store.. we would not be having this discussion. But the fact is.. said kits will only fix a puncture in the tread zone... and often tires are damaged on sidewalls or are literally torn open by a road hazard (ie: things have gone badly for the tire).
 

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Then you either missed or ignored the earlier analogy of a spare tire in your vehicle being roughly equivalent to having an insurance policy protecting your home when something goes badly. I encourage you to go back and read that earlier post.

Now.. if a flat repair kit could bring any damaged tire back on line so you could drive to the nearest tire store.. we would not be having this discussion. But the fact is.. said kits will only fix a puncture in the tread zone... and often tires are damaged on sidewalls or are literally torn open by a road hazard (ie: things have gone badly for the tire).
I understand that, but in my 50 year's of driving, I've never had a tire failure that damaged the sidewall. Maybe I've been just lucky.
 

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I have been driving for 63 years. A spare tire is a comfort thing. If you drive into isolated areas on bad roads, then a spare would be a good idea. Otherwise, it is just taking up space in the trunk. I would like to have a spare, but it will not stop me from buying the 2020 hybrid in a few months. My 17 touring has been, and still is an excellent vehicle. It has a brand new spare in the trunk!!!
 

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So, cancel your home owner's insurance after all you are never going to have a fire, and cancel your life insurance after all you are going to outlive your wife and children.

Where would you have been that ONE time that you needed a spare for your Miata? Spares are NOT needed until you NEED them, they sit there doing nothing just like an insurance policy.
Do you have any other "apples to bananas" comparisons you want to throw out to us?
Lol

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