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The majority of cars nowadays are sold without a full-size spare wheel. Instead, they may be fitted with a ‘space saver’ wheel, which is a smaller version of your car’s wheel and tyre or a tyre inflator kit to enable you to continue driving to the nearest garage to get a replacement tyre.

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All drivers are likely to suffer from a flat tyre at some point. Therefore, it’s necessary to have some form of back-up in place. But between space savers and tyre inflator kits, which is the most practical option for you?

The pros and cons of space saver tyres

Space savers are thinner wheels that don’t take up so much storage space in the car. They’re designed to be used in case of an emergency, so you replace your damaged tyre with the space saver until you get to a place where you can get a proper-sized replacement tyre.

With a space saver, it doesn’t matter what the damage to your current tyre, you have the reassurance you can get back on the road – provided you keep your space saver in good condition.

However, if you drive with a space saver tyre, your speed is usually limited to 50mph, and you can only travel up to 50 miles for safety reasons. Also, bear in mind, that your damaged full-size wheel is not going to fit into the cavity that holds the space saver.

How tyre inflator kits work

Tyre inflator kits save even more room than space saver tyres, hence they’re popular with car manufacturers.

The inflator kits contain a latex sealant that’s squirted into the tyre using the normal tyre valve. The tyre is inflated with a compressor that’s provided. When you start driving, the foam is distributed throughout the tyre.

The process is quick and easy and ideal for someone with restricted mobility or who hasn’t the strength to change a tyre. The inflator kit is designed to enable you to drive your car to where you can buy a replacement tyre.

How effective are tyre inflator kits?

Tyre inflator kits are only suitable for certain types of damage. If you have a hole in the sidewall of your tyre, they won’t be of any use. But according to tyre maker, Continental, they have been reported to be effective in four out of five punctures.

With a tyre inflator kit, you should be able to do 300 to 400 miles, making it easier to get your car to where you want to be. And they’re about half the size of a car battery, so take up very little space.

The best of both worlds

Drivers suffer a puncture on average every 44,000 miles or five years according to Continental. And Green Flag report that changing wheels is the most common reason for call outs.

Therefore, it makes sense to have either a spare tyre or a tyre inflator kit. Preferably both. While the inflator kit should work in the majority of situations, it’s good to have a spare wheel as back-up, if you have space.

That way you’re covered for every eventuality.

Are you looking for reliable car maintenance and servicing?

Foster & Heanes offer car servicing, maintenance and repairs for all makes and models of vehicles including classic and vintage cars. We can arrange free collection and delivery if you live near our Fleet or Dogmersfield service centres. To book your car in for repair or service, please call 01252 615657 or visit www.fosterandheanesltd.co.uk

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