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Full Size Spare Tire - everything I learned after 3 months of research

IMO, the added weight and loss of trunk space of a spare isn't worth it. 99.9% of the time, I won't need the spare (100% if I'm lucky), but carrying it brings a constant guaranteed reduction in range and utility.

It'd be great to have a spare the size of a Cheerio that could be enlarged when needed (Ant-Man style). Until that's possible, I'm taking my chances with a repair kit and a portable air pump in the lower trunk, falling back to roadside assistance if needed.

Watch, today will be the day I get a flat. 😀
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Reactions: DaveRZ and cmy4x4
Here's how I have my Modern Spare (ceiling of the trunk).
Spare Tire Mounted.jpg
I love it!!!!! Do you keep it there all the time?
Yes, all the time. I think the trips-only idea is misguided, since a flat with no spare can ruin your day even if you are close to home.

I've since put a towel between it and the ceiling to prevent squeaking. The decrease in trunk space has never been an issue, as most things can slide under it.

Here's my guide to mounting it:

bad news for an automatic trunk
We don't have that. What's the issue?

I just realized I'm going to have to get a spare for our second Tesla (on order, the one that won't go on trips). I'll probably buy the same spare but not mount it on the ceiling.

Before I mounted mine on the ceiling, I out Velcro on the hub so it wouldn't slide around.
Haven't you ever noticed that factory spares are bolted down? I would never leave something as heavy as a spare tire in the trunk unsecured (or "secured" with velcro). You are just asking for the backseat passengers to get their backs destroyed in a collision. If there isn't anyone back there it's coming for you next. That seat back isn't stopping anything.
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Reactions: father_of_6
Wow... I've never seen commercials like that in the US. People say the US condones violence, but perhaps the UK is worse. I wouldn't want my 6 children watching people falling off a bridge or being crushed by a car.
You might be right about the US condoning violence. I guess the fact that I found those commercials to be funny does say something about me.
That is a very valid concern, and what primarily drove me to optimize on Dynaplug and tire inflator kit for the cars that don't have factory provided and packaged full size spares (and accompanying supplies to put it to proper use). I have one car left in the garage with a full sized spare, and all my cars have sets of winter wheels and tires. But I don't carry those on my trips for the reasons stated above.

I did just that the last time we drove to Florida - got a puncture in driver-side rear tire on I-95 outside of Miami.
Pulled over on the shoulder, had my wife drive slowly forward until I saw the offending screw in the thread, pulled it out, plugged with two DynaPlugs, re-inflated, and was back on the road in under 15 minutes start to finish. Kept an eye on pressure readings - all good all the way home (1+K miles).
Granted, those were exciting 15 minutes on the shoulder, but for me, that sure beats sitting and waiting for a two truck hours on end. In either 100 degree heat or 10 degree cold.

BTW, my wife could have done the same on her own as well!

A full size spare is the best, but very few car companies package those inside modern cars theses days.
A donut is least useful and borderline worthless to me, since donuts come with speed and total range limitations (usually under 60mph for fewer than 300 miles, then done).

That is a super rare corner case that I don't worry about anymore.
The most common tire puncture scenario is you drive over a nail with the front tire, kick it up, and (occasionally) it bounces just right to penetrate the rear tire. There is no feasible scenario for it to bounce into the sidewall.

To damage the sidewall, you really need to hit something (a curb) hard enough, or run over a huge pile of rebar or metal planks. Not impossible, but not likely either.

The one time I needed more than a Dynaplug was when I ran over a huge pothole on a rural road, at night, not far from home. Both passenger side wheels were bent badly (boo on Tesla soft 20" wheels), to the point of tires getting fully deflated. I had to leave the car, get a ride home, then come back to swap out the bent wheels for winter wheels and tires. Then had the wheels repaired and ready for the next season.

So based on your experience outlined above, I take it that the DynaPlugs work with the noise-foam-insulated tires?

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