The other day I got a flat tyre about 5kms from my house in Japan. It was raining outside and I wasn’t keen on changing the tyre in the rain at 6am in the morning. I drove home with a 95% flat left rear tyre .. carefully!
When the rain stop I went to work to change the tyre but there wasn’t one! What there was was a puncture repair kit which included a pump which connected to the cig. lighter and a sealant, which was way past its use by date. This enabled me to get the car to the local tire shop and a replacement tire.
So, yes, it is true that many cars sold in Japan (and in other countries as well) now come equipped with a puncture repair kit instead of a traditional spare tire. There are a few reasons for this shift in the automotive industry:
1. Space and weight considerations: Removing the spare tire and replacing it with a puncture repair kit allows automakers to free up valuable space in the trunk. This can be especially important in compact or hybrid vehicles where every inch of space is optimized for efficiency and cargo capacity. Additionally, removing the spare tire reduces the weight of the vehicle, which can contribute to improved fuel efficiency.
2. Cost savings: Including a spare tire, along with the necessary tools and equipment, adds to the overall cost of manufacturing a vehicle. By replacing the spare tire with a puncture repair kit, automakers can reduce production costs, which may translate into lower vehicle prices for consumers.
3. Advances in tire technology: Modern tire technology has improved significantly, with many tires being more resistant to punctures and offering better performance and durability. Additionally, run-flat tires have become more common, which can allow drivers to continue driving for a limited distance even after a puncture. These advancements have contributed to a perception that the likelihood of encountering a tire puncture is reduced, making a puncture repair kit a viable alternative.
A puncture repair kit typically includes a sealant and an air compressor. In the event of a minor puncture, the sealant is injected into the tire, sealing the hole and allowing the driver to continue driving to a repair facility. However, it’s important to note that a puncture repair kit is not suitable for all types of tire damage, such as larger punctures, sidewall damage, or blowouts. In such cases, a professional repair or replacement may still be necessary.
So when your car arrives don’t be surprised if it has no spare tire, they have gone out of fashion in the modern Japanese car!