Flat tire: repair with aerosol or real spare tire needed
In many cars nowadays you will find an aerosol can to repair a flat tire. The spare wheel is no longer available (standard) on more than half of the cars. What are the pros and cons of using this solution. Does it work just as well as a real spare wheel and what other important differences play a role?
No spare wheel?
For some time now, car manufacturers have increasingly moved away from having a spare wheel in the car as standard. This has a number of advantages for them. In the first place it saves costs. A spare wheel more or less on a complete car may seem like nothing. But in the car industry it is now also about every euro and this saves the necessary costs. Instead of the spare wheel, a repair kit is then supplied, usually a spray can with filling foam.
Another advantage of omitting the spare wheel is the extra space that is gained. There is more and more technology in modern cars and comfort must also be as high as possible. So as much leg, seat and cargo space as possible. A large bulky object such as a spare wheel can be missed as a toothache.
An optional spare wheel?
Some car models do not have a spare tire as standard, but it can be ordered as an option. The extra costs on the new price of a car are not too bad for the consumer, moreover, it is your own choice. With this, the car manufacturer earns extra from a feature that previously always belonged to the car. Count on extra costs of at least 80 euros, but that can be higher depending on the make and model of car. And also check that you can store the spare wheel in a way that is acceptable to you.
Repair a flat tire with a spray can
Repairing a flat tire with an aerosol is a strange idea for most people at first. Still, it works well enough in most cases. If you have a flat tire, you can tighten the aerosol can on the valve. Then you then spray the foam into the tire. The propellant inflates the tire. You are usually not allowed to drive faster than 60 km / h for the first 20 kilometers. Then the puncture is filled enough to be able to drive normally again.
Of course it is not a permanent solution. You still have to take your car to a tire shop or garage to have the tire replaced or properly repaired. But in the first instance you can at least save yourself with a flat tire and without a helpline or roadside assistance.
Is a foam spray a good spare wheel replacement?
An aerosol can instead of a spare wheel. For many people a reason for an uncomfortable feeling. In most cases, however, the aerosol is sufficient. If you really have a substantial hole in your tire, the aerosol will not help you. In that case you are therefore simply dependent on external help if you do not have a spare wheel.
Repairing a tire filled with foam
After you have filled your tire with a spray can and closed the puncture, your tire still needs to be repaired. In most cases, however, that does not get any better after using such an aerosol. First of all, the foam is dirty stuff, so if it gets on your rims or other parts, it can leave permanent stains. In addition, it has become more difficult to find the leak. Finally, the foam is a kind of milky sludge, which does not make it more pleasant to work with the tire. These are all disadvantages that can lead to higher bills or even replacement of the entire tire, whether necessary or not.
Other benefits of an aerosol can
There are a number of other advantages of using an aerosol can. First of all, it is much easier to use. You connect the van and spray it empty. The instructions are indicated on the label. Replacing a spare wheel is a lot more work. Not really difficult, but something that has to be done well and is not for everyone.
In addition, the necessary muscle power is required to replace a wheel and it is usually not the cleanest job. And you can be unlucky that it has to be done in the dark or in bad weather. Or in a busy traffic situation where it is even unsafe. A spray can is a lot more convenient in many of those situations.
The disadvantages of a spare tire
No spare wheel therefore saves you space in your cargo area. Often the spare wheel is hidden, but sometimes an LPG tank is installed there. Or the space can be used for other things. You also lose the weight of the spare wheel, which means that your car quickly becomes a kilo or 40 lighter. That makes a difference in fuel consumption.
Don’t forget that a spare tire has a limited life. If you have a full rim with tire, you can swap the spare wheel with other tires, so that they all wear evenly. In many cases that does not happen, or the spare wheel is a homecoming. In those cases there is a serious chance that the spare tire is actually too old to use when you need it.
The ANWB has said that, as far as they are concerned, every car should be equipped with a spare wheel. Whether that is entirely justified is doubtful. It seems that this is mainly in their best interest. A spare wheel is especially helpful in the event of a blowout. And only especially if you are also going to replace the wheel yourself. The use of an aerosol also offers its advantages. That is why it is also advisable to always have such a spray can in your car. Even if you do have a spare wheel in your car.