Apr 222014

I’ve had a Hyundai Elantra for nearly three years now. Last week, I posted a picture to Twitter of my first flat tire in that car. We were headed out of town for the weekend, so I left it until this past Sunday.

We arrived home in the late afternoon and after unpacking, I pulled out the owner’s manual for the car to read through the flat tire repair instructions just to be sure I didn’t miss anything. I noticed two sections: Spare Tire and Tire Mobility Kit. “Tire Mobility Kit?”, I scoffed. “I don’t need to look at that section. I don’t even know what that is!”. Well, I should’ve paid more attention when I bought the car because, I do, in fact, own a Tire Mobility Kit and not the familiar donut. A tire mobility kit, dear reader, is apparently the new car manufacturer favorite alternative to an actual spare tire. It’s a sealant canister (aka Fix-a-flat) and an air compressor that plugs into the car’s power adapter (formerly cigarette lighter). This post from Edmund’s in January 2013 discusses the trend.

This is all well and good, but I have several issues with this. First, it wasn’t made clear to me when I bought the car. Second, Hyundai charges $50 for a replacement sealant canister (they’re only good once) and they charge $399 for a Spare Tire Kit which is more than three times the cost of a new tire, $127. Third, there seems to be some debate, but as the Edmund’s article points out, the sealant can’t always fix the tire and it may ruin your chances of patching the tire at all. The dealership sure didn’t seem too interested in patching the tire once the sealant was in there. On top of that, they pointed out that my new tire has a two year warranty and road hazard coverage. Given the economics, I’ve decided to do what the majority of drivers already do which is just call for roadside assistance if I get a flat. It’s certainly cheaper if you factor in the alternatives of $400 for a spare or $177  (new sealant canister plus a new tire) every time you get a flat. My insurance company charges a negligible amount more for Roadside Assistance on my policy for both cars.

This post’s title comes from the Hyundai cashier as I lamented the lack of a spare tire in the car. “I guess it’s a sign of the times.”


 Posted by on April 22, 2014 at 4:45 pm

  2 Responses to “A Sign of the Times: Tire Mobility Kit”

  1. New Hyundai’s come with 5 year, Unlimited Mileage Roadside Assistance.

  2. I bought a Hyundai Sonata 2014 brand new by the dealership. I received a flat repair kit as you mentioned in the previous your post. It is hurricane Patricia today with rain all day for few days. I decided to use this kit so I can go to a shop and actually fix the tire at Firestone. I was told by the shop that they cannot fix the tire anymore, only option is to buy a new tire. I do understand Hyundai has a 5 year roadside assistance. I was never told by Hyundai about this when I bought the car.

    I think this is really unfair to customers.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.